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      Contesting socialist state visions for modern mobilities: informal motorbike taxi drivers’ struggles and strategies on Hanoi’s streets, Vietnam

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          Abstract

          As the Vietnamese socialist state privileges ‘modern’ mobilities over so-called ‘traditional’ means, the livelihoods of informal motorbike taxi drivers (locally known as xe ôm) are increasingly under threat. Drawing on the literatures of mobilities and everyday politics, and on ethnographic fieldwork with xe ôm drivers, recent app-based competitors and planners in Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, we argue that the state’s vision creates specific mobility experiences, rhythms and frictions for xe ôm drivers. These drivers must not only negotiate policies curbing their mobilities, excessive police fees and dangerous customers, but also new smartphone app-based competitors. Nonetheless, xe ôm drivers have reacted with subtle everyday politics to reshape their mobilities, with tactics including performing ‘identity management’ with police, information gathering via social networks and inventive efforts to build loyal customers. This paper thus highlights how mobility and access to urban streets are being framed, coproduced and respatialised in a rapidly growing socialist city.

          Most cited references37

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          Street vendor livelihoods and everyday politics in Hanoi, Vietnam: the seeds of a diverse economy?

          (2024)
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            Urban informality: toward an epistemology of planning

            (2024)
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              Work on wheels: collective organising of motorcycle taxis in Nigerian cities

              (2024)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                idpr
                International Development Planning Review
                Liverpool University Press
                1474-6743
                1478-3401
                January 2019
                : 41
                : 1
                : 43-61
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Sarah Turner is Professor of Geography at McGill University, 805 Rue Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Quebec H3A0B9, Canada; Ngô Thúy Hạnh is an independent researcher, C/- Humanitarian Service for Children of Vietnam, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam ; corresponding author: sarah.turner@ 123456mcgill.ca
                Article
                10.3828/idpr.2018.10
                bf812fd0-3ab1-4a8b-860b-cdf76981ec83
                History
                Categories
                Research Article

                Urban development,Urban design & Planning,Environmental management, Policy & Planning,Geography,Urban, Rural & Regional economics
                everyday politics,mobilities,socialist state,urban livelihoods,Hanoi,informal motorbike taxis,Vietnam,informal economy

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