Thi Mai Duyen Dang

Doctor of Philosophy, (Arts)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Eating alone is painful: An interdiciplinary and ethnographically inspired sociolinguistic investigation into Vietnamese mealtime ritual invitations

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mealtime invitations are a commonplace part of language ritual in Vietnamese culture. Using ethnographic approaches, including participants' retention of diaries, video-recordings, observations, informal talks, and interviews, Ms Dang's interdisciplinary research explored Vietnamese mealtime ritual invitations (VMRIs) as they are expressed in everyday life of Vietnamese-speaking people within a New Zealand and Vietnam context. She developed integrative methods in gathering and analysing data to provide a holistic view of VMRIs, linguistically and socio-culturally. Her research challenges preconceived assumptions about mealtime invitations and expands the conceptual boundaries of invitations into multiplex discourses. Ms Dang illustrated this new concept by showing how context (food and family meals) and other factors (status, familiarity, age, gender, and perception) generate and constrain language use. Her research privileges the interrelationship between language and behaviour, the ritual practice of familial bonding at mealtimes, and the role of women in Vietnamese society.

Dr David Ishii
Dr Graeme MacRae
Dr Mary Salisbury