Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Vietnamese American identities: How race, gender, and class are reflected in cultural, language, and technological barriers
by Nguyen, XuanTruong Thi, Ph.D., Washington State University, 2011, 233; 3460412
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the intersections of race, gender, class with language, cultural and technological barriers as reflected in the experience of first and 1.5 generation Vietnamese American refugees, immigrant parents, and their children in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and the surrounding areas. Most Vietnamese interviewees in my study face barriers to upward mobility, racial conflicts outside the home, and are portrayed as "others." This study adds new knowledge by examining how technological barriers hinder Vietnamese immigrants in their struggles to overcome racial, class, and gender discrimination during acculturation.

Chapter One investigates how post-racial theory is a myth and how "model minority" stereotypes still haunt Asian Americans regardless of their English proficiency and technological skills. Chapter Two analyzes four case studies on how Vietnamese American women juggle work and family under socioeconomic hardships. They are subject to unfair, if not intensely exploitative, treatment in the workplace, and have very limited access to available resources. Chapter Three explores complex interactions concerning generational solidarity and conflicts between first and 1.5 generation Vietnamese immigrant parents and their children in the greater Seattle area. It explores whether the consumption of digital media technology, such as Internet sites, CDs, DVDs, and video games, creates more parent-child conflicts than harmonious relations for these families. Chapter Four argues the multifaceted relationships between Vietnamese American students, their parents, and teachers, impact each of them as they interact through technology and education. These students experience technology gaps during family-school interaction based on racial, socioeconomic, and parental involvement and educational status. Chapter Five examines complex ways in which the web environment affects father-children communication concerning job and gender reversal roles. My observation shows that while many Vietnamese fathers still uphold traditional gender roles in their families, they tend to encourage daughters to improve technological skills and academic achievement. My findings demonstrate that regardless of socioeconomic hardships, racial and gender inequalities, and technological barriers, many Vietnamese American parents, regardless of marital status, try to overcome these struggles to rebuild their new lives, bridge the digital divide, and be part of the mainstream society.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ong, Rory
Commitee: Meuth, Judy, Streamas, John, Thoma, Pamela
School: Washington State University
Department: American Studies
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 72/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Womens studies, Educational technology
Keywords: Digital divide, Gender, Language barriers, Racial inequality, Vietnamese-American
Publication Number: 3460412
ISBN: 9781124721989
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