Title: Acculturation in a Community Garden: The Shifting Role of a Hmong Garden in Eastern Wisconsin. Author: James Arthur Misfeldt. Source: MA Thesis, University of Alabama. Location: Tuscaloosa, AL. Year: 2019. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 93 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Sheboygan, Wisconsin is a small midwestern city that is home to a community garden that has been kept by a Hmong immigrant community for more than 30 years. This thesis uses a cultural geographic approach to present an ethnography of Sheboygan’s Hmong community garden. This ethnography addresses convergent knowledge gaps in the literature on immigration in the United States, Hmong studies, and the political ecology of urban commons. It is presented that the interrelated processes of acculturation and neoliberalization have shaped the garden and those who use it. Acculturation is an important determining factor in how members of Sheboygan’s Hmong community perceive the garden and the expansion of neoliberal policy in Sheboygan has been shaped by individuals’ relationships with it. These relationships, as well as power relationships in Sheboygan, are explored in the narrative of an event that led to the garden’s 2015 move.
Title: Arresting Vang Pao: Nativism, Immigration and Foreign Policy in American History. Author: Tyler D. Rust. Source: MA Thesis, California State University, East Bay. Location: Hayward, CA. Year: 2019. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 134 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: (From the Introduction): The arrest of Vang Pao was just a brief story I heard on the radio while I was driving, many years ago. At the time I was not yet a student in graduate school, working towards a Masters in History. I was a social studies teacher, thinking more about the constant dramas and stresses involved with running a classroom every day, full of adolescents and their helicopter parents, trying to instill more than just the knowledge of names, dates, and places that history class is infamous for doing.As I drove along, the radio announced the ATF raid on Hmong homes all across California, part of a sting operation that revealed a plot to overthrow the Laotian government. Now my ears pricked up. I knew the Hmong only from Clint Eastwood’s movie, GranTorino, which followed the plight of a young boy trying to fit in and survivesurrounded by gangs. His cratchtey neighbor, played by Eastwood, helped him to grow tobe independent and fight for himself, a journey that transforms both the boy and Eastwood’s character. When the radio mentioned a coup, I was intrigued because revolution is always interesting to a social studies teacher, and one that had started in California was even more interesting because I was living in California at the time.The report explained that a Laotian general had been arrested after meeting with undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to negotiatethe sale of military weapons. The guns, bombs and rockets involved in the sale were to beused to overthrow of the Laotian government. After meeting in a Thai restaurant in Sacramento, the General and his co-conspirators had been accused of violating the Neutrality Act, which made it illegal to overthrow a government from within the United States. At the time I found it interesting, but not compelling. I remembered thinking, “Who does that? And who does that from Sacramento? Nothing happens in Sacramento.”And then I went back to thinking about the other, more important problems of my day, not to think again about this story for many, many years.When I decided to return to graduate school for my second Master’s degree, my first having been for teaching, I took a class in the history of American immigration. The course introduced me to the histories of many groups who had come to the United States, seeking a better life for themselves and their future generations. The histories had many similarities; the push and pull factors of immigration, but also in the experiences that the groups inevitably had to walk through as they acclimated to a new life in the United States. The arrest of General Vang Pao and the Hmong came back to me during that class; an example of immigration and assimilation. The experience of the Hmong was notunlike the Chinese, Japanese, Cuban and other immigrant groups. Each of these peoples had struggled to adjust to life inside the United States because of push and pull factors in their decision to relocate. Furthermore, the strong desire to return to Laos, seeking justicefor long ago failures and suffering, seemed evidence that assimilation is never complete; that identity cannot be easily transformed merely because the person or persons have relocated geographically. Identity, citizenship, nationalism and violence were all present in the story of Vang Pao and the Hmong refugees. Their arrest in Sacramento seemed a story needing to be told, as the immigration debate was becoming more politically hot, and this gave increased relevance to issues obvious within the arrest of Vang Pao.
Title: Les Hmong et le tourisme ethnique à Sa Pa : entre modernité et micro-résistances. Author: Antoine Garnier. Source: MA Thesis, Laval University. Location: Quebec City, Canada. Year: 2019. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 204 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: (English Translation from French): Since 1986, Vietnam has undergone an economic renovation (Đổi mới in Vietnamese), resulting in many political consequences. This opening to the neo-liberal market economy, inspired by decisions made in China a few years sooner, does not yet stop the Vietnamese Communist Party, as the true head of the country, from governing in an authoritarian and socialist manner. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is thus a hybrid state, pushed towards a modernization process with Western afternotes, thanks to its neo-liberal allegiances. In this race for development, Vietnam faces a singular challenge : it must deal with a total of fifty-four official ethnicities living inside its borders. Yet, Vietnamese power is, in all its aspects, essentially related to the ethnic majority, namely the Kinh, or Viet. In order to bring modernity to the minority nationalities, considered as "little brothers", the Kinh state then organizes ethnicity around a grand principle of selective cultural preservation. Minority nationalities can thus show their singular identities, provided they do so in a benign and essentially esthetic fashion, deprived of any potential danger for the state goals aiming at unified national identity and modernity. This thesis is based on an ethnographic investigation conducted throughout the summers of 2016 and 2017, among the people of one of these minority nationalities : the Hmong living in the Sa Pa district, in the North of Vietnam. In order to give this research a pertinent theoretical anchor, I draw my analysis from concepts such as micro-resistance and infrapolitics, devised by James Scott and utilized by Jean Michaud in his many works regarding the Hmong living in Sa Pa. Thanks to these notions, I analyse how certain transcripts produced by Hmong taking part in touristic activities in the Sa Pa district can be interpreted as examples of micro-resistance, enabling them to shape a singular place for their community in this rapidly evolving context, pulled between modernity and resistance.
Title: A cycle of violence: Hmong refugees, household decisions, economic transnationalism, and identities. Author: Chia Xiong. Source: PhD Dissertation, University of California, Merced. Location: Merced, CA. Year: 2019. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 219 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The question of citizenship and belonging continues to be important in an era of mass displacement as a result of violence and conflict. This dissertation is an interdisciplinary approach in examining the question of belonging and citizenship for war refugees. I examine how war refugees belong and do not belong in different periods: from the journey to “refuge,” in the refugee camps, and the current resettled country. Each chapter in this dissertation addresses a specific question. In Chapter Two, I ask, how do gender and age shape refugee journeys? Chapter Three addresses the question, how does time shape refugees’ participation in economic transnationalism? And Chapter Four addresses the question, how does previous war experience (captured through refugee identity) in conjunction with current experiences (legal status, view on America/n) shape belonging (ethnic and racial identities)?
The Hmong from Laos makes a good case study because they have been in the U.S. for four decades. Their duration in the U.S. is long enough that they can take on new legal statuses but recent enough that they can still recall war experiences. The study consists of a total of 50 semi-structured life history interviews with refugee adult children and refugee parents. Adult children refer to participants who were children during the war or lived in refugee camps, and at the time of the study are adults.
There are three main findings. One, gender and age shape the decisions during the journey to refuge in Thailand. Further, the new economic household decision theory can be expanded to examine refugees if the reasons for migration shift from economic incentives to interests in preserving human life. Two, transnationalism can also be used to understand refugee participation in the global economy through economic transnationalism, namely through sending goods to sell and remittances. I show that Hmong participated in the alternative global market by sending paj ntaub to sell in the United States. This economic transnationalism is made possible through what I consider involuntary transnational networks that consist of other refugees who are mostly kin. I argue that participation in the global economy occurs not only once the Hmong are in the resettled society, but even when they are residing in refugee camps. However, the commodification of the paj ntaub represents cultural violence that justifies the structural violence within the camps. Three, I find that refugee experiences of war continue to permeate into the present, shaping ethnic and racial identities. Specifically, identification with the refugee identity reflects the present attachment to previous war experiences. And detachment from the refugee identity is a coping mechanism to treating war experiences as something of the past. Participants coped with war experience differently, but most identified as Hmong as opposed to a hyphenated or American identity. Therefore, many respondents saw themselves as American citizens, but not as full Americans. I term this notion of simultaneous belonging and not belonging as social liminality. Finally, those who are too young to understand or recall the experiences of war identify more with a hyphenated or racial identity and never saw or no longer see themselves as refugees. Collectively, this dissertation underscores Hmong refugees’ belonging before they became refugees (in the journey to Thailand), when they are refugees (camps) and when they become citizens (in the U.S.).
Title: Facilitators and barriers to employment among Hmong American young adult men with mental illness: a qualitative study. Author: Kevin Bengston. Source: PhD Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Location: Madison, WI. Year: 2018. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 121 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The prevalence of mental illness among Hmong Americans is estimated to be close to 33.5% as opposed to 17.9% found in the general U.S. population based on the findings of several research studies and estimates from the NIMH. The high prevalence of mental health and mental health stigma has also lead to Hmong Americans experiencing greater difficulties in obtaining and retaining employment. Although no data wasavailable on the specific unemployment or underemployment rates of Hmong Americans with mental illness, their current labor force participation in comparison to the rest of the U.S. population sheds some light on the difficulties that Hmong Americans have had in attempting to obtain employment.Despite the fact that Hmong Americans’ labor force participation has been improved over the past two decades, it still lags behind the rest of the civilian U.S. population –only 56% of Hmong Americans are employed as opposed to 65% of the U.S. Civilian labor force. Although the levels of employment have increased over the past two decades the per capita income of Hmong Americans at $11,766 is significantly lower than the overall U.S. population per capita income at $26,279 leading to higher rates of poverty and a higher reliance on public assistance. Employment is considered essential to an individual’s identity and provides pathways to community engagement and participation. Employment can also lead to higher levels of self-esteem, increased overall subjective well-being, and decreased levels of depression, anxiety, and alcohol consumption for personswith mental illness. Despite the noted importance of employment for persons of mental illness no research has been undertaken to understand the facilitators Hmong American males with mental illness may utilize or the barriers they face in obtaining and retaining employment.No research has explored the role that stigma and intergenerational trauma play in the employment process for Hmong adult males with mental ivhealth issues. Additionally, there is very limited knowledge regarding employment issues relatedto Hmong Americans with disabilities and no research has been specifically undertaken with Hmong American males.The purpose of this qualitative research study was to understand the facilitators, barriers, stigma, and intergenerational trauma experienced by Hmong adult men ages 18 to 35 years old with mental health issues residing in Wisconsin when attempting obtain and retain employment.Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with eight Hmong American males with mental health issues between the ages of 18 and 35 years of age. Six participants self-identified as having depression and two as having anxiety. One participant self-identified as having both depression and anxiety. None of the participants identified as having severe mental illness and all the participants in this study could be considered “high functioning”.A phenomenological qualitative research framework, with a hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to interpretthe experiencesof the participants. Co-cultural theory was used as aconceptual framework to further theoretically informed analysis of the qualitative data and answer the principle research question (“How do young adult Hmong males with mental health issues navigate and experience finding employment in Wisconsin?”). Tworesearch team members of Hmong descent wererecruited to assist withthis study. Both grew up within Hmong American communities in Wisconsin and have an intimate understanding of Hmong culture. Additionally, both speak two different forms of Hmong dialect (Hmoob Dawg or “Hmong White” and Hmoob Ntsuab or “Hmong Green”), can read the Hmong language, and have experience working with persons who have mental health issues.The six stages of hermeneutic data analysis as developed by Ajjawi & Higgs (2007): Immersion, Understanding, Abstraction, Synthesis and Theme Development, Illumination and vIllustrating the Phenomena, Critique of the Themes by the Researcherwere used as a process to uncover the facilitators, barriers, and stigma experienced by Hmong American males with mental health issuesto obtain and retain employment. Seven major themes identified indicate that Hmong culture and extended family play significant roles in the employment process for the participants in this study acting as both a facilitators and barriers. There also appears to be a significant level of “bi-cultural” stress being experienced by many of the participants in this study that has inadvertently has affected their overall mental well-being, leading to difficulty finding long-term employment. Co-cultural theory was used to further theoretically inform and interpret the findings for this research study. From the eight interviews undertaken it is apparent that for the participants in this study their preferred outcome is accommodationor trying to maintain their cultural uniqueness within the broader American societyResults of this study indicate it would seem important to utilize Hmong American mental health counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and employment specialists where possible. Mental health, vocational rehabilitation, and other employment providers also need to be sensitive to potential family and cultural obligations that Hmong males are obligated to undertake in their community. In addition, counselors need to be sensitive to how gender roles affect the way Hmong males are obligated to communicate with each other and how it may impact the way certain Hmong clients interact when receiving Western mental health, vocational rehabilitation, or other employment services. Counselors also need to be aware how intergenerational stress may impact some Hmong American clients. Additionally, counselors need to be aware of the role that stigma and lack of understanding can play around mental illness with Hmong Americans. It appears that having a more in-depth understanding as to the stereotypes, prejudice, viand discrimination that Hmong people experience within the broader American society would assist counselors in helping Hmong people develop better workplace communication and socialization skills. Lastly, developing culturally sensitive outreach strategies would encourage Hmong people to utilize health, rehabilitation, and social services.
