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Caught Between Cultures: Hmong Parents in America’s Sibling Society  [PDF]
Tamara L. Kaiser
Hmong Studies Journal , 2005,
Abstract: Based on a qualitative study of the Hmong Community in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, this paper addresses the conflict between the traditionally hierarchical and patriarchal Hmong culture and those aspects of American culture that elevate freedom and equality over, not only patriarchy, but over hierarchy in general. Although this conflict has forced the Hmong community to change in some positive ways, it also creates great challenges for parents and their children. Distorted values of “freedom” and “equality,” promoted by much of American culture, compromise the ability of many Hmong to be effective parents. A comparison of traditional Hmong parenting with what author Robert Bly calls America’s “sibling society” demonstrates that both Hmong and mainstream families and society are hurt by a general rejection of authority and would greatly benefit from recognizing the value of hierarchy based on experience, genuine accomplishment and wisdom.
Gran Torino’s Boys and Men with Guns: Hmong Perspectives
Louisa Schein,Va-Megn Thoj
Hmong Studies Journal , 2010,
Abstract: This article discusses the Clint Eastwood film Gran Torino in the context of American popular mis-representations of Hmong and from the perspectives of the film‘s Hmong actors and viewers. The analysis begins from the images of Hmong as ―perpetual warrior, ferocious killers ill-fit for American society, and docile fresh-off-the-boat foreigners needing help and protection by white saviors. The bulk of the article presents an interpretation of the recent box office hit Gran Torino radically different from contemporary mainstream response which has centered on Eastwood‘s character and viewed the film mainly as a vision of multicultural inclusion and understanding. This alternate ―ethnotextual approach, reflecting the conversations of a Hmong studies anthropologist and a Hmong filmmaker/activist, includes the perspectives of Hmong involved in creating the film and considers critical response to the final product within the Hmong community. Despite a script that called on them to portray violent gangbanger and hapless Hmong immigrant stereotypes, Hmong actors encourage us to value their creativity in shaping the film through enacting certain roles, no matter how conventionalized, and to expose the film as a white man‘s fantasy.
Coming Home? The Integration of Hmong Refugees from Wat Tham Krabok, Thailand into American Society
Grit Grigoleit
Hmong Studies Journal , 2007,
Abstract: In December 2003, the U.S. State Department officially announced the acceptance of roughly 15,000 Hmong refugees from Wat Tham Krabok, Thailand, into the United States of America. The Hmong refugees were scheduled to be resettled for family reunification in established Hmong communities. As social science research on migration indicates, the existence of ethnic communities is crucial for a successful adaptation to a host society for newcomers. Ethnic communities thereby serve as a buffer zone and provide initial assistance,which is especially important when governmental integration measures are not sufficient. In the case of the Hmong refugee resettlement, the U.S. economic and social incorporation efforts were inefficient, due to cutbacks in U.S. Federal funding and welfare reforms, causinga greater reliance on the receiving Hmong communities. This raises a number of questions about how much an ethnic community can absorb and is able to bear in order to fulfill the newcomers’ needs. What are the limits and how does this affect the initial integration of thenewcomers?
Cultural Identity In Post-Modern Society: Reflections on What is a Hmong?
Gary Yia Lee
Hmong Studies Journal , 1996,
Abstract: There is no easy answer to the question of what constitutes the cultural identity of a person or human group. When is someone a Hmong and what are the characteristics of such a person? How is this personal identity moulded into a shared image at the group level? Some may say that there is such a thing as a true Hmong, but many others will argue that there is no such a person today when many Hmong have been assimilated into the local cultures and languages ofthe majority societies in which they now live in China, Southeast Asia or in the West.To grapple with this issue, I will take a dialectic approach which will attempt to arrive at what is considered true by eliminating differences and by synthesising common grounds or potentialsimilarities. I will begin by looking at different concepts from a collective perspective, followed by a similar examination at the personal level focusing on what I regard as being the majorcharacteristics of the Hmong as individuals and as a people. I will then draw my conclusion in the light of the Hmong's diaspora and the globalisation of their contacts today.
