Culture Consciousness Among Hmong Immigrant Leaders: Beyond the Dichotomy of Cultural Essentialism and Cultural Hybridity

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Abstract

This article illustrates the culture consciousness of Hmong immigrant community leaders as they made sense of the educational experiences of Hmong American children and families. It draws on the work of scholars who have theorized "critical" essentialism to suggest that Hmong leaders are critically aware of the role and import of dominant culture in shaping the contours of Hmong children's education. The analysis brings attention to "culture consciousness"-a lens for analyzing immigrant education that highlights the deployment of culture as social critique and political strategy. This research complicates the essentialist versus anti-essentialist binary for analyzing culture and disrupts the tendency to portray immigrant parents and adults as entrenched in a reified culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-990
Number of pages33
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

Keywords

  • Hmong
  • Southeast Asian American education
  • culture
  • immigrant
  • qualitative

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