Title: Hmong livelihood strategies : factors affecting hunting, agriculture, and non-timber forest product collection in central Laos. Author: Pao Vue. Source: PhD Dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Location: Madison, WI. Year: 2018. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 361 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The Hmong are the third most populous ethnic group in Laos and tend to live near areas with important conservation values where they engage in swidden agriculture, hunting,and the collection of various kinds of non-timber forest products for both subsistence and commercial purposes. However, their livelihood strategies are currently undergoing drastic changes due to a range of factors that are making it harder year after year for them to meet household needs. This research investigates how government laws and policies designed to decrease swidden agriculture, the capitalistic market economy, and technological advancements are affecting how the Hmong in central Laos spatially navigate and use the surrounding lands to sustain and/or enhance their livelihoods. By examining how these factors are affecting Hmong livelihood strategies, I seek to exposevariables that are contributing to the already heavy hunting and non-timber forest products usage by the Hmong ethnic group. I primarily conducted intensive ethnographic research which documentedHmong villagers’ daily livelihood activities in order to understand how beliefs and practicesare produced, modified, and re-produced to allow forcontinual swidden agriculture, wildlife hunting, and the harvest of non-timber forest products. I found that, among various factors,government laws and policies aimed at protecting the forests and biodiversityhave beenimportant forincreasinghuntingand natural resource use in some partsof central Laos. My field work also revealed that technological advancements are renderingsome cultural traditional Hmong beliefs that historically promoted forest and biodiversity conservation less influential, which in turn is also leading toincrease hunting and resource use. Overall, my research enhances our understanding of the relationship between government policies, technological advancements, and the environmentand how they are influence by thecapitalistic market economy and discourses associated with ideasof modernization.
Title: Exploring Livelihood Change in a Rural Hmong Upland Village in Yunnan, China. Author: Charles Solberg. Source: MA Thesis, McGill University. Location: Montreal, Canada. Year: 2018. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 149 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: In Southwest China's geopolitical frontier, ethnic minority communities struggle to create sustainable livelihoods while being increasingly drawn into the state's gaze and expected to 'be modern' in specific ways. Here, communities function on the edge of state power, cultural politics, and economic margins. In the midst of an agrarian transition, remotely located minority farmers now need cash income for farming inputs that were previously found organically on-farm, as well as for relatively new schooling, health, and transportation costs. Concurrently, 'getting ahead' increasingly involves striving to 'be Han', while shedding ethnic minority identities. Focusing on this agrarian transition and the dilemmas it has raised for ethnic minority communities, this thesis is rooted in ethnographic fieldwork in a minority Hmong (Miao) village of 300 people in Wenshan prefecture, on the Sino-Vietnamese border. The aim of my thesis is: To complete an ethnographic investigation of everyday livelihoods in a rural upland Hmong village in Wenshan prefecture, Yunnan, China, with the purpose of examining to what degree village livelihoods have changed (if at all) over the past 20 years. This is addressed through three research questions: 1) What have been the most important livelihood changes in the village over the past 20 years, and what broad factors have driven these changes?; 2) Focusing on contemporary livelihoods in the village, how are livelihood portfolios being created today and what are their key components? and 3) How are villagers responding to outside state policies and other potential drivers of change, and are they resisting in specific ways and why? Fieldwork for this thesis was completed during summer 2017 and included overt participant observation; unstructured, semi-structured interviews, and walk along interviews; and oral histories. I utilize a conceptual framework drawing from political ecology, sustainable livelihoods, hegemony and resistance, and negotiating legitimacy. In my analysis chapters I explore how Hmong villagers have coped with the pressures of an agrarian transition and modernization processes, and highlight the role circular labor migration has played in reshaping local livelihoods, customary practices, and family structures for those 'left behind'. 2012I find that culturally rooted local livelihoods continue to be placed front and center of household ambitions, albeit with a specific modern struggle. As such, Hmong farmers blend state expectations with cultural norms to create their own frontier cultural project.
Title: Literacy events and practices that position Hmong women to meet academic success in community colleges. Author: Jody C. Koch. Source: E.d.D Dissertation, Iowa State University. Location: Ames, IA. Year: 2017. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 160 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: This study examined the literacy events and practices of Hmong women achieving academic success at a community college. Three women participants were interviewed regarding their past and present literacy events and practices. In addition, each participant took photographs of their own literacy events for five weeks. The photographs provided additional material for further discussion during the interviews. The study was designed as a collective case study in order to explore each participant's literacy practices and compare across cases. Coding was first conducted deductively, separating literacy events from literacy practices. Then each primary code was subjected to a second around of coding. Literacy events were also deductively coded, according to the narrative methods of situation, continuity, and place. Literacy practices were inductively coded to draw forth themes within each case. Findings indicate participants used literacy to meet school objectives, aid in learning, facilitate verbal interactions, affirm identity, and achieve goals. A combination of these literacy practices and cultural wealth helped these participants achieve academic success at the community college level. Implications for culturally responsive teaching are discussed.
Title: Rewriting Hmong womanhood: literacy that mediates borders. Author: Kaia Lea Simon. Source: E.d.D Dissertation, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Location: Champaign, IL. Year: 2017. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 193 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: In “Rewriting Hmong Womanhood,” I argue that the revision of cultural gender roles for migrant women comes about through relocating literacies: moving family and home literacies across borders to public spaces such as schools, workplaces, and political realms while also using those same literacies to stay connected to their diasporic community. This dissertation addresses questions related to how literacy transforms cultural gender roles as it also speaks to the more broad changes that occur when widespread literacy is introduced to a migrant group. To make this case, I draw from an ethnographic study of twenty-three women who are daughters of the first generation of Hmong refugees relocated to the US after the Vietnam War. This study reveals the mechanisms by which migrant families, who many would assume have so-called “low literacy,” support high literate achievement for their daughters. These daughters then carry, apply, translate, and leverage these literate practices—relocating them, in other words—in order to establish unprecedented access to individual identities, a public presence, and economic upward mobility. The women I interviewed described the ways that literacy supported their desires to prioritize heritage cultural practices as it also inspired them to forge new paths for Hmong women. For example, several women described to me their desire to leave home to attend college, and the ways they leveraged their knowledge of institutional literacies to make it possible; at the same time, they leveraged their skills as child language brokers to always remain on the right side of complying with their parents’ wishes. By identifying such moments where they relocate family literacies across public and domestic borders, this dissertation chronicles microprocesses of social transformation as these women use literacy to enact their desires to neither fully rebel nor fully comply with traditional gender roles. Instead, literacy offers them the ability to find new ways: to rely on family literacies as they adopt new ones, always moving between heritage, tradition, and assimilation as they occupy public spaces previously denied to them. The result is a revision of gendered expectations for Hmong women in the US.
Title: Carrying the Seeds: Adaptations and Transitions of Hmong American Food Producers in Missoula County, Montana. Author: Rachel Cramer. Source: M.S. Thesis, University of Montana. Location: Missoula, MT. Year: 2017. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 106 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Forty years after the initial resettlement of Hmong refugees in Missoula County, Montana, the Hmong American community has undergone significant agricultural and cultural adaptations. Today, there are about 200 Hmong Americans in the county, less than 2% of the population (US Census Bureau 2010), but they make up around 40%of the farmers’ market produce vendors. The thesis demonstrates that, while agriculture has played a central role in helping Hmong refugees adapt, its role is becoming more symbolic as the second generation develops an identity less connected to growing and selling food. Through a qualitative research approach using 19 in-depth interviews, the thesis examineshow these participants and their familiesadapted to growing and selling food in western Montana during the initial resettlement years. It also investigates current agricultural and marketing challenges and strategies, and the role of agriculture in maintaining traditions. Throughout all of these agricultural and cultural adaptations, strong kinship and co-ethnic networks have increased their adaptive capacity. While themotivations to grow and sell food are diverse and have changed over time,one of the primary motivationsis tomaintain these networks. Lastly, the thesis explores whether the second generation of Hmong Americans intend to continue growing and selling food in the future, and how this decision may affect both personal and cultural identity.
Title: Combating structural racialization in the agriculture industry : a case study of Hmong social capital and collective entrepreneurship in the Twin Cities, MN region. Author: Lindsay M. Hill. Source: M.S.Thesis, University of Missouri, Columbia. Location: Columbia, MO. Year: 2017. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 93 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Throughout the United States, the agriculture industry has witnessed a demographic shift in its farming population- becoming older, more white, and dominated by men. It, therefore, is imperative that we seek to understand the causes and implications of this trend, especially for populations that may be excluded from market entry in this industry. Drawing on the literatures of ethnic enclaves, social networks, social capital, collective action, and collective entrepreneurship, this research project conducts a case study of the impact of structural racialization in the U.S. agriculture industry on the entrepreneurial opportunities facing the Hmong community in the Twin Cities, Minnesota region. It finds socially disadvantaged farmers, like the Hmong growers of the Twin Cities, face significant structural challenges in engaging in agricultural production on a small-scale. Additionally, this research argues the presence of an entrepreneurial organization working in pursuit of collective action and cooperative behavior is essential to combating the industry's structural challenges and promoting the success of the individual entrepreneurs of color who operate within the mainstream economy.
Title: Mental Health Experiences within the Hmong American LGBTQ Community: A Qualitative Research Project. Author: James Her. Source: M.S Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle. Location: Seattle, WA. Year: 2016. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 26 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: This qualitative research project explores the life experiences of six second-generation Hmong Americans individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ). The six participants live in diverse regions of the United States (U.S.) and range in age from 18 to 40 years. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted via phone. Participants were asked to share stories of the struggles they have encountered as sexual minorities in their communities, and their experiences of dealing with mental health concerns in the Hmong community and within the U.S. healthcare system at large. The findings provide social workers and other healthcare providers with information to better support members of the Hmong LGBTQ community, to address their mental health needs, and to improve mental health outcomes with this vulnerable and growing population. This study aims to begin to fill a gap in the academic literature by providing insights into the unique challenges that LGBTQ Hmong Americans often encounter in the U.S.
