Social Stucture information
The majority of the Vietnamese population lives poorly. There is large segregation between the poor and the wealthy. The majority of the population engage in manual labour in order to earn a living, most of which are involved in the agricultural sector and are fairly uneducated. The rich are educated, making the segregation between the two groups difficult to minimise. This educated rich minority generally work in business or government positions.
Respect is a high priority within Vietnamese culture and is seen as the greatest virtue an individual can possess. The difference in values between the Western culture and the Vietnamese means practitioners must be made aware of these values and hold a great level of respect whenever working in a team with the Vietnamese. Family is an important aspect within the Vietnamese culture, and society is seen as an extension of the immediate family.
English is regarded to be the second language within Vietnam.
There is an age hierarchy is Vietnam, and ancestral worship is a large part of Vietnamese culture. It is expected that all senior citizens are treated with a great amount of respect, regardless of education, gender or wealth. Growing old is seen as a privilege not a right. Men and women are generally quite equal in society, although a man for his strength, a woman for her warmth, therefore a large majority of males make up the intellectual working sector.
What this means when working within the Vietnamese PR industry:
• Respect must be shown when dealing with clients and co-workers, more so than the accepted standard in Western culture.
• Arrive on time.
• Listen to others opinions and show the ability to compromise.
• Expect a great level of warmth when speaking with the Vietnamese; they see other individuals as an extension of the family.
• Although the majority can speak English it is seen as a mark of respect to learn basic language.
• Those older than the practitioner should be respected at a greater level than those younger.