Hmong Studies Bibliography Format

Hmong Studies Journal Articles 1996-2015
Abstract: ​Following an overview of the Franco-Hmong relationship that developed during the first half of the twentieth century and laid the groundwork for future alignments, the main body of this paper focuses on the formative years of the multi-faceted Hmong-American alliance that evolved between 1949 and 1962. Chronologically summarized, this period encompasses wide-ranging and often tumultuous events that ultimately put Laos in what has been described as the cockpit of the Cold War and placed the Hmong on the front lines. When the colonial French withdrew from Laos following the First Indochina War, the United States stepped in to fill the vacuum left behind in the politically unstable country, Washington’s objective being to neutralize Laos and block Communist infiltration from North Vietnam through northeastern Laos—the homeland of the Hmong—and into the Mekong valley, the heartland of the politically dominant Lao, and neighboring Thailand. Trapped in the middle were the Hmong, a multi-clan ethnic minority originally from China that was held in contempt by the governing Lao. The Hmong resettled mainly in Xieng Khouang, a province bordering Tonkin in Vietnam, a country whose hegemony the Hmong historically resisted. The pro-West paramount leaders of the Hmong, Touby Lyfoung and his successor Vang Pao, served as mediators between clan leaders and were mindful of the expectations of their people and their aspiration for freedom. Recognizing that the threat posed by the Vietnamese placed their homeland and livelihoods in jeopardy, they negotiated the support of powerful foreign patrons—the French and later the Americans—and served as intermediaries between the Hmong clan leaders, their foreign patrons, and successive Lao governments. As the showdown leading to the so-called “Secret War” edged forward, the political agendas of the key players were frequently readjusted in the volatile environment. This paper describes the resulting uncertainties that emerged as mutual commitments were made, the outcomes of which often took unexpected turns. As time passed, the Hmong became the principal instrument of a continued Royal Lao Government presence in northeastern Laos. 
Abstract: ​This study investigates how Hmong women’s educational access in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has changed in recent decades. To investigate this developmental change, the study adapted a mixed research methodology; quantitative data was collected from the Lao national census. A series of qualitative interviews with research informants was also conducted. This study argues that for Hmong women in Laos, access to educational opportunities has been increasingly emphasized due to internal/external aid, which has positively impacted womens’ participation in the labor market, resulting in greater opportunities for empowerment. With regards to the latter, the lives of Hmong women have also changed significantly in recent years through increased access to higher-wage positions in Laos. 
Abstract: This article theorizes forms of magnetic media—audio and video recordings—as a metaphor for diasporic memory. It then posits three versions of Hmong diasporic homeland imagination from the most immediate (a return to Laos), to ancestral China, and finally to an imagined utopic homeland theorized as tebchaws (DAY-char)—a term connoting place, land, and nation at once. Tebchaws becomes a critical piece of terminology that contributes to a theorization of Hmong diasporic homeland imagination. Examples of archival audio and video recordings are interpreted as manifestations of tebchaws, which draws heavily upon ecological sonic and visual images
Abstract: ​Phenomenological analysis was used to explore 14 Hmong American college women’s perceptions of their relationships with their parents. Participants perceived they had become more psychologically close to their parents as well as becoming more independent from them. Participants also identified an important developmental task for them at this stage of their lives which was to balance two cultures, their culture of origin and U.S. culture. Implications for counselors are discussed. 
Abstract: ​The passing of General Vang Pao (GVP) in a hospital in Clovis, California, in 2011 ended an historical era for Hmong Americans and the larger Hmong diaspora. This historical essay explores the changing meanings of leadership and unity for Hmong Americans in the post-GVP era. It first uses sociologist Max Weber's leadership criteria (rational, charismatic, and traditional authority) to explain Vang Pao’s enormous influence on the Hmong in Laos and as refugees in the Hmong diaspora. The essay then reviews current sources of rational, charismatic, and traditional leadership in Hmong American communities: electoral politics, non-profit organizations, religion, and clans. The essay concludes that it is unlikely that a large segment of Hmong Americans will ever again coalesce around one leader. Instead, two new political orientations may become more prevalent as the Hmong reconsider their place in the world: one that favors the local over the national, and another which favors transnationalism rather than the quest for their own nation-state.
Abstract: ​This article summarizes a roundtable discussion of scholars that took place at the Association for Asian American Studies Conference in San Francisco, 2014. Hailing from various academic disciplines, the participants explored the relationship between the emerging field of Hmong/Hmong American Studies and Asian American Studies. Questions of interest included: In what ways has Asian American Studies informed Hmong/Hmong American Studies, or failed to do so? In what ways does Hmong/Hmong American Studies enrich/challenge Asian American Studies? What are the tensions between these two fields and other related fields? How do/should the new programs in Hmong/Hmong American Studies relate to the existing Asian American Studies programs regarding curriculum, activism and/or resource allocation? 
