ERIC Number: ED217105
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
The Hmong in America--Their Cultural Continuities and Discontinuities.
In adjusting to their new environment, Hmong refugees to the United States have attempted to preserve cultural traditions while accommodating the demands of American society and culture. The Hmong refugee background includes a tradition of close family ties and self sufficiency in the Laotian hinterlands; a history of war, hardship, and drastic life changes; and life in Thailand's refugee camps that was characterized by uncertainty, the distress of losing a homeland, and forced dependence on foreign aid. Their arrival in the United States has required new adjustments in culture, housing, language, education, employment, health practices, and family relations. The process of adjustment has resulted in some cultural discontinuities. While the traditional sense of kinship and the characteristics of independence and initiative continue to be reflected in Hmong life, changes have had to be made in family roles, marriage customs, and employment practices. Some culture gaps remain due to differences in American and Hmong perceptions concerning competitive employment, assimilation, and individual versus group worth. Bridging these gaps to achieve a cultural fit in Hmong adaptation to American life depends not only on how the Hmong adjust, but also on the extent to which the American mainstream recognizes a unique Hmong identity within the larger society. (MJL)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Adjustment (to Environment), Asian History, Bilingual Education, Community Programs, Cultural Background, Cultural Influences, Culture Conflict, Employment, Ethnicity, Family Structure, Federal Programs, Health Services, Housing, Political Influences, Refugees, Socialization, Socioeconomic Influences
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bush Foundation, St. Paul, Minn.
Authoring Institution: N/A