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Reflexivity, habitus and vulnerability: Vietnamese farmers' attribution of responsibility in a post-disaster context

Kien Nguyen-Trung (BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Clayton Campus, Clayton, Australia)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 3 January 2023

Issue publication date: 12 July 2023




This article examines how farmers' assignment of responsibility for the disaster in late 2015 – early 2016 connects with reflexivity, habitus and local vulnerability.


This article uses semi-structured interviews with 28 disaster-affected households in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta to answer the question.


This article finds out that Vietnamese farmers actively accepted their responsibility for the disaster. In their explanation, they link their action with the root causes of vulnerability embedded in their socio-cultural traditions and collective identity.

Research limitations/implications

This article makes a case for the importance of local culture and epistemologies in understanding disaster vulnerability and responsibility attribution.


This article is original in researching Vietnamese farmers' responsibility attribution, their aesthetic reflexivity, collective habitus and the socio-cultural root causes of disaster.



The author wants to thank Linda, Cherry and Jenny for their unconditional love, support, and understanding. Heartfelt thanks to Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett and Professor Dharmalingam Arunachalam (Monash University) for their tremendous support. Thanks also go to Monash University for assisting this work with the Monash Postgraduate Publication Award (2021).

Competing interests: The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose. This work reproduces materials from Dr Kien Nguyen-Trung's PhD thesis with permission.

Author contributions: The author did all the works leading to this manuscript.

Consent for publication: All participants provided consent for publication of the data anonymously.

Funding: The author declare that Dr Kien Nguyen-Trung was received the fund from Monash University's Postgraduate Publication Awards to do this work.


Nguyen-Trung, K. (2023), "Reflexivity, habitus and vulnerability: Vietnamese farmers' attribution of responsibility in a post-disaster context", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 298-310.



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