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Diversity in DiasporaHmong Americans in the Twenty-First Century$
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Mark Edward Pfeifer, Monica Chiu, and Kou Yang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835972

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835972.001.0001

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An Analysis of Poverty in Hmong American Communities

An Analysis of Poverty in Hmong American Communities

(p.66) 3 An Analysis of Poverty in Hmong American Communities
Diversity in Diaspora

Yang Sao Xiong

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter investigates the causes of and solutions to socioeconomic immobility in the Hmong American community. It assesses the key factors that make poverty an enduring problem for Hmong in two central California counties by collecting their own views about poverty and economic well-being and strategies for counteracting economic hardship. The chapter argues that the conditions of poverty in Hmong American communities are better explained by “segmented assimilation theory” than by “culture of poverty” arguments. Furthermore, it suggests that the segmented assimilation theory can be strengthened by clarifying how key institutions in the contexts of reception facilitate or constrain individuals' opportunities. The chapter finds that one small step toward combating poverty here emerges through political advocacy that exists Hmong American communities.

Keywords:   socioeconomic immobility, poverty analysis, poverty, economic hardship, segmented assimilation theory, culture of poverty

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