People and Society, Social Issues
social ills, political instability, economic reforms, Vietnam War, malnutrition
During the Vietnam War, the Communist government of North Vietnam was successful in limiting the country’s social problems to those directly connected with the war effort. Although malnutrition and poverty were common, corruption was rare and the incidence of drugs, prostitution, and crime was limited.
Social problems have increased since the economic reforms of 1986. Corruption has escalated as increasing amounts of money circulate through society. Unemployment is also on the rise, especially among young people. Drug addiction and alcoholism are becoming serious problems; prostitution is rampant, especially in urban areas; and incidents of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) have increased in Vietnam. Many of these social ills may be inevitable consequences of the modernization process. However, they represent a serious challenge to a government determined to bring about economic development without the accompanying problems of social and political instability.
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