Emily Nguyen

An Exploration of Identity Crises of Millennial Asian Americans

Mentor: Peter Huk

Proposed Project

After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, a flood of South Vietnamese refugees began a mass migration to the US. While these immigrants were spread all over the United States, most settled in concentrated areas of California and Texas, leading to the emergence of Vietnamese ethnoburbs. However, an observable discord and apathy with the broader American community became apparent as immigrant began to find a familiar and comfortable community in this unfamiliar locale. My goal is to analyze how this immigration pattern affected political sentiments and participation among Vietnamese Americans in the United States by looking at academic research and media as well as interview transcripts, which will be mainly derived from the UC Irvine Vietnamese American Oral History Project database. I hope that at the conclusion of my project I will be able to bring cultural awareness to those outside the Vietnamese American community as well as find and present ways to increase political participation within the Vietnamese community.

Final Project

Despite being a second-generation immigrant and child of Vietnam War refugees, I was never able to fully contextualize the events of the war (and the mass immigration that ensued) in relation to my life…I only had bits and pieces of the stories. So, I sought to gain a better understanding of my own history, the broader Vietnamese American history, and their intersections with Asian Americans intra-group relations and the overarching American racial landscape. My project ​Metamorphosis ​includes a collection of introspective essays that both share the personal experiences of Vietnam War immigrants and raise awareness of issues of race and identity in the United States

Here’s a link to Metamorphosis.