Title: Educational attainment of second generation Hmong in a rural ethnic enclave. Author: Marianne C. Paiva. Source: PhD Dissertation, Kansas State University. Location: Manhattan, KS. Year: 2016. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 138 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: This study investigates the role of second-generation Hmong in South Oroville in order to better understand broader questions of racial and ethnic integration among immigrants in rural areas of the U.S., the role of education in rural community viability, and the sustainability of rural communities with population growth derived mainly from immigration. I focus on two fundamental questions: Why are second-generation Hmong in South Oroville exceeding expectations for educational attainment, despite high levels of poverty and low levels of first generation educational attainment? How do second generation Hmong in South Oroville use their education? I draw on 16 qualitative interviews with second generation Hmong Americans in South Oroville to explore these questions.There are two key findings. First, the high college attainment rate was due to a high level of social integration with strong social ties within their networks, unique bridging through Upward Bound between the dominant society and the Hmong population, high parental expectations and high sibling expectations of educational attainment, and high amounts of financial support from grants and work study facilitated a 70% college attainment rate in 18-24 year olds in the population. Second, the Carr-Kefalas brain drain theory did not fully explain the post-education pathways for this population. An alternative theory of post-education pathways called the Hmong Typology explains post-education as dependent on gender expectations and sibling obligation.
Title: Entangled lives : reproduction and continuity in a Denver Hmong community. Author: Don B. DuPrez. Source: Ph.D Dissertation, University of Edinburgh. Location: London, England. Year: 2016. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 274 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The history of the Hmong migration as refugees from Laos to the United States reveals a situation whereby the Hmong have been confronted with various political, economic, religious, and social forces that have dramatically shaped their lives. Over the past 35 years, the Denver Hmong’s exposure to cosmopolitan urban centres and rural ways of life in Colorado have continued to influence and develop the character and practices of the community. Within this social and cultural milieu, numerous and contentious views regarding health, community, family, and the reproduction of family have remained entangled within the moral and ethical foundations of Christian faiths and traditional shamanic practices. Furthermore, these perspectives of community and family are enmeshed within a Hmong ethos of continuity that is derived from historical strategies and experiences from Laos and the refugee camps of Thailand. Within the Denver Hmong community, the moral foundations of spiritual practices and a pronounced emphasis on continuity have continued to uphold the idea of family as a central tenant to being Hmong. In doing so, this has further emphasised various degrees of entanglement and mutual reliance within and between families and individuals. As a result, significant pressure has been placed on younger Hmong to strengthen the networks of family, extended family, and community by reproducing and forming families of their own. The production and reproduction of family has in turn drawn into focus generational tensions concerning ideas of family, education, gender, expectations of behaviour, and approaches to health and healing. In consideration of these points, this thesis examines how people within the Denver Hmong community negotiate, maintain, and contest the intersection of these matters while constructing and maintaining the central tenants of Hmong life and a Hmong continuity through the reciprocal reproductive qualities of the social, the spiritual and symbolic, and the biological.
Title: Perceptions of Hmong Parents in a Hmong American Charter School : a Qualitative Descriptive Case Study On Hmong Parent Involvement. Author: Kirk T. Lee. Source: E.d.D Dissertation, Portland State University. Location: Portland, OR. Year: 2016. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 190 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Parental involvement plays an essential role in the United States (U.S.) educational system. However, parental involvement poses many challenges for Hmong parents in American schools. Many assumptions are made on the parts of teachers, staff, and Hmong parents about parents' roles pertaining to their involvement in their children's education. Hmong parents struggle to reconcile beliefs, attitudes, and values that they bring with them from Laos with the expectations found in the U.S. due to their unfamiliarity with the U.S. educational system. This study employed the used a qualitative, descriptive case study approach to examine the perceptions of Hmong parents involvement at a K-6 Hmong American charter school in Northern California. The primary data collection method used in this study was interviews with four school-community stakeholder groups. The purposeful-selected interview participants included two administrators, four teachers, six parents, and four students. The interviews were dialogically coded and nine themes were developed related to parental involvement. These nine themes were: communication with parents, committee involvement, flexibility of staff, enrichment programs non-traditional school schedule, importance of field trips, cultural events and presence of other cultures, recommend school to others, and positive behavioral reinforcement. The study concludes with a presentation of the implications of the nine themes on the design of parent involvement models and recommendations are offered related to policies and connected strategies for how to design culturally relevant supports for parent involvement in education.
Title: Yielding to high yields: hybrid maize and Hmong food security in Hà Giang Province, Northern Vietnam. Author: Victoria Kyeyune. Source: M.A. Thesis, McGill University. Location: Montreal, Canada. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 176 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, maize is grown nationally as the primary source of livestock feed. It also represents the preferred substitute for rice among people in rural and upland regions. Since 1991, the Vietnamese government has supported the introduction and subsidization of hybrid maize seeds for domestic production, particularly as a component of agricultural development policies to improve food security of upland ethnic minority populations. Due in part to subsidies and propaganda, hybrid varieties have been widely adopted by farmers to replace lower yield traditional and open pollinated varieties. This thesis aims to determine how upland Hmong households in Ha Giang province, northern Vietnam, are adaptingto the introduction of state-supported hybrid maize seeds. This question is addressed using a conceptual framework built on sustainable livelihoods, food security, and gender analysis literature. I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the remotest district of Dong Van primarilyusing conversational and oral history interviews with Hmong householders, and semi-structured interviews with agricultural extension officers, state officials, and NGO representatives. I find that Hmong food systems rely heavily on maize, and Hmong livelihood portfolios are geared towards income generation through livestock and maize alcohol. Livelihood outcomes ofadoption include higher yields, yet participants highlight various drawbacks, including limitedstorage stability and increased reliance on cash to afford seeds and associated chemical inputs.Further, the preference for taste of local maize leads some households to resist full adoption ofnew hybrid varieties and direct hybrid maize to livestock feed and alcohol production. I argue that food security interventions must move beyond conceptualizing food security as a result of food availability alone, but also incorporate cultural acceptability of food, an understanding of hybrid maize cultivation challenges, and the local seed diversity on which livelihoods and food security rely.
Title: Current Hmong Perceptions of their Speaking, Reading, and Writing Ability and Cultural Values as Related to Language and Cultural Maintenance. Author: Vicky Xiong-Lor. Source: E.d.D Dissertation, California State University, Fresno. Location: Fresno, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 196 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The literature showed that one language is lost every 2 weeks, and that by the end of the 21st century, there would only be 100 languages left in the world. The Hmong people are one of the newest refugees from Laos. They came to America 40 years ago. According to Pfeifer, Sullivan, Yang, and Yang (2013), there are about eight million Hmong people worldwide, and 256,430 of them live in the United States. Today, the Hmong students are losing their language at an alarming rate. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current perceptions held by Hmong people ages 18 and older about the Hmong language and whether or not it should and could be maintained and passed on to future generations. This study hopes to create awareness in the community and prevent the Hmong language from disappearing from the Ethnologue. A sequential mixed methods design was used to collect the data. Findings showed that respondents perceived the Hmong language as important and would like to see it preserved for future generations.
Title: What is a good girl? The Evolution of Feminine Identity in the American Hmong Community. Author: Mieke Nicole Lisuk. Source: MA Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 128 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Traditional Hmong culture was a patriarchal society with marriages arranged by male clan elders. The Hmong were recruited by the CIA to assist in the Vietnam War and later fled to Thailand. American education and notions of western culture were introduced in the Thai camps. Hmong marriage rituals changed after resettlement in the United States. Through exposure to education and American culture, women challenged old world traditions and opted to delay marriage and children in favor of education.
Title: The impact of culture and acculturation on the academic achievement of Hmong American college students. Author: Linda Vang. Source: Ed.D Dissertation, California State University, Fresno. Location: Fresno, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 153 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Each year, the population in the United States grows more diverse, and that diversity is being reflected in the classroom. Because students come from different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, it is important to uncover how these factors impact students’ academic achievement, particularly among those whose cultural capital differs from that of the mainstream. The objective of this research study was to determine the extent to which cultural factors and acculturation impact the academic achievement of Hmong American college students as measured by their grade point averages. Using a mix-methods approach that was grounded in theories of social identity and cultural capital, the researcher gathered data from Hmong students residing in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The quantitative and qualitative data include students’ perceptions of their family, cultural heritage, and native language fluency, as well as students’ experiences in academia. Findings reveal that certain factors within culture and acculturation, such as family and perceptions of gender, do impact the academic performance of Hmong college students.
Title: Former Hmong Refugees in Sacramento County: Perceptions of their Acculturation and Assimilation Issues. Authors: Che Cha and Pa Lor. Source: M.A. Project, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 88 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Acculturation can be defined as transformations people experience as a result of contact with culturally different perceptions and when two or more cultures come in contact. Assimilation can be defined as a process of boundary reduction that can occur in which persons of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds interact. This research Project explored acculturation and assimilation difficulties of former Hmong refugees in Sacramento County, California. Former Hmong refugees that attended the Sacramento Hmong New Year were recruited as sample subjects. Findings indicated that 65.7% the former refugee received some type of education besides English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and 34.3% did not receive any education. Furthermore, a social work implication is law makers' ability and motivation to continue to pass policies supporting the many programs that work to help strengthen the refugees to adjust to mainstream society.
Title: Academic Achievement of Hmong Students at Sacramento State University. Author: Xeng Thao. Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 69 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: This research project examines the academic attainment and achievement disparity in higher education among Hmong students. The purpose of this project is to identify the disparity and attribute to factors that impact the unequal attainment rates of college degrees between the two genders at California State University, Sacramento. Theories such as ecological, resilience, and self-determination aids the study in understanding how education can be used as an empowerment tool for Hmong women who come from a traditionally patriarchal society. Out of the 326 Hmong students who graduated from Summer 2012 to Spring 2014 at the studied university, Hmong females graduated nearly twice (61.7%) compared to Hmong males at 38.3%.
Title: Resiliency among Hmong Women Who Were Teen Mothers. Author: Pa Nhia Xiong Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Fresno. Location: Fresno, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 103 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Hmong teen mothers have endured many hardships throughout their lives, including financial and educational struggles along with cultural dilemma. This study was an in-depth qualitative research on the lived experiences of 10 Hmong women who were teen mothers between the ages of 13 to 20. This study focused on the adolescent mothers’ experiences and how the role of young motherhood has shaped their lives and impacted their educational and career attainments. This study highlighted the positive outcomes of Hmong women who were teen mothers and provided a deeper understanding of how these women became resilient despite adversities in life. In order to better understand them and capture their resiliency, all of the participants were asked to share their unique life stories through their own perspectives. The important themes that emerged from the young mothers’ interviews were resiliency, positive outcomes, traditional family and cultural expectations of oneself, the experiences of becoming teen mothers, and support systems. The findings from this research indicated that these Hmong women have become resilient despite hardships; therefore, being culturally married and having children at an early age did not hinder their abilities to achieve positive outcomes and educational and professional goals. In contrast, their experiences as teen mothers were the driving forces that motivated them to obtain higher education, professional careers, and financial stability.
