Dress and acculturation : clothing transitions of the Mien Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9k41zh59n

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  • The Mien are recent United States immigrants from Laos. They left Southeast Asia at a time of great political upheaval. Because of their close ties with United States governmental operations during the Southeast Asian war, conditions for Mien in Laos made flight imperative as Pathet Lao forces now control the country. A major portion of Mien immigrants have settled in Portland, Oregon. Mien costume is colorful and elaborate. Textile processes employed include embroidery, applique, and braiding. Specific information about Mien dress was not evident in literature sources. Changes in appearance of Portland Mien indicated a change in their clothing use. The purpose of this study was to record these changes and note under what conditions the changes occurred. The interplay between dress, ethnicity, and acculturation was explored. Thirty Portland Mien respondents answered specific questions about ethnicity and clothing use during the period between January and June, 1982. Responses were coded and relationship between ethnicity and clothing was tested by the use of the chi-square statistic. A chi-square value of 4.46 was attained with one degree of freedom (.05) p>.02), thus indicating that the two variables were not independent. Open-ended interviews were initiated to collect detailed information on clothing construction and garment design. Several interviews were conducted with non-Mien persons who had special knowledge of Mien culture. It was found that Western garb has largely replaced traditional garments for everyday use by all Portland Mien except the elderly. Baby hats, hand bags, baby packs, and jewelry were the only items that remained in current, everyday use. Women wore traditional garments to formal affairs; however, very few men continued traditional dress use. Acculturation theory was supported by examples from the Portland Mien. Tangible objects were more easily adopted than intangible things such as patterns of behavior. Adoption of new culture elements took place when economic or social advantage was gained. Forms transferred before meanings associated with the forms. In some cases, incomplete patterns of usage of adopted elements were observed.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-09-20T15:10:31Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 HoffmanElizabthLee1983.pdf: 5562880 bytes, checksum: 62be78f2fc044c354dbadd75f0a9fbe5 (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-09-20T15:12:27Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 HoffmanElizabthLee1983.pdf: 5562880 bytes, checksum: 62be78f2fc044c354dbadd75f0a9fbe5 (MD5)

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