International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Anita Häusermann Fábos

Second Reader

Jude Fernando


Is “home” where your family currently resides or where you were brought up? Is it where you were born or where you have been in the past ten, twenty, or thirty years? This paper will draw upon the complex and contested nature regarding the notion of “home” for Khmer Krom in Soc Trang province and Can Tho city in southern Vietnam. Kampuchea-Krom or Khmer Krom are a group of Khmer people exclusive to Vietnam, the term “Krom” is used to differentiate them from Khmers (Cambodian) in Cambodia. Using literature on home identity across multiple disciples, this paper seeks to make sense of emerging home narratives from this unrecognized indigenous community. This study was carried out using grounded theory, a qualitative research method. The concepts of home presented in this paper are based on interviews with fourteen Khmer Krom participants, women and men whose ages range from 28 to 64, and hold a status of either registered or unregistered Khmer Krom members. This paper will explore how both the concept of “physical home” and “theoretical home” have constructed into the lives of these people, stimulating multiple ideas of “home.” Analysis of interviews have led to the conclusion that “home” can be defined differently at different times, and is influenced by the socio-political environment, as well as livelihood opportunities that are available to the communities. For Khmer Krom in Soc Trang and Can Tho, the process is not linked to nation or nationality, but it is where one can carry forth dreams, participate in income generating activities, have a sense of community, and the ability to care for family.



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