Title: An exploration of Hmong lexical adverbs, aspects, and moods. Author: Nalee Thao See. Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Fresno. Location: Fresno, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 130 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Cinque (1999) observes a relationship between lexical adverbs and functional heads (tense, aspect, and mood) in his analysis of various languages. He proposes a universal hierarchy of clausal functional projections and locates tense, aspect, and mood in the head of each functional projection and places adverbs in the specifier position of the projection. The current study attempts to identify and classify lexical adverbs, aspects, and moods in Hmong, a Hmong-Mien language spoken in China, Southeast Asia, and the United States, in accordance with Cinque’s classification. In addition, this study will provide a description of the placements of Hmong lexical adverbs, aspects, and moods. A lexical/functional diagnostics test will be applied to seven adverb-like Hmong morphemes to see whether they are lexical or functional categories. Once identified, the ordering of these elements will be tested against Cinque’s universal hierarchy of clausal functional projections. The current study aims to provide a more in-depth study of lexical adverbs, aspects, and moods in Hmong, in hopes of contributing to the study of the Hmong language as well as the study of adverbs, aspects, and moods in general. This is the first study of its kind for Hmong.
Title: Hmong Parent Involvement through Shared Reading. Author: Kaying Her. Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, California. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 177 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: As an educator witnessing students not complete their school work or parents communicating with the school, the lack of parental support is a frequent occurrence each school year. Students’ academic success does not solely rely on students, but also on their parents and those within the student’s environment. There have been numerous parental involvement studies on diverse populations but there has not been one specifically on English Language Learners (ELLs) Hmong parents. Since the Hmong has grown significantly within the last 40 years; a problem that Hmong still face is a lack of support for those not achieving academic success because they are “lumped” together with other Asian ethnic groups, which often hides their academic struggle. As indicated by Hing (2012) over one-third of all Hmong, Cambodian, and Laotian Americans over the age of twenty-five do not have a high school diploma. Almost 70% of Indian and over 50% of Chinese, Pakistani, and Korean-Americans over the age of twenty-five have a bachelor’s degree, while Cambodian, Hmong, and Laotian-Americans who have bachelor’s degrees average around 13% (Hing, 2011). This is a critical issue because Hmong students are not receiving the resources and the help needed to attain academic success within the educational system. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of parent involvement workshops and training on Hmong-speaking parents’ participation in their child’s education at home. A series of 9 workshops focused on various forms of reading comprehension instruction implemented through shared reading provided in English and/or Hmong. The methods used by Hmong parents during reading to help their child were examined as well as if access to reading strategies in their primary language impacted the support they provided their children in reading. Communication between the home and school were also examined to see if there was an increase in communication after participating in the workshops. Pre-and post qualitative data came from the 4 parent participants of second grade students that consisted of parent survey and interviews. This data was analyzed to help understand the developmental growth of the parents. Also the 4 second grade students whose parents were participants in this study were interviewed to help document what parents were doing different at home. The results of qualitative data collected indicate an increase in parental involvement after participation in the training and workshops. Before the workshops, 1 out of 4 parent participants was helping their child at home and on reading. However after the study, all 4 parent participants were engaging and talking more with their child at home on homework and reading. The Hmong parents’ definition of “help” changed. Before the workshops, parents’ deifined “help” as being able to decode. If the parents could not read, then they could not help. Now parents described helping their child by talking and questioning what their child was reading, which ultimately will help their child’s literacy development.
Title: The Missing Voice of Hmong Parents: Studying Supports and Obstacles to Parent-School Communication. Author: Nalee Moua. Source: M.A. Thesis, Washington State University. Location: Pullman, WA. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 60 pages. Format: PDF.
Abstract: Parental involvement continues to be a topic of interest among many teachers and school administrators. The purpose of this thesis is to gain an in-depth understanding of the Hmong community and the obstacles and barriers that may hinder their involvement in their child’s education as well as the support they may have received that helped increase their involvement. I provide this information to teachers and school administrators so they can become more aware of the reasoning behind the increase or decrease of Hmong parental involvement.
Title: I am a "Hmong American": An Exploration of the Experiences of Hmong Students in College. Author: Ducha Hang. Source: M.A. Thesis, University of Rhode Island. Location: Providence, Rhode Island. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 237 pages. Format: PDF.
Abstract: As the changing demographics in the United States are steadily shifting the student populations in colleges and universities, the focus on retention and college success becomes ever more important. When marginalized and underrepresented students like Asian Americans enter post-secondary education institutions and are assumed to fit stereotypes like the Model Minority Myth which suggests that all Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students are high achievers, how do these students succeed and continue with their education under challenges including discrimination, language barriers (Lee, 2008) and cultural tension (Xiong and Lee, 2011; Ngo, 2007)? This study explores the experiences of Hmong college students. More specifically, the goal of this research is to describe how Hmong students make sense of their college experiences from their perspectives by examining two research questions: How do Hmong students make sense of their experiences in college? What contexts and situations influence the experiences and success of Hmong students in college? This research uses a phenomenological approach consisting of in-depth interviews with Hmong students from a New England college and Hmong individuals who have graduated from college. The first interview required the participants to respond to questions exploring their family backgrounds, experiences in schools prior to college, and their experiences in post-secondary education. The second interview was facilitated to provide opportunities for participants to elaborate on statements and stories from the first interview and was used for member checking. The students’ responses from the interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Using phenomenological analysis and specifically thematic inductive analysis, the data were analyzed to develop themes. Three themes emerged from the data and captured how Hmong students make sense of their college experience: navigating the college system, support structures, and living in a bicultural world: “I am Hmong American”. These themes were used to develop recommendations for practitioners in higher education and suggestions for future research.
Title: Hmong students' life experiences that affect educational attainment. Author: Pam Thao. Source: M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Stanislaus. Location: Turlock, CA. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 42 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore and identify the various life experiences and factors that contributed to Hmong adults staying in college and how they ultimately graduated from college while coping with their experiences along the way. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 Hmong students by using semi-structured, openended questions. Findings revealed that the participants' parents' life experiences in Laos, their struggles with the Vietnam War, and their relocation to the United States made a big impact on the students' decisions to attend college. Support from family and friends, professors and advisors, and the use of university services such as the Tutoring Center and Educational Opportunity Program, helped the participants remain in college and eventually graduate. Study implications suggest a need for social workers in college counseling centers. Social workers are more likely to be sensitive regarding the issues and needs of Hmong students, and they have a deeper understanding of cultural sensitivity concerning minority students. Future studies could focus on continuing to explore this topic to gain a broader and deeper knowledge base.
Title: Struggles and needs of the Hmong community: an exploratory study. Author: Aimee Maihoua Xiong. Source: M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Stanislaus. Location: Turlock, CA. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 80 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to understand the needs of Hmong community members. In order to do so, the struggles of the Hmong community are explored to understand the circumstances that led to their needs. The intent of this study is to gain information that could be used to improve the effectiveness of programs and improve the lives of members of the Hmong community. The data are collected through a qualitative, exploratory, ethnographic study. Face-to-face interviews are utilized with a sample of seven participants to explore each participant's struggles and needs living in the United States. This researcher explores the services participants feel the Hmong community may need to improve the Hmong's lives. The results of this study reveal that participants struggled most with learning English, educational and occupational attainment, and financial hardships. The findings of this research indicate a need for services that provide information about educational and occupational attainment, learning English, and tutoring services. Additionally, participants echoed the need for a community resource and outreach center that would provide information about available services within the Hmong community. This researcher suggests social workers should be educated about the Hmong community, develop trust with the Hmong community, and consider creating programs to improve the lives of the Hmong community. Additionally, social workers should advocate for policies that provide a livable wage, fair employment practices, affordable housing, and access to affordable education.
Title: Social mobility of 1.5 and 2.0 Hmong generations in the Sacramento - San Joaquin Valley. Author: Max Xiong. Source: M.S. Thesis, Sacramento State University. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 2015. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 57 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: It has been over 40 years since the Hmong have left their homeland to settle in the United States, as a result of the Vietnam War. This study compares the social mobility of the 1.5- and 2.0-generations of Hmong after their arrival to the United States. Within the Asian American population, the Hmong community has the lowest educational achievement, socioeconomic status (SES), and social and occupational mobility. This study explores social-economic status, education, social and cultural influences, as well as other factors, which are likely to affect the social mobility of the Hmong. Furthermore, this research indicates that with higher educational attainment and social and capital resources, the trajectory of Hmong’s upward mobility in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Valleys will likely be positive.
Title: The weather is like the game we play" Hmong and Yao food security and emerging livelihood vulnerabilities in the northern uplands of Vietnam. Author: Sarah Delisle. Source: M.S. Thesis, McGill University. Location: Montreal, QC. Year: 2014. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 147 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Introduced in 1986, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's economic renovation policy, or Doi Moi, has both expanded and constricted livelihood opportunities in the northern uplands, while the introduction of modern agricultural technologies, namely hybrid rice seeds, has created new challenges for the region's largely ethnic minority householders. The incidence of extreme weather events in the region further point to a multiple-stress environment. The aim of this thesis is to assess food security and livelihood vulnerability, stresses and coping strategies among ethnic minority Hmong and Yao in Sa Pa District, northern Vietnam. To answer this aim I draw on a conceptual framework that incorporates key elements from food security, sustainable livelihoods, and vulnerability literatures. Focusing on eight villages in the Muong Hoa valley in Sa Pa District, Lao Cai province, I completed ethnographic fieldwork, including informal conversational interviews, semi-structured interviews and a Photovoice project with Hmong and Yao participants. I undertook fieldwork in summer 2012 and completed follow-up research in summer 2013. I find that Hmong and Yao food systems are exposed to internal and external stresses that diminish access to needed livelihood capitals and decrease asset productivity, as well as constrict overall food output. Householders respond by blending traditional safety nets with newer market-oriented opportunities to diversify their coping strategies. Access to livelihood capitals, especially financial and social capital, determines a household's coping capacity. In sum, while most Hmong and Yao households are resilient, I argue that the psychological impact of livelihood stresses and the lack of government support for these communities decrease resiliency and must be addressed.
Title: The motivation for higher education among Hmong college students and the impact of parenting styles. Author: Cynthia Moua. Source: M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Stanislaus. Location: Turlock, CA. Year: 2014. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 87 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the educational motivating factors and the parenting styles experienced by Hmong college students. The participants of this study were Hmong college students and alumni who studied at a University of California or a California State University. The data was collected using a quantitative online survey. There were a total of 297 participants, with 220 of the participants completing the survey. The survey consisted of 27 items which measured the type of motivation and the type of parenting styles experienced by participants. The collected data were analyzed through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program. The results of this study revealed that the most prevalent parenting style experienced by the participants was an authoritarian (strict) parenting style, followed by an authoritative (flexible) parenting style, and a permissive (lenient) parenting style. Participants selected an authoritative parenting style as the parenting style that they felt would best promote educational motivation within Hmong students. Extrinsic motivational factors such as job security, financial stability, and family acknowledgement, was revealed to have motivated participants to obtain a college degree and would also best serve as educational motivating factors for future Hmong students. This researcher suggests that social services should advocate for policies that will implement the promotion of cultural awareness and earlier higher education awareness among minority students such as Hmong.