Abstract: ​In this paper, we describe a participatory workshop we facilitated on the diversity of Hmong sexualities and sexual norms – including our preparation leading up to the workshop and a summary of what we learned – at the 2015 Hmong National Development conference, which marked the 40th year that Hmong have been in the U.S. We also describe our positionalities and stakes in the matter as they helped to frame discussion. Topics discussed during the workshop included the “repressive” construction of “Hmong culture,” gender inequalities, desirability, sexual mores, LGBTQ identities and homoeroticism, virginity, sex acts and pornography. Participants engaged in lively conversation about issues of marriage, reproduction, hookups, sexual play, age and generation, sex education, and exclusion versus tolerance, amply underscoring the multiplicity of viewpoints that are represented among Hmong Americans. Finally, we raise the need for more community dialogues and more in-depth academic inquiry into Hmong sexualities. 
Abstract: ​This article provides a book review of Mai Na M. Lee’s Dreams of the Hmong Kingdom: The Quest for Legitimation in French Indochina, 1850-1960. Dreams of the Hmong Kingdom. It highlights the contribution of the book to the historiography of the Hmong and provides a critical assessment of the dichotomous analytical framework that Lee uses to analyze the rivalry between Hmong messianic leaders and Hmong political brokers and the competition between the Ly and Lo clans for paramountcy in French Indochina.
Abstract: Films made by and for particular social and ethnic peoples can reveal a great deal about identity issues. Here, I examine the cultural production, the content, and the socio-cultural and political significance of three Chao Fa-inspired Hmong films produced at Khek Noi, Thailand by Hmong American producers working with largely Hmong Thai actors. The first two, Chao Fa 1 and 2, were directed in 2009 by Kou Thao. The third, Vaj Tuam Thawj – The Legend of Chao Fa, was put together by Jimmy Vang, in 2010. Even though these Chao Fa films are fictional, they attempt to depict events and circumstances that are familiar to many first generation Hmong Americans, and they can muster strong emotions from people who see them as depicting factual history. In addition, just like many other American youth, many 1.5 generation Hmong are tied together by shared media experiences, including Hmong movies. Thus, the Chao Fa movies are important for producing and reproducing, reinforcing and dispersing ideas related to Hmong American identity and culture. They tell stories of the Hmong being oppressed by many different groups, and this history suggests why many Hmong—not only the Chao Fa—have long desired the type of independence and freedom from prejudice and discrimination that they imagine would come if the Hmong only had their own nation state.
Abstract: There has been no research conducted in the past or present to examine the dental health of the Hmong population in California. Having lived and emigrated from the hills of developing countries, such as Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand, where there are a lack of resources and community outreach on basic oral care, the Hmong population received very minimal attention in regards to dental health. The purpose of this research paper is to analyze the statistical data collected at a private dental clinic run by a Hmong dentist, Dr. Kao N. Vang, to illustrate the prevalence of the periodontal diseases, gingivitis and periodontitis. The intention of this quantitative research is to obtain a general overview of dental health in the Fresno Hmong community, as well as to explore how the intersection of vulnerabilities, such as Western acculturation, socioeconomic status, and the lack of a formal education among Hmong people, have contributed to the deprivation of basic oral care and affected the overall dental health of the population.
Abstract: This study examines factors affecting the academic performance of Hmong students at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, WI. Factors specifically analyzed for their impact upon student success are socioeconomic status, family support, the use of academic support programs, and the influence of agents of socialization. Through the use of archival institutional data, Hmong students were compared to white students at CVTC in terms of their relative grade point averages, course completion rates, and retention rates. Data
revealed significant disparities in grade point average performance between Hmong and white students. The data also showed that eligibility for financial aid was significantly higher among Hmong students, and that this difference was commensurate with educational performance gaps between the two groups. Additionally, online surveys were used to assess family support while attending CVTC, the role of academic support programs, and influential agents of socialization. Gender differences in grade point average performance and socialization also were analyzed. Implications of the study’s findings are discussed and recommendations for improving the performance of Hmong students are provided.
Abstract: Cancer is a growing concern for women in the Hmong community. Hmong women experience poor health outcomes for both cervical and breast cancer, largely due to low rates of screening and resultant late-stage at diagnosis. Both breast and cervical cancer screening are complicated by a multitude of social, cultural and environmental factors which influence health care decision-making and can otherwise serve to restrict access.
We argue that community-engaged research, an orientation which prioritizes collaborative, equitable partnerships and community voice in identifying both problems and solutions, can be a valuable approach to helping address cancer health disparities for Hmong women. Using the Milwaukee-based “Healthy Hmong Women” project as a case example, we detail how the community-engaged approach implemented by the project partners was critical in identifying factors contributing to Hmong cancer disparities and appropriate interventions, as well as the overall acceptance and success of the project. Specifically, we discuss how this approach: (1) promoted community investment and ownership in the project; (2) facilitated the integration of local perspectives and experiences; (3) built capacity to address cancer screening disparities; (4) facilitated the creation of interventions targeting
multiple ecological levels; and (5) framed the community as the foundation and driver of positive change.
Abstract: Book review of a photo essay book related to the Hmong experience as refugees and in the United States.
