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Families in Transition: Ethnic Case Studies. Dr. Jane Granskog. California State University, Bakersfield. Self, Family and Community: Positive Dependency . sociological interdependence - self defined in relationship to family, community, ancestors, spirits

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Families in Transition: Ethnic Case Studies

Dr. Jane Granskog

California State University, Bakersfield

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Self, Family and Community: Positive Dependency

  • sociological interdependence - self defined in relationship to family, community, ancestors, spirits

  • cyclical continuous flow between each essential for health and harmony

  • Self oriented toward personal interaction

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Positive Dependency Flows

  • Follow own wishes but within a context limiting boundaries of Self

  • Control limiting boundaries of Self instilled by space & sound - respect & obedience toward elders

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Dependency within the Family

  • Families are viewed as interlocking life units in which the well-being of one is inherent in well-being of others

  • Roles modify as persons move from one stage to another but not outside group

  • Bonding with trust is based on demands of custom v.s. a measure of the individual performance of given individual

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Dependency within the Family

  • Lateral extended kin - horizontal basis that carries brunt of dependency flow

  • Tension diluted by stretching discipline lines

  • Importance of respect mechanism

  • Emphasis on mutuality, reciprocity - setting things right in family disputes through face-to-face encounters (Hawaiian, 'ohana' practice)

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Dependency within the Community

  • emphasis on sharing, support between all groups/subunits within community - reciprocity

  • emphasis on exchange of services (time & energy)

  • importance of “doing” for others - involvement, commitment

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Types of Independence

  • Opposing dependency - supremacy of self outside of flow, emphasis on self first and foremost (sociological independence - Independence Complex)

  • Positive dependency - freedom to make choices within a cooperative framework (caring about others)

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Factors Influencing the Nature of Dependency Flow

  • Length of time (history) that you've had with someone - continuity, commonality

  • Nature of the "kinship" bond (biological vs non-biological and significance of the difference)

  • Nature of the interaction and intensity of the bond (e.g., life & death situation - wartime buddies)

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Factors Influencing the Nature of Dependency Flow

  • Location - distance limits the type & frequency of interaction (being able to call upon them), limits involvement

  • Common interests - ties are with people with whom you share important parts of your life - work, school, leisure activities, etc.

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Factors Influencing the Nature of Dependency Flow

  • Personal background/history - personality traits, coming from a disengaged vs enmeshed family; significance of "poisonous pedagogy" - disfunctional traits carried from childhood

  • Gender and Ethnic Background - differences in socialization patterns of females v.s. males and how they are expressed within the socio-cultural context

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Positive Dependency Features

  • Commitment (“amae”) - presume on each other’s convenience, call on in time of need

  • Involvement - engaged in daily activities

  • Bonding - established history, being a part of one’s life

  • Obligation - there to help each other out

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Positive Dependency Features

  • Reciprocity - doing for one another

  • Trust - being able to count on one another, a known quantity

  • Continuity - sense of community/”family” that extends over time

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Kinship Exercise

  • Frequency of interaction -- how often do you communicate with them, what is the nature of the communication?

  • What areas of life do you share with different members?

    • economic - support each other

    • social - get together at family reunions, spend week-end in shared activities, etc.

    • religious - go to church together, etc.

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Kinship Exercise

  • Role obligations and/or responsibilities -- what have you done for them recently & what have they done for you?, when you get into trouble, who are you most likely to call upon?

  • Note any patterns in the nature of your interaction with kin -- do you interact with some more than others and if so why? Is it because they live close by, share common interests and values, and/or because they are relatives?

