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Segmentary Kinship in an Urban Society: The Hmong of St. Paul-Minneapolis

Timothy Dunnigan
Anthropological Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 3, Southeast Asian Refugees in the U.S.A.: Case Studies of Adjustment and Policy Implications (Jul., 1982), pp. 126-134
DOI: 10.2307/3318022
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3318022
Page Count: 9
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Segmentary Kinship in an Urban Society: The Hmong of St. Paul-Minneapolis
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Abstract

Laotian Hmong refugees living in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area of Minnesota have a segmentary social system based on agnatic descent. The nuclear family is embedded in the corporate sub-lineage, which has important reciprocal agreements with clan and affinal relatives. The various sub-lineages also belong to pyramidal economic and political networks that complement kinship. These networks are linked to a national leadership that works through local mutual assistance associations. Because of their experience in Laos, the Hmong are trying to retain these segmentary structures as a way of coping with resettlement in U. S. A.

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