Abstract: Book review of a biography of Jerry Daniels, who worked with the Hmong during the CIA's Secret War in Laos.
Abstract: The Hmong are a transnational ethnic people, because of their dispersal from China into Southeast
Asia in the early 19th century and from Southeast Asia to Western countries from 1975 onward. However, even within the context of Southeast Asia and southern China, the Hmong are a transnational ethnic group, due to state boundaries and the enforcement of international laws. Scholars speak as though the Hmong population has crossed political and legal borders by their movement across state boundaries and international borders. However, I argue that it is the political, social, and legal borders that have cut across the Hmong people and subjected them to be citizens of different modern nation-states. Even in the present time, these borders still, and continuously, play important roles that cross and divide the Hmong people into distinctive subgroups and fragments. In this article, I will start by describing the generally understood situation of Hmong being across national borders, and then will explain my argument that borders are across the Hmong.
Abstract: This article consists of the text of a speech delivered by Dr. Bruce T. Downing as the closing keynote speech at the Hmong Across Borders conference at the University of Minnesota in October 2013. The speech discusses how the author became involved in Hmong Studies and how the University of Minnesota came to take on an important role in Hmong Studies research in the early 1980s. The author also discusses his involvement in early Hmong refugee resettlement efforts in the U.S. and how the landscape of Hmong Studies has changed over the past several decades. 
Abstract: In this paper I argue that Thai discourses of modernization and development have been taken up by the leaders and other prominent monks at Wat Tham Krabok Buddhist Temple (WTK) in central Thailand’s Saraburi Province and directed at governing a settlement of mostly Lao Hmong refugees that made their home on temple controlled land from the 1990s to 2000s. Though decoding the motivations on the part of WTK’s leaders and other
senior monks for allowing thousands of Hmong to settle on WTK controlled land is a complex process, viewing the story through the lens of development teaches new things about their overarching motivations for such an intervention. Furthermore, it allows several aspects of their governing rationale—including attention to legibility, territoriality, infrastructural development—to stand out and reveals that WTK’s leaders enacted specific
projects that appear to be directed at governing, reforming, and possibly modernizing the Hmong population at WTK. The styles of this intervention varied between the temples second and third abbots, Chamroon and Charoen, in their respective use of discursive versus material means of intervention. Considering these goals in concert with the history of material construction at the temple highlights how the material and discursive aspects of life at WTK are recursively connected to reinforce regimes of Hmong development toward an ideal of modernity that pays homage to symbols of Thai modernity and legitimizes WTK as a worthy Buddhist institution.
Abstract: Background: Over the past several decades in Northern Thailand, there has been a contest of authoritative knowledge between the Hmong traditional birth system and the Thai biomedical maternity system. In this paper, we explore the contest in one Hmong village by describing the traditional and biomedical practices; families’ birth location choices; and elements of authoritative knowledge. Methods: We built on a village survey and conducted an ethnographic qualitative case study of 16 families who made different pregnancy care choices. Results: The contest is being won by the Thai biomedical system, as most families deliver at the hospital. These families choose hospital births when they evaluate problems or potential problems; they have more confidence in the superior Thai biomedical system with its technology and medicines than in the inadequate Hmong traditional system. But the contest is ongoing, as some families prefer to birth at home. These families choose home births when they want a supportive home environment; they embrace traditional Hmong birth knowledge and practices as superior and reject hospital birth practices as unnecessary, harmful, abusive, and inadequate. Despite their choice for any given pregnancy, the case study families feel the pull of the other choice: hospital birth families lament loss of the home environment and express their dislike of hospital practices; and home birth families feel the anxiety of potentially needing quick obstetrical assistance that is far away. Conclusion: While most families choose to participate in the Thai biomedical system, they also use Hmong pregnancy and postpartum practices, and some families choose home births. In this village, the contest for the supremacy of authoritative birth knowledge is ongoing.  
Abstract: As a family physician and medical anthropologist, I have interacted with pregnant women and their families in Minnesota since 1983 and in one Hmong village in Northern Thailand since 1988. In the previous article I describe our recent research about Hmong families’ pregnancy and birth practices in Thailand. In this article, I
reflect upon the differences in Minnesota and Thailand, consider what socio-cultural factors may be influencing people’s experiences, and speculate that Minnesota Hmong experiences could be helpful to Thai Hmong.
Abstract: Early studies of Hmong refugees in the U.S. indicated high rates of mental distress related to post-migration stressors such as grief and loss, poverty, and social adversity. This study explores the mental health status of two generations of Hmong Americans 38 years after their first migration. The relationship between acculturation and mental health of 191 1st and 2nd generation Hmong are reported. Results indicated relatively low reports of depressive symptoms and medium to high rates of acculturation to American society. The results are unrelated to demographic factors indicating resilience and adaptation to Western society despite age and generational status and maintenance of culture of origin.
Abstract: This paper focuses on the iconic Hmong musical instrument, the qeej, and its presence in cyberspace on YouTube videos. Hmong in the west now engage in an implicit auto-ethnography using this technology presenting new constructions of themselves to themselves as well as to other, non-Hmong people. These constructions contribute to both literate and oral representations of pan-Hmong identity.