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Changing Family Dynamics

  • 1950’s“ traditional family” (focus on structure as economic unit of production & consumption - breadwinner/homemaker) no longer dominant by 1990’s - greater acceptance of plurality of forms

  • Significance of “second shift” - changing role of males & females within home, impact of “downsizing”, conflicting demands work/home (40% of labor force, nonstandard work schedules), increased economic stress on middle class families

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Ethnic Families in America

  • Significance of “primordial attachments’- belonging to a given ethnic group with a unique cultural heritage

  • Changing perspective of “Americanization”, assimilation -renewed ethnic consciousness

  • Focus of identity and solidarity lies in family’s ability to socialize members into ethnic culture

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Features of Ethnic Families

  • Emphasis on family activities - eating "ethnic" foods

  • Structure of the family - traditionally typically large extended families, patriarchal ideal, father-headed, mother-centered; strong family orientation; trend to smaller more nuclear families, increasing impact of socialization by outside institutions

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Features of Ethnic Families -2

  • Ideology - emphasis on trust within group/family loyalty to kin first; emphasis on honor of the family

  • Cohesion/integration - traditional unity as the primary social & economic unit, emphasis on supportive family rituals; presently less likely to operate as such

  • Limited Geographic mobility -- place oriented to a considerable degree

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Focus of Articles in Ethnic Families

  • Historical background of immigration patterns

  • Demographic characteristics (rates of marriage, divorce, intermarriage)

  • Structure of the family (distribution of status, authority, responsibility within nuclear family) & extended kin networks

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Focus of Articles in Ethnic Families

  • Cultural values - achievement, style of life, educational & occupational aspirations; reflected in socialization patterns

  • Characteristics at different stages of the family life cycle - form of acculturation/assimilation taking place

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Overview of Immigrant Family in U.S.

  • 18th cen. Mercantilism, great transformation to large scale capitalist enterprises w/ rise of proletariats in 19th cen. (push factors); opportunities in U.S. (pull factors)

  • Immigration waves: 1) 1832-82 (old); 2) 1882-1930 (new - Irish, Germans); 3)”great lull” 1925-’65; 4) 1965 on - Asians, Indians, Pacific Islders., circular & transmodern migration patterns

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Black American Family

  • Importance of a holistic approach to studying African American families in context

  • Four cultural traits distinguishing Black Americans from other immigrants:

    • Are from countries with very different norms & values

    • Are from many different tribes & cultures

    • First came without women

    • Came in bondage

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Black American Family

  • Major problems with most studies of black family life in past, focus on low income groups, presumed to fit various stereotypes by social scientists (few studies until 1970’s) - two major perspectives:

  • Pathological, disorganization perspective

  • Strength-resiliency perspective

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Black American Family Perspectives

  • Pathological view goes back to slavery period - supported by both pro- & anti-slavery groups (either not capable of stable family life or such was not possible under conditions of slavery), views family as deviant/maladaptive

  • ignores variability in family types & existence of free black families

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Black American Family Perspectives

  • Frazier - 1930’s - concerned with assimilation of blacks in America - viewed “moral disorganization” of black families as impediment to assimilation, failure to keep sexual urges under control;

  • 1965 Moynihan, re-affirmed, view of matrifocal families as disfunctional, associated w/ culture of poverty.

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Black American Family Perspectives

  • Strength resiliency perspective emerges in 1968 w/ Billingsley; focus on adaptive mechanisms of family to meet conflicting demands placed on it; strong role of women

  • Major strengths - strong kinship bonds, strong work orientation, adaptability of family roles, high achievement & religious orientation

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Black American Family

  • Stack - focus on strategies used in black networks to survive in poor urban environments; domestic networks; focuses on reciprocal exchange & mutual aid among kin & non-kin (not always as effective as stated)

  • Staples: majority of Black families have nuclear model (1972 - 2/3 w/ husband & wife);

  • significant variables: education, work, income

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Modern Black American Family

  • 1960-’70-’80 decline in fertility rate (birth rate of college-educated black women lower than white counterparts); increase in out of wedlock births, co-habiting couples;

  • Distinction of family vs non family households - diversity in composition (nuclear, extended & augmented family households

  • 130% increase in female headed households (discrimination, urban living, poverty); 45% unemployment rate of black men

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Modern Black American Family

  • Black kinship network more extensive & cohesive than among Anglos, take in relatives more readily, rely on kin more

