Thesis

Sino-Vietnamese immigrant identity and assimilation

Sino-Vietnamese have established a presence in Vietnam since the second century. They thrived and prospered even though they were independent, non-interacting, non-assimilating and distant to the indigenous Vietnamese culture. During the 70's and 80's, a large influx of Sino-Vietnamese came to the United States. They acquired yet another status. They became ethnic Chinese in the United States. Sino-Vietnamese had to confront their identity issues in their home country and then in their new one as immigrants to the U.S. How did Sino-Vietnamese view themselves in their new country? How did the host country view them? If they were regarded differently, what set them apart from the Vietnamese? What are the factors that influence their success or failure in their new environment? What courses of events lead them to where they are today? There has been little attention devoted to investigate Sino-Vietnamese identity and their assimilation in terms of the American educational experience. Most of the Sino-Vietnamese immigrants are multilingual and multicultural immigrants. Factors to be considered in this paper include: their ethnic identity in Vietnam, current ethnic identity issues, family, cultural background, linguistic issues, and turns of historical event for Sino-Vietnamese and how these factors affected their educational experiences. A few available studies in this area have indicated conflicting results. There is practically no literature available when this topic is further narrowed to Sino-Vietnamese who arrived in the United States approximately during puberty age. This paper explores Sino-Vietnamese' s identity of themselves in America and how that identity affects their success or failure in the American educational experience. It will examine their past educational failures, successes, progress, process and present status of six Sino-Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in the United States at or around puberty and compare the status of these subjects to prior studies and claims in regards to this particular group of Sino-Vietnamese.

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