Abstract: The 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin is widely seen as an unintended outcome of prejudice and misperception and therefore frequently is called a "tragedy."That is also the interpretation that the Hmong American media had of events in Wisconsin in 2004when Chai Vang shot eight white hunters who surrounded, taunted, and blocked his path as he attempted to walk away. This article analyzes 96St. Paul Pioneer Press articles on the Wisconsin hunting shootings to evaluate how key words in headlines defined the event for readers. The results show that within the first nine days of coverage the newspaper developed a contradictory vocabulary that included the terms "dispute," "rampage," "tragedy," and "homicide." After creating this lexicon the newspaper then introduced the highly sensationalized terms"massacre" and "slayings."The article concludes that the Hmong American media had the correct interpretation and that mainstream media bias prevented the deeper message of the Wisconsin hunting shootings from being learned: guns + prejudice = tragic violence.
Abstract: The mental health of Hmong Americans has been studied since their arrival in the United States. The purpose of this metasynthesisis to utilize a qualitative approach to analyze academic journal article studies that assess mental health issues in Hmong Americans. Forty-eight published articles from 1983 to 2012 were chosen for analysis. Each of the selected articles focused on Hmong participants and contained findings relevant to the psychological well-being of Hmong Americans. Results of this study revealed several common themes: trends in research, depression,anxiety, adjustment issues, family issues, substance abuse, other mental health concerns, factors linked to mental health, help seeking behavior and perceptions, effectiveness of mental health treatments, strengths and resiliency, and supportive factors.
Abstract: This study examines the disproportionately poor academic performance of the Hmong among the minorities in Vietnam by using Ogbu’s cultural ecological theory (Ogbu, 2003). Societal and school factors have been assumed by many policy makers and scholars to affect minorities’ equally, but the paper argues that may not be the case when minority status is taken into account. “Community forces”are pointed to as the putative cause of the Hmong’s differential academic performance. “Community forces” of each ethnic group are related to their status as a minority group,which orients their interpretations and responses to schooling. In this paper, the minority status of the Hmong is explained through their group development history, settlement patterns, livelihoods and economic adaptive strategies and political participation through a review of the scholarly literature on the Hmong. Additionally, field research was conducted in Vietnam using a grounded theory approach to ethnography to understand how minority status influences community forces, and in turn, how these community forces affect the schooling of Hmong students.
Abstract: This study examines the ways that Hmong adolescents describe ethnic pride and how their descriptions are informed by perceptions of collective and social identities. Data from semi-structured interviews with 25 Hmong adolescents age 12-18 were thematically analyzed with attention to affective versus behavioral aspects of ethnic pride and the role of collective or social group identities in adolescent pride perceptions or expressions. Results indicate that Hmong adolescents view affective and behavioral components of ethnic pride as distinct and evaluated self and peer pride along these two dimensions. Moreover, pride was found to be defined as both an individual characteristic and a social construct, and the perception and expression of the term was informed by Hmong adolescent peer groups and collective identities.
Abstract: Genetic research with Hmong-ancestry populations has examined differentiation among other Southeast Asian groups and select health conditions; however, there have been few discussions of specific methodological approaches in the literature. Studies within ethnically diverse communities must conduct culturally competent research in order to avoid stigmatization and harm to the communities. We present recommendations for conducting culturally competent genetic research with Hmong-ancestry populations through insights from interviews and observations from a pilot study examining a potential genetic basis of susceptibility to a fungal infection within a Hmong community. Implications for future genetic-based health research and public health are discussed.
Abstract: This article reports qualitative interviews from an ethnographic study that explored in part, the health seeking behaviors of and for older Hmong Americans with chronic illness. The study occurred over a 36-month period in the St. Paul /Minneapolis area of Minnesota.
Abstract: Higher education institutions in the United States are seeing steadily increasing numbers of Generation 1.5 students from long-term immigrant populations. As part of this trend, more and more Hmong young people are successfully completing graduate and undergraduate degrees; however, by their own admission, many continue to struggle with English and are often frustrated in their college experiences by ongoing language challenges. A narrative research study of 13 Hmong women at a small private liberal arts college in northern California revealed specific types of grammatical and vocabulary limitations experienced by these students. These limitations are demonstrated through samples taken from oral and written stories told by the women. The article concludes with a discussion of the possible reasons for these limitations and then suggestions for ways that teachers and students may be able to enhance the language and literacy development process for Generation 1.5 populations including the Hmong.
