Southeast Asian Refugees and Immigrants in the Mill City: Changing Families, Communities, Institutions-- Thirty Years Afterward

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Tuyet-Lan Pho, Jeffrey N. Gerson, Sylvia R. Cowan
UPNE, 2007 - History - 227 pages
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This timely volume examines the influx immigrants from Southeast Asia to Lowell, Massachusetts, over the past thirty or so years. Numbering about 20,000 people—a very significant one-fifth of the city’s population—these are primarily refugees and their offspring who fled genocide, war, and oppression in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in the late 1970s and resettled in the United States. The Lowell experience is representative of a truly national phenomenon: communities in Long Beach, Orange County, and San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston and Dallas, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Northern Virginia; and Southern Florida have experienced similar population growth.

The historical and contemporary essays chronicle the formidable efforts of Lowell’s Southeast Asian community to recreate itself and its identity amid poverty, discrimination, and pressures to assimilate.
They also examine the transformation that has occurred of both newcomers and the community at large.
This process provides opportunities for growth but also challenges past practices in the city and state. In this volume, contributors approach the subject from points of view rooted in anthropology, political science, economics, sociology, education, and community psychology. Their work contributes to a broader understanding of U.S. refugee policy, migration, identity and group formation, political adaptation, social acculturation, and community conflict—major issues today in New England and the nation.
  

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Contents

Jeffrey N Gerson Sylvia R Cowan and TuyetLan
3
Lowell Politics and the Resettlement of Southeast Asian
10
The Phenomenon
19
Cultural Adaptation and Transnationalism
47
f Family Education and Academic Performance among
69
Does the System Work for Cambodian American Students?
88
Civic Engagement Community
112
Reinterpreting the Past Finding
131
y The Battle for Control of the Trairatanaram
153
Exploring the Psychosocial Adjustment of Khmer Refugees
173
When Host Communities Become
192
Conclusion and Recommendations for Future Research
207
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About the author (2007)

TUYET-LAN PHO is Director Emerita of the Center for Diversity and Pluralism at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She studies the experiences of Southeast Asians in the United States and has written extensively on Southeast Asian youth and education. JEFFREY N. GERSON is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. His most recent book (co-edited) is Latino Politics in Massachusetts (2002). SYLVIA R. COWAN is Associate Professor and Program Director for the Intercultural Relations Program in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Science at Lesley University. She is researching the experiences of expatriate Cambodians who have returned to their homeland.

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