Hmong Culture Club as a Place of Belonging: The Cultivation of Hmong Students' Cultural and Political Identities

Bic Ngo
June 2015
Journal of Southeast Asian American Education & Advancement;2015 Special, Vol. 10 Issue 2, preceding p1
Academic Journal
In this article, I draw on a year-long ethnographic study of an after school "Hmong Culture Club" to illuminate the ways in which it provides students with a place of belonging. I reveal the ways in which Hmong students in this setting take up ideologies of multiculturalism in response to a sense of the "loss" of Hmong culture. I explore the ways in which the Hmong Club provided Hmong students with a place to belong that simultaneously cultivated their cultural and political identities. Ultimately, I suggest that school extracurricular cultural clubs may provide insights to subtractive schooling (Valenzuela, 1999) as well as ways forward for understanding the importance of spaces for (ethnic, racial) group identity. This article will advance knowledge of the spaces of co-curricular ethnic student clubs that are the contexts for the changing dynamics of immigrant culture and identity.


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