Ausgabe 17

The Vietnamese American Buddhist Youth Association

A community of practice for learning civic skills

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Deborah Reed-Danahay

Ethno-religious youth groups foster civic engagement for the children of immigrants in the United States. This article adopts the concept of the «community of practice» (Lave & Wenger 1991) to analyze the ways in which a youth association at a Vietnamese Buddhist temple in north-central Texas teaches civic skills. This group contributes both to cultural reproduction within the Vietnamese diaspora and to new productions of meaning and participation that facilitate a «belonging» in the new host country. This approach sees youth as active participants in the production of skills, practice, and knowledge in settings of informal learning.