Faced with a declining number of brothers arriving from France, the Frères des écoles Chrétiennes (FEC) in Vietnam actively recruited and trained Vietnamese members to sustain and expand their school network. French brothers practiced de facto associationism through their unwillingness and inability to concede responsibility to Vietnamese confreres. The expectations of the latter, however, had grown in an ecclesiastical background of indigenization, and this led to severe internal tensions. The hybrid life the FEC were committed to by virtue of their religious profession was a casualty. The failure of hybridity underlines the polarization engendered by the colonial frame.

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