CHARLES H.P. ZUCKERMAN, then a graduate student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded funding in October 2013 to aid research on 'The Ethics of Exchange: Gambling and Interaction in Luang Prabang, Laos,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lempert. This research used ethnographic and linguistic methods to explore the ethical dimensions of economic exchanges in Luang Prabang, Laos. For the past twenty years, Luang Prabang has been a city in shift, as the once royal capital of Laos has emerged as a global tourist destination. The city's inhabitants have reacted to the influx of money and new forms of exchange with a mixture of desire and moral trepidation. This research used interviews, participant observation, and the analysis of video-recorded economic exchanges to investigate how people living in the city understand, and ethically evaluate, this shift. The researcher paid particular attention to gambling-an especially ethically fraught activity-on the game pétanque. Pétanque began to soar in popularity in Luang Prabang in the late 1990s and continues to grow as the Lao socialist state lifts many of its restrictions on gathering and gambling and embraces market capitalism, foreign investment, and tourism. In studying pétanque in Luang Prabang, the research asked a broader anthropological and comparative question: how might an analysis of interaction help us better understand the moralization of forms of exchange and, more broadly, the ethical domain itself??????
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of
Zuckerman, Charles Henry Pearson, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'The Ethics of Exchange: Gambling and Interaction in Luang Prabang, Laos,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lempert