Neoliberalism impacts the implementation of diversity in higher education, consequently this affects the place and meaning of diversity as it relates to Hmong students. Within the neoliberal university, diversity is increasingly co-opted to stand for institutional inclusivity and implemented to silence critiques about the academic industrial complex. I consider and examine the interplay between “neoliberal diversity” and Hmong students’ experiences at the University of California, Merced (UC Merced). I use critical refugee scholar Yên Lê Espiritu’s (2014) refugee framework and Indigenous scholar Glen Coulthard’s (2014) self-recognition model to examine the Hmong Student Association. The data for this study is from a larger project that involves historical analysis, archival research, and interviews. My preliminary findings suggest that Hmong students problematize UC Merced’s diversity. I argue that Hmong students’ presence and actions force an interrogation of “neoliberal diversity” at the neoliberal university and they redefine recognition for themselves by creating belonging and building community and solidarity through their actions. This article counters the deficit discourse of Hmong students in education studies in that it reveals Hmong students have agency in creating their own belonging and lived experiences on campus.
Xiong, May Kao
"“Neoliberal Diversity” at the University of California, Merced: Hmong Students Creating Belonging and Building Community,"
Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement: Vol. 18
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jsaaea/vol18/iss2/7