Hmong Studies Journal (Dec 2013)

Of Pride and Pencils: Deconstructing the Role of Ethnic Pride in Hmong Adolescent Identity Formation

  • Jacqueline Nguyen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 1
pp. 1 – 19


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This study examines the ways that Hmong adolescents describe ethnic pride and how their descriptions are informed by perceptions of collective and social identities. Data from semi-structured interviews with 25 Hmong adolescents age 12-18 were thematically analyzed with attention to affective versus behavioral aspects of ethnic pride and the role of collective or social group identities in adolescent pride perceptions or expressions. Results indicate that Hmong adolescents view affective and behavioral components of ethnic pride as distinct and evaluated self and peer pride along these two dimensions. Moreover, pride was found to be defined as both an individual characteristic and a social construct, and the perception and expression of the term was informed by Hmong adolescent peer groups and collective identities.