Title: Hmong women's attitude towards higher education: what is a hyper-educated NYAB? Author: MaiHoua M. Lo. Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Chico. Location: Chico, CA Year: 2014. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 131 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: From Central Asia surviving great battles, war, migrating to the mountains of Laos and resettlement in Thailand to the United States, the Hmong people have come a long way. Living in the United States the Hmong elders have resisted assimilation fearing that their children would lose all family traditions and values. The younger generations quickly acculturated transforming from traditional roles taking on new opportunities while living in the United States. Hmong daughters and nyabs are choosing to go against what people from rural Laos view as an unchangeable tradition, of following the path of getting married young and having as many children as possible. This thesis explores the contested nature of the Hmong women’s identity and their roles as it was back in their homeland, their struggles assimilating in the United States and their influences to pursue or not pursue higher education.
Title: A study of self-efficacy in a group of Hmong refugees. Author: Mai M. Yang. Source: M.A. Thesis, Smith College. Location: Northhampton, MA. Year: 2014. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 86 pages.. Format: PDF
Abstract: Social cognitive theorist Albert Bandura defined resilience as the ability to organize thoughts and actions to manage prospective and unknown situations. He called it the theory of perceived self-efficacy (Bandura, 2010). The tool used to measure this construct is called the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES), which assesses a broad stable sense of an individual’s personal competence to efficiently deal with a variety of stressful situations. Previous research suggested that due to its positive association with mental health and well being, the GSES and theory of self-efficacy are worthy of further examination in refugees (Sulaiman-Hill and Thompson, 2011). This study examines different variables in comparison to levels of General Perceived Self-Efficacy in a group of 49 Hmong refugee adults living in Minnesota and California. Results found language proficiency, education level, citizenship status, and years lived in the U.S. to be positive predictors of higher perceived self-efficacy. Those with higher self-efficacy reported less depressive and anxiety symptoms. Age, marital, gender, and employment statuses had no significant relationship with self-efficacy scores.
Title: "Knowing Who You Are": The Role of Ethnic Spaces in the Construction of Hmong Identities in the Twin Cities. Author: Zachary Jay Bodenner. Source: M.A. Thesis, Ohio University. Location: Athens, OH. Year: 2014. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 258 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The geographic literature has shown that there is a connection between ethnic spaces and ethnic identity formation and persistence. However, by focusing on the Hmong population of Minneapolis, and St. Paul, Minnesota, this qualitative research will demonstrate that different types of ethnic spaces play different roles when it comes to these complicated formulations. Ethnic identities are complex, socially constructed phenomena that shift with changing contexts, and are in fact not mutually exclusive; any individual person could identify as a member of multiple ethnic groups. These intricate identities are displayed in ethnic spaces where Hmong individuals showcase, in a variety of ways, embodiments of these identities that are symbolic, commemorative, artistic, bodily, and performative. Ethnic spaces become not only producers and re-producers of identity, but outlets for the expression of identity in all its complicated forms.
Title: The Hmong journey -- a children's book on Hmong history: cultural curriculum for first grade teachers. Author: Ger Thao. Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Chico. Location: Chico, CA Year: 2014. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 215 pages. Format: PDF.
Abstract: Culture is a powerful influence and literature is a powerful medium. Together they form an exciting dual which offers a variety of possibilities in the classroom. The purpose of this project is to develop a picture book depicting the Hmong journey to America and cultural curriculum lessons for first grade teachers which will provide information, ideas and strategies for the sharing of Hmong cultural literature in the classroom. This curriculum will have an emphasis on one particular culture—the Hmong. Ever since 1975, the Hmong have found it difficult to remain on their native soil. The Secret War resulted in the largest mass emigration of the Hmong people in recorded history. Today, emigration is still very much part of Hmong life. It is especially likely in the United States to meet those who claim to be Hmong or to have “Hmong roots.” However, despite the presence of thousands of Hmong refugees, the Hmong in the United States receive little known attention as an Asian ethnic group. This is due to the intentional spread of the Hmong around the country. In the 21st century where the differences between groups must be tolerated rather than destroyed and diversity is more common, recognition of all cultures is essential. This curriculum serves as a mirror for establishing more authentic cultural links between the Hmong of Laos/Thailand and those living in the United States. It also opens a window on teaching K-2 students about a specific culture in our nation/community. This connection will be formed through children’s literature. The creation of the picture book The Hmong Journey and existing literature by Hmong authors and Hmong American authors will be included so that children in United States may appreciate the rich Hmong heritage. The purpose of this project is to produce a children’s picture book and cultural curriculum lessons that introduces and exposes Hmong American culture in children’s literature for first grade teachers. In order to create a picture book and curriculum, a knowledge base had to be established in the literature review. This base consists of Hmong history, Hmong culture, Hmong cultural traditions, oral traditions/storytelling, multicultural literature, and Hmong American children’s literature. Each section in Chapter II of this project signifies the need for more children’s books to be written about the Hmong American culture and implementation in the school curriculum.
Title: Academic achievement among Hmong students in California: a quantitative and comparative analysis. Author: Sue Lee. Source: Ph.D Dissertation, University of Southern California Los Angeles, California. Location: Los Angeles, California. Year: 2014. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 90 pages Format: PDF.
Abstract: This quantitative study compared Hmong high school students’ scores in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics on the 2010 California Standards Tests (CST) to the scores of other racial/ethnic student subgroups at the state level. The study further examined whether an achievement gap exists between the Hmong student subgroup and other comparable student subgroups within the same school districts while controlling for socioeconomic status, English language acquisition status, and parent education level. California state level data were used to compare the CST ELA and CST math mean scores for 12 major subgroups for this study. For a more accurate comparison of student subgroups receiving the same curriculum and academic resources, data within 14 California school districts that reported having tested a considerable Hmong student population were further examined. Using data from the 14 school districts, the racial/ethnic student subgroups’ mean performance tiered scores and mean scaled scores on the CST ELA and CST mathematics were reported by grade level, and then again with the control variables. Lastly, Cohen's d was used to measure the effect sizes. The analysis and effect sizes indicated that a comparable achievement gap exists between the Hmong student subgroup and other racial/ethnic student subgroups. Specifically, Hmong students in California did not perform well compared to the majority, if not all, of the other racial/ethnic student subgroups at the state and district level. Moreover, the three consistent student subgroups found to be performing at the level of the Hmong student subgroup in ELA and mathematics were the Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Laotian student subgroups. The findings of this study point towards other practices and research needed to better understand the realities of the Hmong educational experience, which is the start of understanding best practices for teaching Hmong students.
Title: A story of the people: the hmong, in CIA's secret war in Laos during the Vietnam conflict: a supplemental unit to the history/social science curriculum. Author: Chao Vang. Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, California. Year: 2013. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 277 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The current History/Social Science Framework currently used by social studies educators in today's classroom is substantially out of date as it was written in 1986. The primary authors of this document were European American senior scholars working within a European American perspective who in return must have been educated in the early 1970s. As a result, the “History/Social Science is structured largely as a story of European immigration and the construction of a nation around Judeo-Christian values and European political institutions" (Sleeter & Stillman, 2005, p. 43) due to the political and ethnic makeup of the people commissioned to draft the 1986 framework. Since the initial adoption in 1987, the History/Social Science Framework is supposed to be updated every seven years but has been "readopted three times with only minor updates" (Sleeter & Stillman, 2005 p. 33). According to Campbell (2000), "the classical, Eurocentric curriculum inaccurately represents history and the humanities, discounting or ignoring the contributions of people of color" (p. 305) Because of this, the present History/Social Science curriculum is divorced from the realities and experiences of the youth, particularly, students of color many of who cannot relate to History/Social Science curriculum. The historical content, facts and figures printed in textbooks and taught by educators is predetermined. Due to the framework, most schools fail to teach an accurate or omits, the complete history of minorities, such as the recruitment and contribution of the Hmong by the CIA during the conflict in Vietnam. This is a problem created in part by the failure to revise the History/Social Science Framework and Standards. Thus, with this lack of an inclusive and equitable curriculum, the responsibility is placed on teachers to develop the multicultural and Hmong focused lessons for California's students. The absence of Hmong American history from the standard curriculum in today's public schools has created a disconnection with Hmong American's identity, culture and heritage. Hmong American students feel alienated because they are group labeled and lumped as the model minority and their culture and history is excluded as a larger part of American history. For this reason, proponents of teaching and incorporating history of minorities history into the curricula suggest a student learning about his or her culture not only improves individual self-esteem and provides a sense of identity, but raises their grades and increases interest in school (Asante, 1991; Banks, 1993; King 1992; Ladson-Billing, 1999). The same can be said for Hmong American students who feel alienated because the history and contribution of the Hmong is underrepresented in school curriculum. Thus, the teaching of this supplemental unit on Hmong American history in a school setting intention is to provide an equitable and need to empower Hmong American students, who are one of the lowest academically performing minorities in California underrepresented and overtly omitted in school curriculum. For this supplemental unit on Hmong and their contribution to American in Laos during the conflict in Southeast Asia to be successful, the author identify that the incorporation and implementing culturally responsive and critical pedagogical teaching strategies in essential.
Title: A phenomenological study of Hmong women's experience with forced marriage in the Hmong culture. Author: Paj Tshiab Vang. Source: M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Fresno. Location: Fresno, California. Year: 2013. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 96 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: This exploratory qualitative research study utilizesfeminist standpoint theory and shame cultures to explore the experience of Hmong women who married young by force of the family, due to a situation that is considered taboo in the Hmong culture. Three situational taboos were considered in this study: (a) premarital pregnancy, (b) bringing the girl home later than the parent(s) liking, and (c)visiting the girl without parental knowledge.Semi-structured interviews with five Hmong women residing in the Central Valley of California were conducted. This studyisguided by the principles of hermeneutic phenomenology as described by Van Manen (as cited in Creswell, 2007) and Creswell (2007). Three themes emerged in the study: shame, freedom, and resilience.Findings indicate that shame and the value placed on saving face in the Hmong culture werecontributing factors to their forced marriage.
Title: Mobilités de travail et (re)construction des rapports sociaux au sein d’une communauté Hmong de Chine (province du Guizhou). Author: Sebastien Carrier. Source: PhD Dissertation, University of Montreal. Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Year: 2013. Additional Source Information: French Language. Pagination: 565 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: Rural-urban mobility is unquestionably one of the most striking phenomena that China has experienced since the wide-ranging reforms of the 1980s. Besides its unparalleled magnitude, it has been an essential foundation of its economic transition and development. But if the social impact of mobility has been extensively studied in cities where ‘peasants’ (as farmers are called in China) sojourn, little is known of the effects of mobility in their community of origin, and even less when the community belongs to a ‘minority nationality’. Based on fieldwork conducted over an 18-month period, this dissertation examines the impact of labor migration on the social (re)construction of a Hmong (Miao) community in rural China. Practices of mobility for work purposes are twofold in the studied community: migrants are either itinerant herbalists in close-by cities or factory workers in the eastern cities of the country. An original approach to social change has been used, integrating the spheres of imagination and practice, and takes into account the economic and spatial components of the migration phenomenon. Moreover, this research proposes an innovative theoretical model, by giving equal importance to the discourses and the actions in the process of social change of both migrants and non-migrants. First, this study reveals the recent remodeling of the spatial and the economic foundations of the studied community. It shows that places, scales, social networks and borders all structure the community’s territory – in both real and imaginary spheres – and that they have become more complex and numerous as a result of the unprecedented circular migration of its inhabitants to and from their village. At the economic level, besides confirming dominance of remittances at the household level, it also appears that development and inequality issues are now addressed by members of the community primarily through the phenomenon of migration. Second, the results expose the strong imprint of mobility in the social sphere. In need of support, migrants and left-behinds are increasingly seeking help within their lineage, clan, village, and matrilineal networks. In this process, it is not uncommon for them to consciously go against the traditional family hierarchies. Through mobility, long marginalized groups such as women and young adults, have now gained esteem, autonomy and decision-making power. Meanwhile, the social order has shifted. It is no longer the volume of agricultural production, but the number of migrant workers, which now determine the social classes within the community. Finally, in the broader context of minorities in China and the Southeast Asian Massif, this dissertation addresses the debate about the social impact of mobility beyond the paradigms of modernization and integration. Unlike most of the literature pertaining to this issue, this research provides evidence that it is not enough to focus on the changes experienced by migrants through contact with urban dwellers and their so-called modern way of life. It shows that it is necessary to recognize the capacity for initiative and social innovation of all the members of these minorities, migrants or non-migrants. It also stresses the centrality of the question of identity. Feelings of marginality and subordination remain strong and they do not seem to fade as a result of migration. On the contrary, these feelings seem to most often result in a strengthening of social and community bonds within these minorities.
