Term

Summer 2017

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Michelle Benegas

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Stacy Boehm

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Jessica Irwin

Abstract

The research design attempted to examine racial and ethnic identities’ construction in adolescent Hmong girls by addressing two critical questions: (1) How do adolescent Hmong girls construct their own racial and ethnic identities within the Hmong and dominant White cultures? and (2) How does exposure to Hmong women of influence impact their racial and ethnic identities? In order to gain a comprehensive perspective of how adolescent Hmong girls construct their identities, multiple assessment tools such as the Multidimensional Inventory of Hmong Identity and pre- and post interviews were implemented to collect reliable and valid information so that answers to the research questions could be formulated. Both quantitative and qualitative data reveal that while adolescents continue to construct their identities, they rely on their cultural precepts to shape their knowledge of who they are, how they and society construct their identities, how they interact with the world, and how the world interacts with them. I referenced cultural precepts as cultural assets that students bring from their culture including their languages, traditions, customs, foods, behaviors, music, beliefs, values, practices, etc. Because of these cultural assets, adolescent Hmong girls can construct their racial and ethnic identities in powerful ways that help deepen their awareness about who they were, who they are now, and who they will become.

Research Methodology

Case Study

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