How do families remain close when turbulent forces threaten to tear them apart? In this groundbreaking book based on more than a decade of research set in Vietnam, Merav Shohet explores what happens across generations to families that survive imperialism, war, and massive political and economic upheaval. Placing personal sacrifice at the center of her story, Shohet recounts vivid experiences of conflict, love, and loss. In doing so, her work challenges the idea that sacrifice is merely a blood-filled religious ritual or patriotic act. Today, domestic sacrifices—made largely by women—precariously knot family members together by silencing suffering and naturalizing cross-cutting gender, age, class, and political hierarchies. In rethinking ordinary ethics, this intimate ethnography reveals how quotidian acts of sacrifice help family members forge a sense of continuity in the face of trauma and decades of dramatic change.
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