Thesis

Becoming Vietnamese American : on Vietnamese American inherited trauma and ethnic identity

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between transgenerational trauma and ethnic identity development for second generation Vietnamese American college students to develop a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which Vietnam War-related trauma informs the "ved experiences of this population. This research is exploratory in its aim and primarily seeks to address the question of: How is inherited trauma expressed and understood in the lives of second generation Vietnamese American college students on individual, familial, and community levels? How do transgenerational transmissions of trauma, or trauma inheritance, impact the ethnic identity development of second generation Vietnamese American college students? Through a qualitative, ethnographic analysis utilizing semi-structured, in-depth interviews, this research attempts to capture and frame the narratives of second generation Vietnamese American college students and the processes that contribute to “becoming Vietnamese American” through the lens of centering transgenerational transmission of trauma.

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