Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Asian Americans as a whole have been portrayed as “model minorities” due to their higher degree of socioeconomic success compared to the average population. However, this “model minority” stereotype primarily based upon the voluntary immigration experiences of East and South Asians with greater socio-economic resources, hardly accounts for the immigration experiences of other Asian groups such as Hmong Americans. Utilizing extensive literature review, first person interviews and collected survey data, this paper explores Hmong diaspora and identity in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, analyzing how Hmong Americans reconcile with the stereotypes set for Asian “model minorities” and construct their own unique identities. Through adopting the “Asian diaspora” perspective, this paper examines the ways Hmong Americans in the Twin Cities area create their personal identities through various connections to the history and memory of war, the refugee experience of moving across spaces, family networks and relations, as well as the localized experience of urban livelihoods. Due to the Twin Cities Hmong community’s large size and diversity -- standing as one of the primary Hmong hubs in the U.S. and home to various Hmong social, cultural, and political organizations -- studying this community helps contribute a more nuanced understanding of the multitude of Hmong American urban identities.



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