Threatening Lives: Controlling Avian Flu in Vietnam's Poultry Economy


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation uses comparative ethnographic research at three sites of avian influenza management in Vietnam to explore how expanding global health efforts against pandemic threats create new and contested relationships between humans and animals. Combining fieldwork on two transnational bird flu interventions with participant-observation among veterinarians and poultry farmers, it describes how various actors negotiate global health processes according to heterogeneous values and practices, in which animals play central but diverse roles. It argues that these negotiations center on debates about the changing role of animals in social and ecological systems, and the value of rural livelihoods in a standardizing, market-oriented economy.