Academic journal article American Studies

HMONG AMERICA: Restructuring Community in Diaspora

Academic journal article American Studies

HMONG AMERICA: Restructuring Community in Diaspora

Article excerpt

HMONG AMERICA: Restructuring Community in Diaspora. By Chia Youyee Vang. Urbana: University of Ilinois Press. 2010.

This fascinating book is authored by a multilingual member of a Hmong community. I say "a" because there are eighteen Hmong clans even in this relatively small population. Decisions are made by clans, although part of their acculturation has involved transitions to cooperation among clans that have begun to recognize how groups operate in American communities. Here, social networks and role models in other ethnic communities provide examples of how other such peoples use collaborative resources to get jobs, goods, and services from governmental and non-governmental agencies. Indeed, Hmong outside the U.S.A. look to those here to provide such assistance and even for modeling group patterns.

In fact, they have made gains and now we find thousands visiting Laos and their original villages in the Laotian highlands. At the same time, some of the Hmong's leaders, such as General Van Pao, transplanted old world homeland factionalism, but lacking an indigenous nation state, the Hmong have learned to create communities that transcend national boundaries. Moreover, they have become sufficiently acculturated to campaign for recognition via negotiations, such as for a plaque in DC dedicated to Hmong members of America's "secret army" in Laos. They also petitioned for what became the Hmong Veterans Naturalization Act in May 2000 that exempts such vets from the language requirements for citizenship.

Following distinctive patterns-"Secondary Settlement" (their "Third Migration") and maintaining community clusters away from suburbs and concentrated in such urban centers as Minneapolis/St. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.