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  • Thumbnail for "A self-discovery adventure" : the influence of American wilderness on Hmong refugee identity formation
    "A self-discovery adventure" : the influence of American wilderness on Hmong refugee identity formation by Hedlund, Rachel

    Although there is an emerging body of literature on ethnic groups and natural resource use in America, there is not much research regarding specific ethnic groups and their interactions with the American wilderness. This thesis explores the relationship between the American social constructions of wilderness and a specific refugee population in America—the Hmong people. Interviews were conducted with participants in the Twin Cities of Minnesota with conversations focusing on identity and wilderness interactions. These interviews revealed that the Hmong, a Southeast Asian people with a deeply rooted connection to nature interact with the wilderness in ways that differ from the American norm. Yet, through segmented assimilation, younger generations of Hmong have also acculturated to the American perception of wilderness as a place of self-discovery.