Alternatives to Diasporic Return: Imagining Homelands and Temporary Visits Among Hmong Americans

  • Sangmi Lee


This chapter focuses on the Hmong diaspora, which has a long history of migratory dispersal and whose members have become uncertain of the exact location of their country of ancestral ethnic origin over time. Due to this condition, there have been multiple destinations for return imagined by diasporic Hmong, which includes China, Thailand, and Laos. This chapter ethnographically illustrates the ways in which countries of ancestral origin are defined and imagined differently among diasporic Hmong descendants in the USA. It demonstrates that not being able to return to the homeland of ancestral origin can still produce multiple alternatives, such as temporary visits and vague imaginings of possible return, but with the proviso that permanent returns are not feasible to a certain extent.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sangmi Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social and Behavioral SciencesArizona State UniversityGlendaleUSA

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