Abstract: Although various studies have examined the home environment of low-income families and its impact on children’s development, limited research has been done to investigate the impact of home environment on Hmong American families, especially those who live below the federal poverty line. The purpose of this study was to document from the students’ perspective what it is like to live and grow up in a poor family. Fifteen Hmong students in 5th through 8th grades took part in the photovoice project. The consensual qualitative analyses of the photos and interviews revealed two domains (family physical home environment and family activities), seven themes (crowded space, unkempt space, equipped with media,generational and gender separation, parental involvement, organization of daily life, and social connections) and 38 core ideas.Some implications of the study are proposed for educators who work with Hmong families
Abstract: This article draws on research with a gay Hmong young man to illustrate the ways in which coming out discourses fail to take into account the central importance of family and kinship for gay Hmong Americans.It draws on the narratives of a gay Hmong man that emphasizes the importance of family reputation and family bonds to offer an alternative discourse to coming out narratives. It advances understandings of gay identity and experiences by explicating the ways in which family and community are important for a gay Hmong American man. This research significantly contributes to the dearth of research on Asian American LGBT experiences in general and those of LGBT Hmong Americans in particular
Abstract: Despite the recent influx of predominantly foreign-produced recordings of Hmong popular music, the vocal art form of kwv txhiaj still plays an important role in the daily lives of many Vietnamese-Hmong people. While previous studies of Vietnamese-Hmong music have tended to focus solely on the musical sounds, this article attempts to illustrate how kwv txhiaj is made meaningful in live performance by contextualizing the musical examples with ethnographic data. Using Timothy Rice’s Time, Place, and Metaphor model (2003) as a theoretical basis, three contrasting case studies of singers and their songs are examined: an elderly woman sings a song she learned at the time of her marriage at the age of nine, a younger woman sings while planting rice in her fields, and another sings about the importance of education at the local government cultural center. Based on fifteen months of fieldwork in northern Vietnam, this study examines a representative sample of performances from the Sa Pa district of Lào Cai province in an attempt to uncover what makes kwv txhiaj a vital aspect of Vietnamese-Hmong culture.
Abstract: The objective of this article is two-fold: First, it argues for critical engagement between Hmong Studies and Asian American Studies. Second, to illustrate the productivity of such engagement, this article analyzes the media coverage of an incident involving Hmong American farmers and their white neighbors in Eagan, Minnesota, June 2010. The focal question is how media discourses around farming and immigration serve to racialize Hmong American identities.This analysis shows that Hmong Americans experience “Asiatic racialization”in that they are either discursively cast outside of the imagined American nation, or included contingent upon assimilation and conformity. Critiquing both the exclusionary and assimilative narratives, this article explicates the inherent contradictions of the U.S.nationalism, referencing both existing Hmong Studies literature and Asian Americanist discourses on race and nation. Both bodies of work foreground the historical and social construction of identities, as well as the simultaneous, intertwined workings of race, class, gender/sexuality and nation. Critical dialogues could generate new ideas and possibilities for both Asian American Studies and Hmong Studies.
Abstract: The Hmong have several types of self-help organizations, classified accordingly to their purposes, to assist the Hmong to adapt to life in American culture. The central research question of this modest exploratory study relates to how these organizations have evolved over the years in terms of their programming focus and funding strategies. To answer this question, a qualitative approach is used to guide the collection and analysis of data.The study was conducted in the St. Paul/Minneapolis region from 2007 to 2012, where a large population of Hmong refugees has settled since the mid-1970s and where these organizations were founded.
Abstract: Prepared for the Seminar on Cultural Factors in the Prevention and Promotion of Gender-Based Violence held at UNESCO Bangkok on 17-18 May 2012, this article presents the current state of the subject in the patrilineal, patrilocal and patriarchal (H)mong society. After delineating carefully (H)mong GBV through rape, marriage customs, domestic verbal and physical abuses and,in some cases,murder, the author investigates the roots of GBV in different directions: gender asymmetry and inequality; tribal culture and the clan system; the function of the bride price; women’s social mobility in the U.S. and values clashes with American values. After a thorough anthropological analysis, the author concludes that GBV has nothing to do with the clan system, the backbone of the tribal society, but rather involves a long-lasting borrowing of Chinese patterns from the (H)mong past in Imperial China,which could be amended. Gender inequality will hopefully regress if shame, a powerful means of social control among the (H)mong, is used to deter GBV
Abstract: The passing of General Vang Pao in January 2011invoked many emotions throughout the Hmong communities in America and abroad and became an impetus for transitional leadership efforts in the Hmong American community. As such, the authors were compelled to share some thoughts on a leadership framework that could serve as a guide, resource, and reference for those who find themselves within leadership positions in the Hmong community. Our proposed framework consists of three major components: 1) knowledge of the Hmong leadership continuum, 2) the infusion of a culturally embedded leadership structure into one’s leadership style,and 3) an embracing of the key attributes of leadership. The leadership framework utilized in this commentary article is drawn from several key sources including the academic literature, ethnographic observations, and professional experiences.
Abstract: This commentary article discusses several examples of inaccurate information about the Hmong presented in contemporary materials produced by school district staff and/or published by mainstream publishers in the United States for use with the K-12 market to teach about Hmong culture and history.
Abstract: A book review of a scholarly compilation related to Hmong American identity.
Abstract: Review of a play focused on the Hmong American experience.
Abstract: Review of an introductory reader on Hmong culture.
