Date of Award

Fall 1-7-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Joe Perry

Second Advisor

Dr. Isa Blumi

Abstract

This thesis considers the social, economic and ideological climate in the German Democratic Republic in the last decade of its existence (the 1980s) when excessive labor demands lead the country to import tens of thousands of “contract workers” from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Focusing primarily on theoretical contradictions in GDR socialism, and their impact on the day to day lives Vietnamese workers, I will argue that ideologically freighted pronouncements of “socialist fraternity” with Vietnam functioned to obscure the true, economic reasons for labor importation.

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