Abstract 4- Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 2010

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 2010



Hmong Adolescent Conceptions of Citizenship

Annettte M. M. Simmons
University of Minnesota


The purpose of this qualitative, interpretive, study is to help us better understand how a small group of Hmong immigrant adolescents conceptualize their political and civic citizenship in the United States. Three focus groups including a total of 18 Hmong middle/junior high school adolescents were carried out in order to garner data. Upon data analysis and interpretation, it was determined that study participants consider rights and responsibilities important to citizenship in a democracy and participate in various social, political, academic, and environmental activities. Study participants emphasize the community good over personal self-interests. As Hmong culture tends to be more collectivist in nature, this value orientation may be incompatible with the curriculum, instruction, and philosophy that students experience in public schools: Hmong youth may experience educational disadvantage. Adolescents in this study are developing their conceptions of citizenship within a racialized, hierarchical society and they explained their experiences with racialization and how they understand white privilege.

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About the Author(s)…

Annette M. M. Simmons, doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Minnesota, and a former middle school social studies teacher. Her research interests include civic education, political socialization, international & middle level social studies education, & staff development. She can be contacted at mill0071@umn.edu.

Citation for this Article: Simmons, A. M. M. (2010). Hmong adolescent conceptions of citizenship. Social Studies Research & Practice, 5(2), 23-46. Retrieved from http://www.socstrp.org/issues/PDF/5.2.4.pdf.