Sources of coherence in the life stories of Cambodian American women at the university

Vichet Chhuon, Amy Kyratzis, Cynthia Hudley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article uses a life story framework (Linde, 1993) to examine the educational experiences of Cambodian American women college students. The literature suggests that Cambodian American female students experience particular educational challenges related to the gendered expectations of their cultural group. Two main themes emerged from analyses of participants' life stories produced during interviews: (a) concerns of family obligation and (b) reconciliation of their college departure. Each of the participants perceived herself as adhering to traditional Cambodian values because each maintained a strong sense of family obligation. However, they sought to fulfill their family obligation in new ways that allowed for increased independence and pursuit of university study. This study argues for the value of a life story perspective for informing research and educators about ways to better understand and serve Cambodian American women students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-362
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Language, Identity and Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Asian American students
  • Cambodian American students
  • Immigrant students
  • Life story
  • Narrative


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