Abstract: Utilizing 2010 data from the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey, this article discusses shifting Hmong population trends at the national, regional, metropolitan and census tract level. The article also assesses contemporary Hmong demographics across the U.S. including age distribution, gender distribution, disability status, health insurance coverage and naturalization and foreign-born status. Policy implications of the population and demographic trends presented in the article are discussed.
Abstract: This article examines Hmong socioeconomic trends from 1990 to 2010. A review of economic indicators across states and in relation to the U.S.population reveals that on an aggregate level, the Hmong American population’s socioeconomic status has improved significantly. The increases in income and earnings have, however, been shortchanged by external factors brought about partially by the financial crisis and its aftermath. Consequently, this begs us to question the extent to which such developments contribute to the overall economic well being of Hmong Americans.
Abstract: Using U.S. Census data from 1990 to 2010, this paper examines Hmong Americans’ language use, English language ability, school attendance, high school dropout rate, and educational attainment. The data reveal significant improvements in Hmong Americans’ English language ability, attendance at higher levels of education, and higher education completion. The data also show that there are differences between states, between males and females, and between age cohorts with respect to certain educational outcomes. Additionally, the gap between Hmong females and males in terms of high school dropouts and educational attainment has narrowed considerably. I discuss the implications of these findings and consider some of the persistent structural challenges that Hmong American students continue to face in K-12 public schools.
Abstract: Data from the American Community Survey (ACS) 2008-2010wereused to analyze the relationship between current marital status (divorced versus married) and sex,and to examine how this relationship varies for the Hmong across states. Women, when adjusted for age group and state of residence,were not significantly more likely than men to report that they were divorced.Those in Minnesota were almost two times more likely than those in California to report being divorced even after controlling for sex and age group.There was no significant difference in divorce reporting between Wisconsin and California Hmong. The findings suggest that divorced Hmong women,like divorced women in the United States in general, tend to remain unmarried for a longer period of time than their men counterparts.
Abstract: Since the first wave of their arrival to the U.S. over 30 years ago, the Hmong population has grown substantially. Although the focus on health disparities has led to improvements in recent decades in the health of the U.S. population as a whole, many non-white populations continue to lag behind. One such population is the Hmong. This article reviews medical studies since 1990 that focus on Hmong health issues and argues for long-term funding at the state and federal levels as well as immediate support to address the health needs of this significantly growing population. Furthermore, the authors argue that existing anecdotal reports and findings on the Hmong population require greater attention, further study, and a commitment to work for change.
Abstract: This paper discusses the complexities of assessing the current mental illness rate of the Hmong in the United States utilizing existing refereed journal articles as well as other sources. It is not intended to discuss mental health cultural competency practices with Hmong patients, an issue that has been addressed in other articles. The present article aims at assessing the current status of mental illness-related research data among Hmong Americans with the goal of encouraging researchers to develop research designs that will provide more substantive data related to Hmong mental health conditions as well as other correlated variables.
Abstract: This article draws on the idea of a more flexible category of citizenship from Michel Laguerre and Bonnie Honig, arguing that Kao Kalia Yang’s The Latehomecomer presents readers with a displacement narrative that negates national belonging and the traditional myth of immigrant America, and, instead, upholds an idea of self-identification that is based not on the nation-state, but on family continuity and finding refuge in writing.
Abstract: Since the initial resettlement of the Hmong in the United States in the mid-1970s, they have maintained strong political and military relationships with the Lao People‘s Democratic Republic (LPDR). Yet, there is little research on that relationship and the involvement of the Hmong in the United States in political developments in Laos. Most works on Hmong political activism have focused on the electoral participation and representation of Hmong Americans in relation to American domestic politics. In this article, using archival, ethnographic, and interview data that have collected between 2006 and 2009 in Laos, Thailand, and the United States, I describe and analyze the non-domestic or transnational form of Hmong American political expression and participation. I argue that Hmong political activism in America not only was transnational from the outset, but that their transnational involvement in political developments in Laos and their relations with the Lao PDR government also had a significant impact on their ethnic politics. Many Hmong political activists made their entry into ethnic politics through the door of transnational politics, and many were motivated by transnational political issues to participate in domestic American politics. By exploring their transnational involvement in political developments in Laos and their relations with the Lao PDR government, we get a more complete and dynamic understanding of Hmong political activism in the United States than is possible by focusing exclusively on domestic and electoral participation. Examining their transnational politics also allows us to see the transnationality of not only their culture, identity, and community but also that of their political activities and aspirations.
Abstract: Student awareness, usage, and perception of academic support programs were examined among 55 Hmong college students at a large, public western university. Twenty-eight students had participated in one or more ASPs while 27 students had not participated in any ASPs.Those who had participated found the programs to be supportive with an average rating of 7.39 out of 10 (10 being most supportive). The majority of students who did not participate in ASPs reported that they were not aware of ASPs and their services.Results also show that the majority of Hmong college students perceived a lack of time to study, poor study habits, lack of money, lack of motivation, lack of direction on career goals, and poor time management to be obstacles for them in higher education. Based on the findings, it seems ASPs were not able to reach some Hmong students with their outreach efforts. However, those that they were able to reach found academic support services helpful, especially with financial concerns and direction on career goals
Abstract: Using the American Community Survey‟s multi-year (2005-2009) Public Use Microdata Sample, we estimate the prevalence of English monolingualism and statistically analyze the association between English monolingualism and generational status within the U.S. Hmong population. Our findings show that the odds of speaking only English among the second generation is almost three times more compared to the first generation. Data from the 2009 ACS PUMS further indicate that there is a linear and positive relationship between generational status and English speaking ability. We discuss how English monolingualism, when reinforced by Hmong‟sage structure and immigration pattern, could impact Hmong Americans‟ rate of household linguistic isolation and their maintenance of oral tradition.
