The Lao discusses culture and village life in Laos, exploring topics of kinship and family, gender relations, households, religion, livelihood strategies, and ethnicity. In particular, the effects of recent development projects on the relative power of men and women in rural Lao society, and the responses of women to those changes, are highlighted. Ireson-Doolittle and Moreno-Black not only provide a description of life on the ground but also explore how local affairs are connected to the wider world, and how the Lao people preserve traditions while also responding to change.

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