Hmong Resettlement in French Guiana  [PDF]
Patrick F. Clarkin
Hmong Studies Journal , 2006,
Abstract: Within the Hmong refugee diaspora, the Hmong of French Guiana are fairly unique in that many have achieved economic autonomy through market farming while also residing in rural, ethnicallyhomogeneous villages that help to preserve cultural and linguistic traditions. This article explores some observations made over a three-month period in 2001 in French Guiana regarding the adjustment of Hmong villagers since first being resettled in 1977. Results from formal questionnaires conducted with local villagers (n = 180) revealed that more Hmong in French Guiana had lower rates of high blood pressure, were more satisfied with where they lived, and had less desire to return to Laos compared to a sample of Hmong in the United States (n = 108).
MANY CULTURES, DIFFERENT TRADITIONS, ONE SOCIETY. THE SWEDISH MODEL OF INTEGRATION POLICY  [PDF]
Monika Bana?
Studia Humanistyczne (Kraków. 2003) , 2011,
Abstract: The article examines the case of integration policy implemented in contemporary Sweden. The model has evolved from the 1960s undergoing a large number of transformations dictated by factors such as demographics, labor market structure, public sentiments towards foreigners, the concepts of economic development, political system, domestic politics and foreign policy of the Kingdom of Sweden. The focus has been directed on the constructing process of a cohesive society made up of groups with different ethnic, national, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds.
Book Review: An Introduction to Hmong Culture
Yeng Yang
Hmong Studies Journal , 2012,
Abstract: Review of An Introduction to Hmong Culture.
An Assessment of the Hmong American New Year and Its Implications for Hmong-American Culture
Kou Yang
Hmong Studies Journal , 2008,
Abstract: This author attended the first day of the 2005-06 Hmong New Year in Fresno,1 which was held during the week of December 26 to 31, 2005; and found it to be strongly influenced by commercial, political and informational/educational activities. This was the 30th annual Hmong New Year event celebrated in the United States and it appears to have developed itself into a unique Hmong American festival. It included many elements and traditions from the pre-1975 New Year of the Hmong of Laos. This includes the youth displaying their Hmong traditional costumes, the ball tossing, and the singing of traditional Hmong songs. On the other hand, this New Year event was also dominated by commercial, entertainment, political and informational/educational activities that appeared to be influenced by the American and Western concepts of the market economy, technology and freedom of expression. The Hmong New Yyear in the United States has become a festival that embraces two cultures, nurtured by the Hmong Diaspora and the long-time Hmong strengths of adaptability and flexibility.
Constructing a Social Problem: Suicide, Acculturation and the Hmong
Machiline Xiong,Paul Jesilow
Hmong Studies Journal , 2008,
Abstract: Between September 1998 and May 2001, eight Hmong teenagers took their own lives in one urban community. Newspaper accounts attempted to establish the suicides as an outgrowth of problems brought about by the Hmong immigration to the United States. In particular, the clash between the Hmong and American cultures was fingered as the cause of the suicides. Other explanations were ignored. The teenage Hmong suicides were depicted as a problem that needed addressing and identified the school district and mental health facilities as the appropriate institutions to deal with the problem. In-depth interviews were conducted with individuals either directly familiar with the events or positioned to provide the best information and overview on the issue. We conclude that the emphasis for the suicides was strongly associated with the Hmong’s status as immigrants in order to convince the Hmong that they needed to acculturate, in particular to accept and utilize mental health facilities. We illustrate that suicide can be a point of opportunity for those seeking to increase a group’s level of attachment to society.
Recent Research and Publications on the Hmong: 1995-1998
Anne Frank
Hmong Studies Journal , 1998,
Abstract: Bibliography of publications related to the Hmong
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