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Imperial IntoxicationAlcohol and the Making of Colonial Indochina$
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Gerard Sasges

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824866884

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824866884.001.0001

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Oppression, Resistance, Rebellion

Oppression, Resistance, Rebellion

(p.129) 6 Oppression, Resistance, Rebellion
Imperial Intoxication

Gerard Sasges

University of Hawai'i Press

The alcohol regime provoked resistance at almost every level of Indochinese society. Popular resistance was shaped by various contexts. One was the corruption, abuse, and violence that were endemic to the alcohol regime. Another was its perceived illegitimacy. And a final context was the economic opportunity created by the highly taxed, unfamiliar tasting alcohol. The result was multiple forms of “everyday resistance” made possible by the complicity and collusion of broad swaths of colonial society, from village mayors to French infantry officers. Not all resistance can be characterized as everyday, however. Overt resistance, or what the colonial state labeled “rebellions,” occurred in response to particular events in the larger context of the state’s aggressive interdiction of contraband. With these acts of resistance, villagers acted to defend the integrity of their community, the sanctity of cultural norms, or basic notions of justice.

Keywords:   Indochina, Vietnam, Colonialism, Contraband, Resistance, Rebellion, moral economy, everyday resistance

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