Abstract: Asian Americans have been viewed as a “model” minority by mainstream Americans for decades.Contrary to the model minority stereotype, however, Asian youth, especially Hmong and other Southeast Asians,are increasingly involved in crimes and delinquent activities.Yet, little research has focused on them, particularly Hmong youth. The present study addressed this gap in the literature by exploring the relative importance of individual, peer, family, and school factors in explaining Hmong youth‟s delinquent behavior in both male and female. Two hundred and six Hmong youth(115 males and 91 females), ages ranged from 11 to25 years old,from Minnesota participated in the survey. The survey results showed that antisocial attitudes, academic achievement, and the lack of the mother‟s monitoring were the three factors that significantly explained youth‟s chances of being involved in delinquent acts regardless of their gender. However, when the youth were examined separately by gender, the results showed significant variations.The study ends with a few strategies offered for parents and school officials to prevent and intervene with delinquent behavior in the Hmong community.
Abstract: In this work, the author clarifies and provides additional information about his anthropological work over the past several decades with Mong Master Shaman Xyooj Tsu Yob and his disciples. This commentary article is intended as a response to Dr. Nicholas Tapp’s “Perspectives on Hmong Studies” published in Volume 11 of the Hmong Studies Journal.
Abstract: This article provides a review of Better Places: a documentary that follows up with Hmong families who were originally part of a film produced in the early 1980s about the resettlement experiences of Hmong refugees in Providence, Rhode Island.
Abstract: There is a long history of Hmong migrations from the north to south. Most recently, Hmong have begun emerging in the southern-most parts of Laos, including Champasak and Attapeu Provinces, places where they never lived before, and some Hmong have tried to move south from Bolikhamxay to Khammouane Province.Southern Laos would appear to represent anew southern ̳frontier‘ for the Hmong. This article looks at the interactions between the Hmong who have attempted to migrate into southern Laos and the Lao and Mon-Khmer language-speaking peoples they have encountered. Some Hmong movements into southern Laos have been accepted, while others have not. Crucially, negative racialized stereotypes about the Hmong being aligned with anti-government resistance groups, and being inherently destructive of the environment—as unfair as they may be—have influenced the prejudiced responses in southern Laos to the arrival of the Hmong.Others simply see the Hmong as being difficult to get along with and administer(still another unfair stereotype). The cultural practices and habits of some Hmong arrivals have confused and upset some Mon Khmer language-speaking peoples in southern Laos. The movement of the Hmong from the north to the south, and the reactions of others to them, are important for understanding the ways Hmong are geographically positioning themselves, and how others are attempting to construct spaces and associated boundaries designed to restrict them. Thus,the focus of this article is on the reactions of others to the Hmong, and the way particular racialized boundaries have been developed.
Abstract: This study examines acculturation processes among Hmong who live in Eastern Wisconsin by using the East Asian Acculturation Measure(EAAM), which was developed by Barry (2001). The results indicated that in terms of Acculturation, Hmong ranked highest in integration, then separation, assimilation, and lastly marginalization. Questions on each dimension of integration, separation, assimilation, and marginalization were analyzed and positive correlations were found between the youngest of the generations, the length of residency in the United States, and the ability to speak, read, and write in English. In contrast, the older the age of the participant when they came to the United States had a positive correlation with separation. The ability to speak, read, and write in English had a positive correlation with assimilation, and the older the age of coming to the United States had a positive correlation with marginalization. Assimilation and separation had a positive correlation with marginalization, while integration had a negative correlation with marginalization and a positive correlation with assimilation, and separation had no correlation with marginalization. Results are discussed in regards to previous Hmong acculturation studies.
Abstract: This paper describes the development and implementation of a Hmong Cervical Cancer Intervention Program utilizing a patient navigation model to raise cervical cancer awareness for Hmong women through educational workshops and to assist Hmong women in obtaining a Pap test. Out of 402 women who participated in a baseline survey, the Patient Navigation Program was able to enroll 109participantswho had not had a Pap test in the past 3 years and had never had a Pap test.Through utilization of outreach, an awareness campaign and patient navigation support,at least 38percent of 109 participants obtained a Pap test.Overall, 21 workshops and 43 outreach activities were conducted by the Hmong Women’s Heritage Association, leading to 63 percent of those enrolled in the Patient Navigation Program who could be contacted to obtain a Pap test.
