Language and Culture.

Learning Goal: I’m working on a psychology question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

For this discussion post, we’ll be thinking more about about the website: Between Two Worlds: Stories of Hmong Americans in Minnesota

Consider this quote about the metaphor in the title, between two worlds.

“Indeed, most Hmong nowadays are living between two worlds, trying to maintaining their own history, tradition and belief while embracing the American dream, custom, and culture. The endeavor to better understand these two worlds forms the central thread of this on-going project, through which their unique stories and experiences can be shared.”

Choose one person from individuals in the “Stories” menu and one person from individuals in the “Hmong Women” menu and spend some time listening to their interviews and reading their quotes. As you learn about them, work on making two lists of words – one side for words that represent the Hmong history, tradition, & belief, and one side for word that represent the American dream, custom, & culture. You should look for at least 10 words for each section, and if words get repeated a lot – start counting – repetition is a way to add emphasis to something that’s important. Include counts in your word lists. You should copy and paste your table into a discussion post, and then answer the questions below.

Additional Questions:
  • Choose one word from each box that seems important or interesting to you – look up and copy/paste the denotative meanings into your post. (You may make this a list.)
  • Now, think about how the person used these words. Are their connotative references the same or different from the denotative meanings? Explain what changes and why you think there is variation, or consistency in the meanings. (You may make this a list with 2-3 sentences for each word.)
  • What do the four words that you have been studying mean to you? What is your connotative relationship to these words, and how is it similar or different from the way it was used by the individual in the interview? (You may make this a list with 2-3 sentences for each word.


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