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Title:Negotiating Race, Navigating School: Situating Hmong American University Student Experiences
Author(s):DePouw, Christin A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pak, Yoon
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This study explores the ways in which interlocking systems of oppression operate within the educational experiences of Hmong American students at a Wisconsin state university (WSU). The research project investigates the ways in which neo-racist discourses of cultural difference have racially constructed Hmong people and Hmong culture as deficient, barbaric, and primitive, and the impact that these neo-racist discourses have on the educational experiences of Hmong American university students. In particular, it examines the ways in which Hmong American students negotiate the normative culture of Whiteness at their university and highlights Hmong American student struggles to create spaces for Hmong American culture, history, and communities within the university. Utilizing a Critical Race Theory lens, this research deconstructs the ways in which popular and academic discourses of cultural difference are seemingly neutral and coded forms of racialization of Hmong people. In order to clarify the nuances of these racialized representations, this research reviews the historical ways in which Hmong and Hmong American peoples have been represented, and places these representations within the context of colonialism and U.S. imperialism in Laos. The study concludes that Hmong American students experience racial hostility within educational institutions in subtle and overt ways. Nevertheless, the study participants remained educationally persistent, due in part to: their understanding of institutional and interpersonal racism; student activism; their concern for youth who would one day enter the same institution; their recognition of the ways in which earlier generations of Hmong people had been denied access to educational opportunity; and their belief that they needed a university degree in order to obtain secure employment.
Issue Date:2006
Description:286 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3223577
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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