The first scholarly work to come from inside the Hmong community, Hmong America documents Chia Youyee Vang's own migration from Laos to Minnesota at age nine and the transformations she has witnessed in Hmong communities throughout the migration and settlement processes. Vang depicts Hmong experiences in Asia and examines aspects of community building in America to reveal how new Hmong identities have been formed and how they have challenged popular assumptions about race and ethnicity in multicultural America. With an approach that intermingles the archival research of a historian, the personal experiences of a refugee, and the participant-observer perspectives of a community insider, Vang constructs a nuanced and complex portrait of the more than 130,000 Hmong people who came to the United States as political refugees beginning in the mid-1970s. She offers critiques of previous representations of the Hmong community and provides the sociological underpinnings for a bold reassessment of Hmong history in the greater context of globalization.
"Chia Youyee Vang is a skilled historian and is among the scholars with the most expertise on Hmong American communities. Using a pathbreaking blend of archival and ethnographic evidence, she presents a unique interpretation of Hmong refugees and their descendants in the United States that cannot be found in any other existing work."--Jeremy Hein, author of "Ethnic Origins: The Adaptatation of Cambodian and Hmong Refugees in Four American Cities"