Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2016 Lekey S. Leidecker. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Sarah Willie-LeBreton

Second Advisor

Roseann Liu


My research illuminates the ways that the Tibetan Children’s Village Summer School program, despite its positive intentions, does in fact reinforce a fixed Tibetan identity by intertwining authenticity with a specific set of embodied experiences that do not match that of Tibetan youth living in the United States. Drawing on MacPherson’s (2011) “Fallacies About Language Sustainability” and recommendations for cultural preservation education, I evaluate the summer program’s curriculum as insufficient for promoting new articulations of Tibetan identity that reflects participants’ lived experiences in the United States, and argue that the current system in fact is exacerbating the difficulties that these youth experience in formulating their identities while while also keeping them from developing relationships across diasporic divides, a “lost opportunity to forge connections between exile and homeland” (Yeh 2007, p. 666).