Making Laos in DFW : Laotian community building, mutual aid, and identity formations

Access full-text files




Link, Ashley Lynn

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis examines the history of Laotian migration to Dallas-Fort Worth, how Laotian people established themselves here, and how they negotiated their sense of belonging in the U.S. Drawing from interviews, ethnography, and autoethnography, I argue that mutual aid systems, emerging nonprofits and cultural centers, and reinterpretations of gender in the Laotian community are significant sites that reveal how Laotian refugee experience of displacement and resettlement are not simply experiences of hardship, but also that of creative community building, networks of care, and knowledge production and theorizing. I explore the various ways Laotian refugees have maintained or asserted their ethnic identities and culture and argue that these processes cannot be separated from United States’ decimation of Laos nearly half a decade prior and refugee policy. Through this project, I aim to fill a critical gap in Asian American Studies and highlight the important stories, experiences, and histories of Laotian refugees and honor a community that continues to fight against the legacies of U.S. war-making


LCSH Subject Headings