  • Role relations - egalitarian, husbands involved in decision making; high value of children

  • Economic problems major factor in marital conflict, imbalanced sex ratio, increase in interracial dating & marriage

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Native Americans

  • Significant variation among diverse cultures ranging from hunter gatherers to agricultural states; described primarily by anthropologists in terms of 10-12 cultural areas

  • Major impact of contact - disease (1/2+ of Indian languages extinct), policy of extermination (vs incorporation characterized by Spanish territories)

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Native Americans vs EuropeansContrasts

  • Indian marriages public, customary, contract between kin groups VS European marriages - private legal contract between individuals

  • Indians tolerant of & expressed diversity of marriage forms (polygamy, monogamy etc) & descent systems VS Europeans - monogamy, nuclear family, bilateral inheritance only

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Native Americans vs Europeans - Contrasts

  • Indians - significant variation in level of social organization & kin terminology systems VS Europeans - not significant

  • Attitudes re: kinship: European failure to understand different kin structures especially of matrilineal groups lead to breakdown of kin systems

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Acculturation of Native Americans

  • forced acculturation to Anglo-European practices via missionary efforts (e.g., “proper” marriage); education (B.I.A., boarding schools);

  • racist federal policies - force individual land holding (loss of land), economic conditions on reservations, inducements to relocate to urban areas; intermarriages - Indian women marrying non-status whites, lost traditional rights

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Modern Native American Families

  • are approximately 300 federally recognized tribes + another 100 non-recognized tribes (east, California)

  • despite forced acculturation + influence of American popular culture on N. American youth, & 500 years of ethnocide, significant differences in family practices & values remain

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Modern Native American Families

  • key values - cooperation, balance , harmony, kinship, respect -interrelation of all life, P.D.N.

  • up to early ‘60’s, dominant view based on early anthro studies - extended family seen as norm; families classified by degree of acculturation

  • do not have definitive, current research to document changes in Native American family life

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Modern Native American Families

  • problems with classification of “extended family networks”, what constitutes extended - Red Horse’s typology; Native American families are more firmly based on interdependence (e.g., child rearing, ego identity)

  • types based on degree of assimilation - reflected in degree of intermarriage (white father, grandfather, husband, +school teachers, clergy)

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Modern Native American Families

  • Miller’s typology based on degree to which have Indian/White values & behaviors - traditional (Indian values); transitional (adapts to white means & ends); bicultural (Indian values + adapt to whites); marginal (anomic in both worlds)

  • bicultural considered to be most well-adjusted

  • greater availability & proximity of kin, effect on support networks

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Modern Native American Families

  • ways in which researchers define & measure family extension critical

  • measures - household composition, residential propinquity

  • best measure - effective or functioning support network based on interaction & proximity of residence

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Native American Socio-demographics

  • fastest growing, youngest population (1.4 million + 6.7 million partial descent); median age lower than general population

  • more women of childbearing age, more are also adolescents

  • 23% all Native Am. families, female headed; over 1/4th live in povery; high rates of unemployment

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Native American Sociodemographics

  • intermariage increased 20% ‘70 to ‘80; 50%, married to another race

  • socialization - less acculturated, higher self esteem, acculturation--destructive effect

  • gender differences: women, concern w/ kinfolk, family, marriage, sex; men, employment, money, success, material matters; men’s roles more changed than women

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Gay and Lesbian Families

  • Major shift from 1960s-’70s to late 1980s - significant upsurge in # of children w/ 1 or 2 gay/lesbian parent; 1989 Denmark legalized gay marriage, 2001 Netherlands gave full legal rights to same-sex marriages; on-going controversy in U.S.

