While all societies construct, negotiate and manipulate gender roles and concepts, which are therefore subject to change, nowhere is the opportunity for studying this creative formulation of gender models greater than in refugee communities. These populations have been torn from older cultural contexts (which are themselves rapidly changing) and placed in new and alien circumstances to which they must adjust. Such adjustments often must be made rapidly. In societies in which ethnic identity becomes an issue (as when ethnic groups differ in some important ways from the dominant societies in which they are locatedas is the case with most refugee groups), gender concepts and roles may become one of the important dimensions of ethnic difference and therefore of the ethnic identity of such groups. Both the attempts to reconstruct previous gender roles and attempts to change them are ordinary aspects of the refugee experience; both involve creative adaptive responses to new settings. The study of these processes provides us with an opportunity to understand how gender roles may be changed by refugees in establishing a new ethnic identity. This chapter1 examines both men’s and women’s roles and interactions in order to better understand the dynamics of gender role manipulation and reconstruction2 as these relate to a major aspect of Lao refugee ethnic identity: Buddhism.