Title: Hmong voter education forums drawing out Hmong voters. Author: Cindy Vang. Source: M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Montreal. Year: 2013. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 77 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The study focused on voter education forums targeted at the Hmong population held prior to the November 2012 elections as a basis for determining whether additional work and services are needed to increase the civic engagement of Hmong community members. To identify whether Hmong voter turnout increased as a result of the voter education forums, thirty attendees of the voter education forums were surveyed following the November 2012 elections. Findings from the study indicate that there is a significant association between Hmong participants who spoke English who viewed the information provided at the voter education forums as valuable. More than half the participants surveyed were not born in the United States and 90% (n = 27) of the attendees reported to have voted in the November 2012 elections.
Title: Hmong perceptions of health and healing: shamanism, mental health, and medical interventions. Author: Yer Yang. Source: M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento. Year: 2013. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 91 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: This study explored how the Hmong understand and interpret illness, their perceptions of healing, and how they go about seeking treatment. Thirty voluntary participants were identified through snowball sampling and completed a survey that measured their language and cultural capacities, health experiences, and understanding of mental health. Through quantitative data analysis, the chi-square test of independence found a significant association between religion and mental health seeking behaviors of participants (p<.043). 44% of Christian participants said they have thought about seeking mental health treatment in the past compared to only 5% of Shamans. Recommendations of the study are to provide more education to the Hmong community about health (ie: mental health) in order to address stigma and mis-education. Another recommendation is to consider their cultural beliefs when explaining services and offering treatment.
Title: Displaced histories : refugee critique and the politics of Hmong American remembering . Author: Ma Vang. Source: PhD Dissertation, University of California, San Diego. Location: San Diego, California. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 250 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: Displaced histories name Hmong racial subjection as a project of displacing them from both the nation and history through war and knowledge production. This racial formation is constitutive of the United States so-called "secret war" in Laos (1961-1975) that was quietly and publicly known yet not made much of. Laos has been viewed as a Cold War "pawn" to the superpowers of the US and Soviet Union, and it constituted a crucial yet marginal position in relation to the Vietnam War. This dissertation investigates how the war as a historical period is also a project of knowledge production. Thus the war's secrecy not only hid US violence against Hmong and Laos but also produced racial knowledge to configure Hmong as gendered racial subjects who are primitive and exist outside of historical time. Furthermore, secrecy is a gendered racial configuration because it involved the twin projects of militarism and rescue. Secrecy's production of Hmong outside of history is how they have been configured as racial subjects because historical absence is a product of racial formation. Therefore, Hmong racial subjection highlights how history is a nationstate project and a signifier of one's emergence in modernity. This dissertation excavates history as it relates to nation and belonging because the war was not a secret for Hmong who were recruited by the CIA to fight as proxy US soldiers and bore the brunt of the violence. I argue that Hmong refugees/Americans contend with the forgetting of their history as part of a process to formulate histories and belonging in displacement. Hmong maintain that they saved US American lives in Laos yet their experiences in the US do not reflect the sacrifices they made to the US government. An estimated 35,000 Hmong died in battle while disease and starvation caused the death of almost one- third of Hmong in Laos when forced to flee from their homes. The soldiers, their families, and Hmong civilians fleeing from this invisible war in 1975 and years afterwards were targets of political persecution due to their collaboration with the US. Thus I foreground the refugee figure as a site to unravel the structure of secrecy as a fundamental function of state making, particularly US democracy since World War II. It also opens up the questions about nation, race, US empire, belonging, and knowledge production. Yet the Hmong refugee also constitutes an embodied category that activates nuanced responses to US historical amnesia and convoluted treatment. My analysis employs the "refugee archive" to emphasize Hmong displaced histories as a perspective to doing historical analysis that understands the past in relation to the present.
Title: Multicultural Recruitment: A Case on Hmong Female College-Bound Students. Author: Meng Her. Source: MA Thesis, University of Minnesota, Duluth. Location: Duluth. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 71 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: This study is a mixed method research looking at Hmong Women and their pursuit of higher education. It is a norm in the Hmong culture for women to have less privilege than men which leads to less freedom and more household chores. Studies have been done by other researchers in the 1990’s and found these cultural norms as barriers to higher education among Hmong women. This study looks at the barriers to see if it limits women’s opportunities to pursue a college degree but will also compare if there are differences between Hmong men and women. The hypothesis is that distance away from home may be an issue among the Hmong population when choosing a college for their daughters. Data will be collected by surveying Hmong college students in Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as interviewing Hmong college students, parents, and educators. Suggestions for future research will be to focus on men’s pursuit of higher education.
Title: The College Search Process: Differences between Hmong and Somali Students. Author: Bryan Karl. Source: MA Thesis, University of Minnesota, Duluth. Location: Duluth. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 60 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The researcher explored the college search process of three Hmong and one Somali student at four Minnesota higher education institutions using a phenomenological approach. Minority students, underrepresented/underserved students, are highly sought after by colleges across the nation. There are more than 60,000 Hmong and 30,000 Somali within the state of Minnesota. The author presented results utilizing six themes that emerged as noteworthy contributors of research participants during their college search process. The themes include: Residence, Ethnicity, Gender, Family Educational Background, Predispositions to Education, and Secondary Contributors.
Title: Hmong music in northern Vietnam : identity, tradition and modernity. Author: Lonan O' Brian. Source: PhD Dissertation, University of Sheffield. Location: United Kingdom. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 310 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: While previous studies of Hmong music in Vietnam have focused solely on traditional music,this thesis aims to counteract those limitedrepresentations through an examination of multiple forms of music used by the Vietnamese-Hmong. My research shows that in contemporary Vietnam, the lives and musical activities of the Hmong are constantly changing, and their musical traditions are thoroughly integrated with and impacted by modernity. Presentational performances and high fidelity recordings are becoming more prominent in this cultural sphere, increasing numbers are turning to predominantly foreign-produced Hmong popular music,and elements of Hmong traditional music have been appropriated and reinvented as part of Vietnam’s national musical heritage and tourism industry. Depending on the context, these musics can be used to either support the political ideologies of the Party or enable individuals to resist them. Access to an unprecedented diversity of musical styles has also led to an enhanced reverence for traditional music. While older musicians bemoan the changes to traditional practices, younger ones ensure the sustainability of the tradition by manipulating it in response to fluctuating contexts. Based on fifteen months of fieldwork with the Vietnamese-Hmong community, my descriptions and analyses of thismusical culture illustrate how people use music to position themselves socially in contemporary Vietnam. This thesis demonstrates how identities and boundaries are negotiated through musical activities that principally serve to make Hmong notions about life articulate. Case studies of individuals and groups of musicians, contextualised by relevant social, political and economic data, illustrate the depth and breadth of Hmong musics in northern Vietnam. Part I of the thesis introduces the research and outlines the history of the Vietnamese-Hmong, part II focuses on female and male traditional music and ritual practices,and part III examines how the Hmong are engaging with the diverse musical world in which they live.
Title: Hmong Music and Language Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Investigation. Author: Nicholas Poss. Source: PhD Dissertation, Ohio State University. Location: Columbus, OH. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 119 pages Format: PDF.
Abstract: Speech surrogacy, which includes the performance of verbal messages on musical instruments, is found in a variety of cultures. The developing field of music and language cognition can benefit from the study of these communicative forms, which confound our expectations of the boundaries between speech and music. Previous studies have focused on semiotic relationships of similarity between musical sound and speech. While this type of analysis can suggest strategies for decoding messages, it cannot explain how listeners make use of this information. Using methodology derived from psycholinguistics, this dissertation investigates speech surrogate cognition from the perspective of Hmong culture to find out how listeners understand verbal messages encoded in performances on aerophones called raj. In one experiment, musical phrases of varying lengths were presented to skilled listeners to investigate the strategies used in understanding performances. The results show that listeners are highly successful at identifying phrases. For ambiguous words, listeners relied mainly on the established relationships between musical pitch and lexical tone to infer meaning rather than broad distinctions between types of syllable onsets. This demonstrates a problem with the semiotic approach to analyzing speech surrogates: listeners do not necessarily make use of everything encoded in the signal. Finally, there were different reponse patterns for phrases of different lengths, indicating that the context of messages affects how listeners interpret them.
Title: Impacts of participation in Hmong as world language classes on outcomes for Hmong American high school students. Author: William Vang. Source: E.d.D. Dissertation, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 330 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: This study examines the consequences for urban Hmong American high school students of participating in two years sequences of high school level Hmong as World Language courses. The Hmong population in the United States is a product of war, exile and resettlement at the end of the Vietnam War. Since their arrival, both the Hmong people and American social and political institutions have been trying to learn how to deal with each other more effectively and respectfully. One of the key American institutions engaging with the Hmong diaspora has been the public schools. This study explores one program in one public high school in north central California, initiated by Hmong educators themselves. The Hmong as World language program seeks to provide relevant academic education for Hmong American students by teaching Hmong as a “foreign language” for purposes of high school graduation and college admission requirements. Some of the most important issues facing young Hmong Americans include not having access to quality and equitable educational opportunity and losing their ethnic and cultural identity and language as they go through school. The results are often low academic performance in school or dropping out altogether. These pressures also push many young Hmong Americans away from their families and their traditions and into negative live choices which further disrupt the Hmong community (Cha, 2010; O’Reilly, 1998). The Hmong migrations to the United States are recent. Therefore, studies of Hmong educational attainment and cultural endurance in the United States are fairly new. However educational researchers and especially new Hmong scholars are beginning to identify factors that contribute to the problems faced by this group of students and to their success. Vang’s (1998) study showed a correlation between cultural retention and students’ academic achievement. Hutchinson (1997) and Rumbaut (1989) reported that connectedness to Hmong culture positively affected educational performance of Hmong American youth. Moreover, Ngo and Lee (2007) report many findings that Hmong and other Southeast Asian students who adopt a strategy of accommodation without assimilation are the most successful (See also, McNall, et al., 1994 and Lee, 2005). This study is ground in Yosso’s (2005) theory of community cultural wealth. Yosso identifies six forms of community capital which together constitute a pool of community cultural wealth that minority students, such as the Hmong American students in this study can draw upon. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative analyses. These included statistical analysis of the relationship between participation in Hmong as World Language (HWL) instruction and other measures of high school success and in depth analysis of interviews and focus group dialogues with teachers of HWL and recent graduates who had taken HWL. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses found that taking HWL for two years had many positive outcomes for students and no identifiable negative consequences. Positive academic outcomes included improvements in high school GPA and increased skill and confidence performing academic work in all subjects. An additional educational outcome was students’ confidence and optimism about future educational and career plans. Positive outcomes for the students outside of school included strengthening their relationship with family, community and culture. Students born in the United States who took two years of HWL talked of coming back home to their Hmong identity and families. Students born in Thailand, recent arrivals from the closure of the last Vietnam era refugee camps, insisted that the HWL classes helped them learn how to navigate the system of American high school requirements. This study demonstrates the importance of incorporating the strengths of the Hmong American community into the education of their children and confirms the power of heritage language to bind a community together and to develop high level thinking in bilingual, bicultural students. The study concludes with recommendations for expanding the availability of Hmong language studies to other schools and grade levels with identifiable Hmong student populations and for further research on the educational journey of Hmong students in the United States and globally.
