Under the Knife: Medical 'Noncompliance' in Hmong Immigrants

Awarded Scholars:
Alex J. Hu, Peking Union Medical University
Project Date:
May 2006
Award Amount:
Project Programs:
Cultural Contact

Group disparities in healthcare are well established. Economic and cultural differences, including patients’ lack of knowledge of Western medical practice and doctors’ lack of understanding of patients’ diverse cultures, have an effect on healthcare and health outcomes for patients. Although studies of these issues among larger minority groups in the United States are common, there have been few efforts to document this phenomenon among smaller cultural groups. Now, Alex Hu will write a book that examines the Hmong community in central California, and their history of noncompliance with the Western medical system. He will use participant observation, case studies, and recorded encounters between doctors and patients to examine the discord between Hmong culture and the culture of American medicine.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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