Vietnam Social Hierarchy

Vietnam is small country located in the eastern side of India. Vietnam was greatly influenced by the traditional social stratification system that survived there for many centuries. The major difference between the social division of people of Vietnam from other nations and societies was the basis of social class system. Normally the social class system in other nations was dependent on the basis of money, power, authority, inheritance and sometimes color with which one is born too. But the scenario was entirely different when it comes to Vietnam social hierarchy.

The social classes were developed in Vietnam on the basis of education and then occupation one held in Vietnam. Education for Vietnam people were an exquisite method for upward mobility. This was an ardent way of achieving high social status. Undoubtedly the emperor and royal family were at the top. But the next social classes were totally dependent on education, knowledge and profession basis. The Vietnam social hierarchy is explained below in a descending order model means starting with the uppermost status holder social class and moving on further reciting all the subordinate classes in brief. Just have a quick look –

Vietnam Social Hierarchy
Vietnam Social Hierarchy

Ruling Class

This was the top most social class in the Vietnam social hierarchy. This class incorporated:

  • The Emperor – The emperor was supposed to rule the kingdom with the supreme ‘mandate of heaven’ means by permission of mighty God. So, all were to abide by his decisions with a true heart. The entire ruling task was handled by the emperor.
  • Royal family members – The royal family members served as the emperor’s advisors.

Scholar Class

This class included scholars and scholar officials. A lot was emphasized on the education in the Vietnam which ultimately became the basis of the Vietnam social hierarchy. These scholars were employed through meticulous civil service exams demeanor in Chinese classical philosophy & literature. These were also referred to as the ‘Mandarins’. Once an individual passed out efficiently the triennial tests then he became a qualified scholar termed as degree holder. These officials were entitled for getting appointed to the royal civil service which was considered the most prominent prestigious road to wealth, power and high status.

Working Class

This was the middle class of the hierarchy. These people were involved with manual labor work that was not considered high status symbol. This class was further divided in two categories as:

  • Farmers – These were the peasants involved in farming work.
  • Manual Workers– These people worked for farmers and other high social class people. It formulated two more sub categories as below –
    • Artisans
    • Laborers

Business Class / Merchants

This class was usually looked down by the Vietnam people. This was sort of undesirable class for them. The reason behind this thinking was that the Vietnam people considered business transactions as dishonest transactions. The merchants formulated this social class which was at the bottom of the Vietnam social hierarchy.