Arve Hansen: Hanoi on wheels: emerging automobility in the land of the motorbike

In Mobilities, 2016.

Mobilities journal


Arve Hansen


Vietnam’s recent economic and social transformations are manifested in the streets of its capital city through millions of motorbikes and a rapidly growing presence of cars. Based on ‘motorbike ethnography’ in the streetscapes of Hanoi, the paper considers the changing practices and meanings of motorised mobility in Vietnam’s capitalist transition. It focuses on two main aspects: the everyday geography of the ‘system of moto-mobility’, and the ‘social life’ of cars and motorbikes. The paper finds that although motorbikes still dominate in Hanoi, the car has overtaken the throne as the main aspirational and positional good, and currently automobility is becoming progressively normalised.
By Arve Hansen
Published Apr. 8, 2016 10:38 AM - Last modified Apr. 8, 2016 10:38 AM