Kin Groups and Descent. The structure of Vietnamese kinship involves logical opposition and functional complementarity between two models. Especially in northern and central Vietnam, patrilineage has been the dominant form, with emphasis on hierarchy and solidarity. But bilateral tendencies, with greater egalitarian emphasis, have always been present, most strongly in the south. In recent years Socialist policies have reinforced bilateral tendencies, weakened patrilineage, and strengthened the nuclear family. Descent is patrilineal, but with increasingly strong bilateral tendencies.
Kinship Terminology. Vietnamese kinship terminology is of the Sudanese type, highly descriptive. There are different terms for father's siblings and mother's siblings, and father's older brother is terminologically distinguished from his younger brother.