The salience of the Northern and Southern identity in Vietnam

Mai Truong, Paul Schuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper explores the salience of the north-south identity in Vietnam. Using focus groups and survey data, we argue that Vietnam is characterized by asymmetric ingroup bias, where southerners hold higher levels of ingroup favoritism and outgroup discrimination than the north. However, while north-south identity exists, its salience is limited because it crosscuts with other social identities. Survey data show little difference between the north and the south regarding nationalism, support for redistribution, trade, authoritarian values and traditional values. There are differences with the south exhibiting lower trust in the government and generalized trust. Also, within Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Hanoi more specifically, we find lower support for China and higher support for the United States in HCMC than in Hanoi. However, these differences are relatively muted, and combined with focus group evidence, suggest that while identity differences exist, they are asymmetric and not as salient as often presumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-36
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Politics and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • identity
  • in-group bias
  • North Vietnam
  • South Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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