Theses Doctoral

To Follow the New Rule or Way": Hmong Refugee Resettlement and the Practice of American Religious Pluralism

Borja, Melissa May

This dissertation explores the impact of refugee migration and American refugee resettlement policies on the religious lives of Hmong refugees resettled in the in the United States between 1976 and 1990. Despite efforts to make refugee assistance a secular and religiously neutral enterprise, resettlement placed pressure for religious conformity on Hmong refugees and set in motion several changes in Hmong religious life. First, refugee resettlement imposed pressures on the practice of indigenous Hmong religion. Second, refugee resettlement facilitated Hmong adoption of Christianity, which Hmong people incorporated into their religious lives for their own purposes and in their own ways. Finally, Hmong people adapted and reinvented their indigenous beliefs and practices, as well as its institutions and identifications, in order to preserve their indigenous religious traditions.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Ngai, Mae
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 25, 2014