Women Identities in Contemporary Lao Literature after National and Democratic Revolution in 1975
Khon Kaen University
Since literature is concerned with the discourse and communication in a society, the study “Women Identities in Contemporary Lao Literature after National and Democratic Revolution in 1975” inevitably involves both history and culture. This is because in any period of time, the meanings in discourse about a person or groups of people in a society shows roles and responsibilities and indicates social status and positions, which are the main components for creating social classification and social organizations.
At the present time, the attempts for defining things on gender, race, and nation appear in many patterns. It happens particularly in the Lao society, which has continuing sociocultural changes from the traditional-based society to the colonial period and later to the socialism. Recently, the country has developed neo-socialism, which demands some modifications to catch up with the global changes in terms of economics, society and culture.
In contemporary Lao literature or socialist realism literature, the meanings in discourse concerning gender, race and nation overlap each other and relate to the development of social space and woman’s identity. After the national and democratic revolution, the development of woman identity in literature was influenced by the government’s intention and need to form the nation. The influence put its stress on the importance of rights and liberty and sexual equality. Another trace of influence can be seen through the role and responsibility of women in self-development and national development in socialism. Another development includes the development of ideal identity, which is a result of social political ideology. However, the literature produced after the New-thinking period has reflected more realities of women conditions in the society because there have been more writers and a variety of themes to be written. As a result, the woman’s identity in contemporary Lao literature after the national and democratic revolution in 1975 is a combination of the ideal identity and the identity in reality.