The Adaptation of Cambodian and Hmong Refugees in Four American Cities
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
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About the Author
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In 1997 President Clinton announced his intention to create a national dialogue about race. No American president had ever voluntarily confronted this social problem. Clinton unveiled his ambitious Initiative on Race in a commencement address at the University of CaliforniaâSan Diego. ...
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Part I: Ideas
1. Immigrants and Culture
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The colonization by France of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the mid-nineteenth century initiated the historical forces that would bring Southeast Asian refugees to the United States in the late twentieth century. During the intervening years the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the...
2. Ethnic Origins
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The sociologists Michael Omi and Howard Winantâs (1994, 60) influential theory of racial formation is based on the idea that âeverybody learns some combination, some version of the rules of racial classification.â This socialization occurs very differently for natives and immigrants, however. ...
Part II: Peoples
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Cambodian refugees come from a âhybrid cultureâ (Chandler 1996, 80) and thus arrive in the United States thinking that ethnic boundaries are porous and that ethnic identities are liminal. A well-known origin story symbolizes their worldview. It concerns an Indian prince named Kambu,...
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Only 350 miles separate Angkor Wat from the Plain of Jars, the area of Laos where the Hmong once claimed autonomy (see figure 3.1). Yet the Hmong and the Khmer have opposite ethnic origins. A well-known story about Hmong origins illustrates this difference. A brother and sister...
Part III: Places
5. Small-Town Hospitality and Hate
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Whites accounted for nearly 100 percent of residents in Eau Claire and Rochester when refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia began arriving in the mid-1970s. The first arrivals came directly from Southeast Asia via the federal resettlement program organized by the U.S....
6. Ethnic Succession in the Urban Pecking Order
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In small midwestern cities Southeast Asian refugees brought a new kind of diversity, but in Chicago and Milwaukee they were just the latest installment in a century of ethnic succession. Southern blacks began arriving in Chicago and Milwaukee during World War I, followed by...
Part IV: Identities
7. Asian American
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"ASIANâ is commonly used by government officials, the media, and social scientists to name people. It appears on all documents that ask about a personâs race, from birth certificates and college admission forms to surveys by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and sociologists. âAsianâ...
8. American Citizen
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Many policy makers think of U.S. citizenship as one of the last identities that can foster a sense of unity in our increasingly diverse society. President Clintonâs Advisory Board on Race recommended developing programs âfor both immigrants and those born in the United States,...
Part V: Inequalities
9. Societal Racism
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âThe American dilemmaâ is one of the most enduring phrases to emerge from twentieth-century social-science research. Gunnar Myrdal (1944/1962) coined this term in his landmark study of African Americansâ inequality in the United States. His book quickly became âan epoch-making...
10. Group Stereotypes
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In everyday life, inequality often manifests itself as prejudice, a pre-judging of individuals on the basis of their group membership. Stereotyping is one of the central mechanisms in prejudice (Fiske 1998). People with prejudices have preexisting negative beliefs about particular groups,...
11. Institutional Discrimination
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Racial and ethnic stereotypes are among the vilest manifestations of social inequality, but the actual deprivation of rights results from discrimination, which means unequal treatment. Discrimination often involves the abuse of power by individuals whose positions in institutions...
12. Political Mobilization
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Severe prejudice and discrimination against a people transform them into a minority group because they are more likely than other people in the society to repeatedly experience social inequality. In the first social science definition of the concept minority, the sociologist Louis Wirth...
Part VI: Implications
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Policy makers, journalists, and social scientists often attribute the new challenges of diversity in the United States to the fact that blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are becoming a larger proportion of the population in major cities, populous states, and American society as a whole. ...
Appendix A: Overview of Methodologies
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Appendix B: Details of Methodologies
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Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2006
Series Title: American Sociological Association Rose Series