Abstract: One area in which anthropologists are concerned is in examining what the state of good health consists of from society to society, and what happens when practitioners of western medicine intersect with people who hold other explanations of well being. This paper explores how the western medical practices of childbirth in America are forced on Hmong refugee childbirth, and therefore, used as a continuation of governmentality, or refugee objectification. Ethnographic data is drawn from a case study of Hmong experiences with the birth process in an American hospital setting. Parallels are drawn between refugee resettlement programs which ultimately produce bodies that are objects of the state; and authoritative medical knowledge in childbirth which produces bodies that are objects of medicine. This research suggests that the American birth process becomes yet another site of refugee reprogramming and a struggle between western medicine and the refugee‟s understanding of experience.
Abstract: This study reports findings from a series of focus groups conducted on Hmong American university students. The purpose of the focus groups was to understand how, from the perspective of Hmong American students themselves, acculturative stress and parents influenced academic success. Findings of a thematic analysis centered on general themes across focus group respondents that related to parental socialization, gendered socialization, and ethnic identification. Each identified themes is discussed in reference to gendered patterns of experiences in Hmong American families and in reference to academic success.
Abstract: Bee Vang, of Minneapolis, played the Hmong lead Thao Vang Lor in Clint Eastwood's 2008 Gran Torino. He was sixteen when he shot the film and had no acting training. For 27 days on location in urban Detroit he played before a Hollywood crew opposite an icon of the film industry doing multiple takes of each scene and camera angle. The shoot was full of unexpected twists and turns some of which he recounts in these interchanges with Hmong media expert Louisa Schein of the Departments of Anthropology and Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. Over several conversations, condensed here, Vang and Schein talk about Gran Torino, about acting and film critique, about immigrants and stereotypes, about masculinity and sexuality, and about Vang's vision for what needs to change to address problems of race and inequality in and beyond media worlds.
Abstract:  This article consists of the text of a speech delivered by Dr. Nicholas Tapp on the occasion of receiving the Eagle Award for contributions to Hmong Studies at the Third International Conference on Hmong Studies at Concordia University, Saint Paul on April 10, 2010. The speech discusses how the author became involved in Hmong Studies and his assessment of several key issues confronting researchers studying Hmong culture and Hmong populations around the world.
Abstract: The Hmong are one of the fastest growing populations in Central California.Hmong refugee families arrived in Fresno in the late 1970s facing a variety of challenges regarding their traditional health beliefs and the customs of mainstream Western biomedicine. Differing and sometimes conflicting perceptions about physical disabilities have resulted in painful misunderstandings between Hmong families and Western health care providers.The aim of this paper is to present a review of some of the Hmong health belief literature concerning physical disabilities in children. It also includes commentaries from those who work with the Hmong families of physically disabled children
Abstract: In traditional Hmong life, women produced complex textiles as markers of clan identity and cultural values. Paj ntaub (flower cloth), created by embroidery, appliqué, reverse appliqué, and indigo batik (among the Blue or Green Hmong), were primary transmitters of Hmong culture from one generation to the next over centuries. Clothing, funeral and courtship cloths, baby carriers and hats were designed with traditionally geometric, abstract patterns Hmong could understand as a shared visual language within an oral culture. This photo essay introduces the author’s twenty-five year fascination with paj ntaub and documents a trip to Laos and northern Thailand in November/December 2009 to discover whether story cloths were being produced in Hmong villages in Laos or if story cloths remain a product of refugees only. The researcher also hoped to learn whether traditional Hmong clothing is still produced and worn in the Laos, to observe how Hmong textiles are made and consumed for a tourist market, and to discover possible sources for the dramatic shift in paj ntaub visual language from symbolic abstraction to pictorial representation.
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Hmong Studies Journal Submission Guidelines

Deadline: May 30 of the calendar year for the subsequent volume which will be published in the month of December.

The Hmong Studies Journal will accept the following types of submissions:

  • Original Research Articles

  • Book/Video Documentary Reviews

  • Letters/Commentary Articles related to important scholarly issues in Hmong Studies and/or in response to other published scholarly works in Hmong Studies

  • Photo Essays (with Narratives) that inform about the adaptation of the Hmong diaspora and various aspects of the Hmong culture

Please note: As a peer-reviewed journal, the Hmong Studies Journal reserves the right to suggest and request revisions to any submitted article. The editors, editorial board and blind peer reviewers of the Hmong Studies Journal will review all articles and subsequent drafts for possible submission and will decide whether articles are to be accepted or declined.

Original Research Article manuscripts should be submitted in "Uniform format" and should be organized, as follows:

1.  Abstract
2.  Introduction/Background
3.  Methods [and Material]
4.  Results
5.  Discussion
6.  References

Manuscript Review Form used by the Hmong Studies Journal's Blind Peer Reviewers to Assess Articles for Publication 

Hmong Studies Journal Acceptance/Rejection Rates 

Published articles will be shared with scholarly databases as part of content sharing agreements the Hmong Studies Journal has with EBSCO, Gale/Cengage, ProQuest, Asia-Studies Full-Text and the Directory of Open Access Journals.

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