Neoclassical theory has not succeeded in explaining the relationship between increasing landlessness and class differentiation in rural southern Vietnam. In this paper, we take a relational approach, using statistical techniques from social network theory, to examine the governance structure of markets in a commune of Tra Vinh province in the Mekong River Delta. We demonstrate that new opportunities provided by the process of market development are accessible only to those households controlling the right bundles of resources in the core agricultural production and trading system of the area. Further, industrial employment is available only to those who have, at some stage, controlled land, while those who have never participated in the land and rice markets are confined to casual agricultural labour. The governance structure, embedded informally in relatively stable market networks, therefore reproduces class divisions.