Title: The appropriate assistance for Hmong college students. Author: Wyler Yang. Source: M.A. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 132 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: Since the arrival of the Hmong in the United States as war refugees, they have been shadowed by the Asian Minority Success Myth (Ngo & Lee, 2007) which holds that all Asians and Asian Americans excel in the classroom. A Critical Race Theory analysis of this model and the varieties of Cultural Capital brought to this Acculturation process shows Hmong students at a disadvantage (Bourdieu, 1986; DePouw, 2012; Perna & Thomas, 2008; Rick, 1988). Other literature suggests hidden Cultural Capital, positive characteristics of Biculturation and positive outcomes of Hybridity can promote education success among minority students (Lowe, 2000; Rick, 1988; Yosso, 2005). Statement of Problem: Not all Hmong college students go through the same challenges. This study categorizes Hmong college students by various demographic variables to determine challenges they face from family, community, institution and self as they pursue their higher education. It explores what might be most supportive of Hmong college student success. Methodology: The researcher surveyed Hmong college students at one California university during the 2011-2012 academic year about the challenges they face in completing their college education and the resources they draw upon and the ways in which their path through college could be better supported. The students self-identified as Hmong and were contacted through the Hmong University Student Association. Participant responses were coded and analyzed to identify patterns of responses that pointed to common issues and to differences among subgroups within the Hmong students. Conclusions and Recommendations: Students surveyed were primarily from two categories: Adjusting-Animist-Male and Adjusting-Animist-Female. The greatest differences in responses were tied to gender, with males facing self-related challenges and females facing family-related challenges. Both faced institution-related challenges. Problems of support were tied more to difficulties in students reaching out for help rather than institutional refusal. Future research regarding Hmong college students should begin at the high school level, and study the intersections of culture, surroundings and self-concept as these affect Hmong students’ difficulties in reaching out to others in their educational environment.
Title: Hmong for Hmong Only - Hmong I: A Supplementary Reading Readiness Course Packet for Beginning College Hmong Students. Author: Lee Xiong. Source: MA Thesis, California State University, Chico. Location: Chico, CA. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 153 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The Hmong language was identified as an oral tradition in which the older generations orally taught values, morals, and ritual rites to the younger generations for thousands of years dated back to 2,500 B.C. in China. About 6 decades ago, a group of French-American missionaries and a linguist developed a writing system for the Hmong in Laos in 1950. It was identified as the Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA script). The RPA script became the literacy for the Hmong. For the Hmong language, the RPA script is divided into three groups: consonants, vowels, and tone markers. The consonants are further categorized into four groups such as 18 single consonants, 22 double consonants, 14 triple consonants, and 3 quadruple consonants. There are a total of 57 Hmong consonants, 13 vowels, 6 mono-vowels, and 7 bi-vowels. There are eight tone markers that indicated the high, middle, and low pitch in each word that is spoken. These are the important elements of the Hmong literacy. Once a student has mastered the pronunciation of these individual letters she or he would be able to paste the letters to make words. The words could be formed into sentences. This researcher noticed the alphabet to be a problem for the Hmong American students because English and Hmong rely on the same alphabets, but different a phonetic guide. It is frustrating for many beginning Hmong American students when they first attempt to learn the language.
Title: Personal Story of a Hmong Student's Learning of Mathematics in School: A Case Study. Author: Moua Xiong. Source: MA Thesis, California State University, Chico. Location: Chico, CA. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 117 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: This thesis examines the process of a Hmong student learning mathematics on the community college level. The researcher selected a Hmong student from Butte College to conduct an interview regarding his educational experience but focused mainly on mathematics. The interview took approximately eight weeks, and each interview took about an hour with three interviews performed each week. The researcher also interviewed the participant’s parents to gather information regarding their family background to support this Hmong student’s learning experience. The results indicated that this Hmong student learned mathematics in school by examples provided by the instructor. He relied on his memorization abilities to remember the mathematical-solving procedures. He practiced diligently to prepare himself to solve problems for in-class tests. The results also revealed that motivation was the key to inspire this Hmong student to go to school and to study. The participant identified five roots of motivation that inspired him to continue his education, especially in mathematics such as parent’s support, people’s admiration, desire to compete successfully in the classroom, interest in assisting others, and the desire to be a role model for younger siblings. This study showed that 78.97% of all mathematical word problems were translated into the Hmong language before translated into algebraic symbols. The other 21.03% was translated straight from the word problems written in English to algebraic equations by the participant. In addition, 81.48% of all the word problems, regardless of the English language structure, were translated word by word from left to right. The remaining18.52% of all the word problems was not translated from left to right due to the same English language structure. During the interviews, the researcher provided 31 word problems that came from four different types of mathematical word problems for the participant to solve. The accumulative percentages from all mathematical word problems performed by the participant were 64.5% correct vs. 35.5% incorrect. Moreover, this study revealed that the participant was able to get 1) 100% of all mathematical word problems written in Hmong language correct; 2) 80% of the mathematical word problems that the participant had correct was coming from left to right translation; 3) 20% was coming from basic English sentence structure; and 4) 0% correct from mathematical word problems written in English complex language structure. Accordingly, the translation of the written word into algebraic language created most errors due to language barriers for the participant.
Title: Perceptions of health care among Hmong Americans. Author: Stacy Thang Yang. Source: M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 2012. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 126 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The Hmong immigrated to America as a result of various life threatening conditions that prevented them from being able to live an ordinary life. Despite the huge population of Hmong who have settled in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, they still experience challenges when utilizing the modern health care system and its services. This study explores Hmong Americans’ perceptions toward both traditional and modern health care and their utilization of these services. Participants in this study were Hmong American adults who are former refugees and immigrants from Laos and Thailand. The findings of this research study reveal that there are indeed challenges and obstacles that have prevented Hmong Americans from utilizing modern health care, as well as its services, such as different philosophies toward health and illness, providers’ lack of understanding about the Hmong’s cultural beliefs and/or practices, and lack of sufficient English comprehension skills to communicate with health care providers.
Title: Hmong Americans and Healthcare Inequalities and Solutions. Author: Aurea Berger. Source: Senior Thesis, San Francisco State University. Location: San Francisco, CA. Year: 2011. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 51 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The Hmong Americans are the newly added component of United States society. Due to lack of written language, exposure to harsh living conditions in refugee camps, and war, Hmong Americans’ adjustment to life in the United States has not been an easy process. As refugees, most of them have to rely on welfare for cash assistance and healthcare, especially the first generation immigrants. However, due to the existence of inequities in the US healthcare system as well as cutbacks on welfare budgets ─ many Hmong Americans ─ are without health insurance and are poorly served in the US healthcare system. The purpose of this research paper is to bring awareness to the existing problem that harms the health of the Hmong American community. Oral interviews, in-depth research, and questionnaires are used to investigate the problem regarding the ongoing healthcare issues that affect the Hmong American community. The findings of this research indicate that the Hmong Americans are indeed being served poorly in the US healthcare system because of lack of interpreter service (i.e. translator), conflict between the Hmong traditional healing methods and the Western health practices, and the lack of understanding by the Western health providers of Hmong American culture.
Title: Hmong Heritage Language Program at the Secondary Level at its Impact on Hmong Student Academic Achievement. Author: Ya Po Cha. Source: MA Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 2010. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 71 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The Hmong heritage language program at Lucky Banks High School has been implemented for over eight years. How has this program helped Hmong students improve their academic achievement? The methodology used in this study is a combination of quantitative analysis of student academic records and qualitative data collected from asurvey of Hmong high school seniors at Lucky Banks High School. There isa strong correlation between the number of years of Hmong heritage language students have taken and their level academic achievement. However,further studies are needed to directly link academic achievement to participation in the heritage language program at Lucky Banks High School.
Title: A Personal Tale of Self-Reflection by a Hmong English Teacher Forming a High School Leadership Club to Enhance Hmong Adolescents in Their Search for Personal Identity. Author: Ellen Moua Hamilton. Source: MA Thesis, California State University, Chico. Location: Chico, CA. Year: 2010. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 116 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The purpose of this project is to create a handbook by creating a high school leadership club for Hmong students, to enhance their search for personal identity as they relate it to my own personal tale of self-reflection. In order to create my own personal tale and a leadership club to enhance Hmong adolescents, a background knowledge base had to be established in the review of literature. This background knowledge base con-sisted of adolescent identity, Hmong adolescents, Hmong culture, after-school programs and clubs, and leadership with a focus on self-reflection. Each section in Chapter II of this project amplifies the need for understanding oneself through family in-volvement, relationships, cultural loss, language loss, etc, for the search of personal iden-tity. Through the background knowledge base established in the review of litera-ture, the creation of my self-reflection was able to take form. The reflection is about growing up in two worlds; the Hmong world and the American world. The book is the self-reflection of my search for personal identity and is used to help enhance Hmong ado-lescents in understanding their search for personal identity. The book is titled, Washed Away Story of a First Generation Hmong Woman in America, and is recommended by the author to use in secondary levels to understand what it is to be Hmong living in two worlds, revolving around the themes of language loss, biculturalism, acculturation, as-similation, and simply finding out who we truly are.
Title: Hmong parent understanding of ear health. Author: Janene Griffin. Source: M.S. Thesis, California State University, Sacramento. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 2010. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 162 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: This ethnographic study concerns the incidence of hearing loss and other ear pathology for Hmong students of a Sacramento school district as identified by the school nurse researchers. The study sought to determine the Hmong parent understanding of ear health including ear anatomy, causes of illness and traditional care practices and utilization of western health care providers. The school nurse researchers conducted parent interviews using a Hmong interpreter over a ten-month time frame. Transcriptions of the audiotaped interviews were coded and analyzed for categories, patterns and themes. Identified patterns and themes were confirmed through further interviews until data saturation was obtained. Themes identified included communication and acculturation difficulties, knowledge deficit of ear anatomy and causes of ear pathology, misunderstanding of medical diagnoses and care and dual utilization of traditional and modern health care modalities. Findings affirmed that the school nurse stands in a unique position to assist Hmong families to improve their understanding and management of ear conditions and hearing loss.
Title: Rituals, Roles and Responsibilities included in a Hmong Funeral: A Guidebook for Teachers to Better Understand the Process their Hmong Students Experience in a Time of Family Loss. Author: Kirk Lee. Source: MA Thesis, California State University, Chico. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 2009. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 78 pages Format: PDF
Abstract: The number of Hmong families in Butte County has increased in recent years, which has resulted in an increase of Hmong students attending local schools. However, the community at large is still unfamiliar with the Hmong culture, especially the funeral ritual. When there is a loss in the family, the students need to take time off from schools or related activities. Without knowing these students’ family background and cultural custom, teachers and school staff often do not understand their students’ roles in the grieving process during this time of loss in the Hmong culture, the funeral ritual is a very important event. During this time of passing, all family members, including children are expected to participate. It is important that the Hmong students take time off from school functions to honor their par-ents’ tradition, pay respect to the deceased, and offer condolences to immediate family members. However, as a member in the Hmong community, I have observed students take lengthy absences from school to participate in these funerary rituals, which have raised many concerns from teachers and school staff. This project is an attempt to explain students’ roles and responsibilities during the funeral rituals. At the end of this project, there are several recommendations teachers and school staff could utilize when they are confronted in these situations.
Title: New Mountain, New River, New Home? The Tasmanian Hmong. Author: Margaret Eldrige. Source: M.S. Thesis, University of Tasmania. Location: Tasmania, Australia. Year: 2008. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: N.A. Format: PDF
Abstract: This study examines the first group of largely preliterate refugees resettled in Tasmania after the 1975 Communist takeover of Laos. Hill tribe people, the Tasmanian Hmong left Laos and spent years in Thai refugee camps. This thesis examines the possible reasons for their secondary migration to various locations in Queensland. Their departure from Tasmania raised questions about why this apparently well-settled community left the island. For example, many people assumed it was because of Tasmania’s cool climate. The thesis creates a context in which to examine the Hmong’s motivation to leave the island state, with reference to theories of migration, diaspora and globalisation. Oral histories draw out the stories of individual Hmong, their involvement in the Secret War in Indo-China, the escape from Laos, life in Thai refugee camps, their resettlement in Tasmania and subsequent departure for Queensland. Hmong informants include those remaining in Tasmania, those who left for Queensland and those who later returned to Tasmania. These interviews are balanced with voices of professionals and volunteers involved in settlement of the Hmong. Participant observation and itinerant ethnography have been employed, making use of everyday opportunities to collect information from which to develop ideas and to explain the secondary migration of the Hmong. This ‘history from below’, places value on the stories of ordinary people as a valuable resource. The research concludes that, in addition to the desire to create a mega-community of Hmong in Queensland — in an attempt to counter loss of tradition and culture, and build Hmong cohesiveness — secondary migration was influenced by a desire for family reunification and a strong economic motive. It demonstrates that secondary migration is typical of many refugee communities. In particular, the secondary migrations observed in diasporic Hmong communities have parallels with migrations of Hmong from China and with traditional movements in Laos, where swidden agriculture requires establishment of new villages when depleted soil or sickness affects settlements. The research is important because there has been little recorded about the Hmong community in Tasmania, nor about other Australian Hmong communities. Since the once vibrant Hobart community is now a remnant population, it is important to place on record its story as part of recent social history. In examining a refugee community such as the Hmong, this thesis offers an investigation of the circumstances of becoming refugees, an analysis of settlement experiences and an exploration into the context and reasons for secondary migration. In addition, it provides an entry into comparative research on other refugee communities, which has relevance for those who work with refugees and are interested in their demographics.
Title: Appropriating the Unspoken Text: Development Discourse and Hmong Women in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Author: Kimberly C. Mendonca. Source: Ed.D. Dissertation, University of San Francisco. Location: San Francisco, CA. Year: 2009. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 158 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Development, from a broad perspective, is neither new nor uncommon. As a result of media attention, Westerners are becoming more versed on global development challenges to reduce poverty, hunger and disease. Some of the world’s most famous actors have become activists and now serve as spokespeople for organizations that promote development. However, missing from these efforts is clear understanding of the unique needs and desires of various people of the world and, as a result, the best way to assist them in the fulfillment of those needs often remains unexplored.This research investigated development in Laos. More specifically, it studied the concepts of development through an interpretive approach as they affect the women in the Hmong community. This research was conducted from the perspective of interpretive anthropology with selected theories drawn from a critical hermeneutic orientation. The specific process and protocols were appropriated from Herda’s (1999: 85-138) orientation to participatory hermeneutic inquiry. Ricoeur’s (1984, 1985, 1988) theories of narrative identity, mimesis and action provided the framework for exploration of the research inquiry and helped to give voice a place in identity. The findings of this research focus on changing the lens from which leadership is viewed; shifting the way development from being seen as a linear process to one that is understood as an interpretative process, and refocusing on the essential goals of development. ivThe significance of this research is the creation of a public space to give voice to Hmong women, a marginalized group both because of their ethnicity and their gender. The project broadens the dialogue about strategies and shapes new ideas of development. The stories of the Hmong women serve as a catalyst for further discourse about development as well as empowering and fundamentally improving the status of the Hmong women, their families and their communities.
Title: Diversifying livelihoods: Hmong use and trade of forest products in northern Vietnam. Author: Claire Tugault-Lafleur. Source: MA Thesis, McGill University. Location: Montreal, Quebec. Year: 2008. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 177 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: This thesis investigates the importance of forest products for Hmong highland minorities in Sa Pa district, Lao Cai province, northern Vietnam. Since their migration from Yunnan nearly two centuries ago, the Hmong in upland Vietnam have remained relatively autonomous, relying on a diverse production system including wet rice terraces, swidden fields, livestock, non-timber forest products and, more recently, for a limited number, handicraft and tourist-related activities. In 1992, the Vietnamese Government, via Decree 327, officially banned all forms of slash-and-burn practices and opium cultivation, thus cutting off highlanders from important sources of income. Drawing on qualitative field work, I examine the changing livelihood portfolios and the place of forest products within the Hmong domestic economy from the socialist (1954-1986) to the post Doi Moi period (1986-present) in Sa Pa district, Lao Cai province. Then, focusing on one such forest product, by using a case study of cardamom, analysed through a commodity chain approach, I detail trade networks and inter-ethnic exchange dynamics regulating the commercialisation of cardamom in Lao Cai province. As such, this study unravels the dynamic and fluid nature of Hmong livelihood strategies and the place of forest products within these livelihood portfolios.
Title: The communication of verbal content on the Hmong Raj : an ethnographic analysis of performance practice. Author: Nicholas Poss. Source: MA Thesis, Ohio State University. Location: Columbus, OH. Year: 2005. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 176 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: First generation members of the diasporic Hmong-American community continue the practice of communicating verbal content on a variety of instruments, including raj , a family of aerophones. Based on field research with White Hmong (Hmoob Dawb) residents of Wisconsin and Minnesota, this thesis provides an in-depth ethnographic account of raj performance in America. Through interview, participant observation, musical transcription, and computer analysis of recordings, the relationship between words and musical sound is investigated and contextualized in performance. Building on the work of Eric Mareschal and Amy Catlin, multiple levels of communication in raj performances are investigated, moving beyond previous descriptions based on the "speech surrogate" model. Although an instrument for courtship in Laos and Thailand, raj performances in America are most likely to occur at Hmong New Year celebrations or at private family gatherings. Utilizing consistent relationships between lexical tone and musical pitch, performers extemporaneously manipulate conventional and formulaic phrases into personal expressions within a limited range of topics. Skilled listeners interpret verbal content in familiar melodic contours and rhythmic patterns. Associations between the sound of words (lexical tone) and sets of pitches, different across various raj and between scales played on a single raj, serve to clarify ambiguous content. Still, performances and interpretations of performances are rarely word-for-word. Rather, performers develop motor patterns for favorite expressions that are understood on multiple levels as performances unfold. Ornamentation, breath control, and precise fingering add beauty to performances and communicate the skill and cultural knowledge (txawj) of the performer. Thus performances are more than instances of "speech surrogacy" as defined by Theodore Stern. In this way, the raj remains relevant for new generations of. Hmong-Americans who, due to lack of experience or familiarity with the Hmong language, cannot understand the underlying words. Furthermore, this deeper understanding of raj performances can inform future research on the relationship between language and music in Hmong culture as well as provide a starting point for the investigation of connections between lexical tone and musical pitch in cognition.
Title: Hmong Visual, Oral, and Social Design: Innovation within a Frame of the Familiar. Author: Judy Lewis. Source: M.A. Thesis, Sacramento State University. Location: Sacramento, CA. Year: 1993. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 176 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: Hmong social organizationhas been described in prior research as one based on patrilineal kinship and shifting cultivation, and characterized by cross-cousin marriage, virilocal residence, and strong patriarchy. The social pattern is influenced by available land, applicable and available agricultural methods, methods for obtaining cash and entering a market economy, the proximity of kin, ties with affinal groups, the whims of “fortune,” the actions of spirits and the well-being of ancestors. For the Hmong in the United States are added the constraints of vocational opportunity, family size, increased interaction between members of a patriline and non-Hmong, and increased understanding of Hmong in a wider social context. Past research on Hmong social organization places primacy on the environment and obligatory kinship relationships in the overall pattern of social groups. The work of Mary Douglas suggests that a group’s social patterns are revealed in the patterns that characterize the various forms of cultural expression. Nicholas Tapp and Patricia Symonds have contributed to the understanding of the role of oral history, ritual details, identity maintenance, and gender differences in social design over time and space.The purpose of this thesis is to examine four cultural expressions (stitchery, sung poetry, elaborate expressions, and folktales) for an underlying structural pattern that links them in “Hmongness,” and to look at the process by which innovation is accommodated. The pattern and process will then be compared to the Hmong social organization as described in the literature, and as found in one Hmong caj ceg(patriline)and pab pawg(collaborative group) as conceptualized by one of its members.The conclusion is that visual and oral expressions can be characterized as successive frames, expressed in oppositions or contrasts, surrounding a meaningful “kernel” at the center. The compositions are innovative juxtapositions of familiar core elements that are identifiably “Hmong.” Likewise, social groups can be visualized frames within frames, surrounding a kernel group—a family, at its most elemental, the daughter-in-law and her husband—surrounded by successive frames of identity. The social group is not defined by external factors, but is an active and creative manipulation by individuals acting within groups.The design emerges from core elements (kinship, marriage, chance encounter, and reciprocal obligation), creating a design that is recognizably “Hmong” and will bring reputation and renown to the group. In general, the creation of textile design is the work of women, while the creation of social designs is the work of men, and both create sung poetry
Title: Journeys, Boundaries, Maps, Paths, and Paradigms: The Decorah Hmong and the Decorah Native. Author: Marilyn Anderson. Source: M.A. Synthesis, Hamline University. Location: St. Paul, MN. Year: 1991. Additional Source Information: N.A. Pagination: 119 pages. Format: PDF
Abstract: The Hmong are a distinct Asian people who, for thousands of years, dwelled in China, and then, more recently, in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Vietnam War caused thousands of Hmong to be displaced, and many came to the United States. This paper describes the decade-long resettlement of Hmong refugees in Decorah, a small town in Iowa. The history of the Hmong is told, and aspects of Hmong culture, including marriage and religion, are discussed. Efforts made by the Decorah Hmong to preserve their culture, and interactions between Hmong and long-time Decorah residents are examined. Much of the paper is a first-person narrative comprised of personal experiences with the Hmong as an English-as-a-Second-Language instructor, on extensive interviews with the Hmong, and on wide reading in anthropology and other social sciences. A lengthy list of references is included.