  • Impact of sexual revolution, alternative reproductive technologies, continued discrimination & backlash re: “The Family” (DOMA-1996); redefining family in social vs. biological terms;

  • Legitimizing same-sex marriages significant impact recognizing plurality of diverse vibrant family forms (2001 Gallup poll--opposition dropped to 52%)

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Diversity Among Latino Families

  • Historical view - biased perspectives, focus on one family form vs. diverse forms present, tendency to see as “traditional”, disorganized and dysfunctiona;

  • Impact of economic restructuring & immigration on global basis; 4 factors - new technologies (computer chip), global interdependence, flight of capital, & dominance of info. & service sectors; new demands for immigrant labor

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Mexican-American Family

  • Significance of impact of history of colonization by Spain & conflict with U.S. on demographics of Mexican Americans

  • Key events: Mexican-American War (1846-’48); 1880-1930 & Bracero Program (1942-’64) -- significant increase due to need for labor

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Mexican-American Family

  • pop. of Mexican origin tripled from 4.5million in ‘70 to 13.5 million in 1990; presently 60%+ of total Hispanic population (2/3 native born);

  • majority (86%) in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, & Texas

  • Highly heterogeneous population with variable family structures depending on region, education, time of migration, social class, etc.; marked by low family income, high labor force participation -- largest average household size of all Latino groups

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Mexican-American Family

  • traits of Mexican Americans thought to affect/reflect family patterns - person oriented vs goal oriented (emphasis on interpersonal relations); less materialistic & competitive than Anglos, material goods, a means to an end

  • stereotypes of traditional family involve positive/negative interpretations of structural features

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Traditional Mexican-American Family Features

  • Familism (la familia) - key role of family to all members, major support in attaining all goals; warm, nurturing, stable structure

  • Male dominance - machismo - stereotypes--aggression, sexual prowess; real machismo - emphasis on honor of family, courage, generosity, respect for others including role of wife & children; marianismo (matrifocality)

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Traditional Mexican-American Family

  • Sex & age grading - females submissive to males, young to elders - stereotypes overlook functions of each within extended peasant family; respect for elders, role of eldest son, authority over sisters & younger children

  • Features of traditional family were a response to needs for survival; importance of familism remains strong despite other changes

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Modern Mexican-American Family

  • Primarily located in cities (85%) in SW

  • Young median age, slightly more males than females; among hispanics, lowest median income except for Puerto Rican families; blue collar jobs predominant

  • significantly larger than other ethnic families; lowest level of education (median school years); disproportionate number low S.E.S

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Cuban American Family - Immigration

  • Long term immigration patterns between Cuba & Florida; key turning point 1/1/59 with advent of Castro

  • By 1986, U.S. Cuban population = 1 million

  • Six stages of immigration between 1959-80 - commercial flights, airlifts, fewer by small boats & rafts

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Cuban American Family

  • Because of key economic role of women, traditional patriarchal structure of family disrupted; now more egalitarian in role relations

  • Key feature - Biculturalism & bilingualism - Cubans, significant impact on host culture - 3 stages: acculturation, retention of original Cuban culture, syncretism (all within family unit); also a source of tension between parents & children

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Puerto Rican American Family

  • Immigration of working class linked to political-economic relation between two countries with major immigration after WWII, especially in 1950’s with industrialization efforts in P.R.

  • Source of cheap labor in services agriculture & garment industry; most between ages 15-39.

  • Majority in urban areas, New York; migration marked by ebb & flow, marked return migration

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Puerto Rican American Family

  • modified extended family predominant with emphasis on family interdependence, needing others for support (P.D.N.)

  • emphasis on compadrazgo, hijos de crianza

  • machismo & marianismo (mother role key)

  • respeto - generalized deference to superiors; emphasis on personalismo - face to face, informal, personal relations

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Puerto Rican American Family

  • High number of poor, female headed households, blue collar, service jobs; out-group marriage patterns (‘49-’69) indicate rapid assimilation

  • Four types of familial household structures: modified extended family; nuclear family; blended nuclear (Fa/Mo/So/Da/Step children); single parent families - typology overlooks blending of forms

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Puerto Rican American Family

  • Modified extended family primary support system, 1st & 2nd generations

  • Emphasis on familism, interdependence, family unity (obligation for assistance)

  • Respeto related to age/sex hierarchy - status increases with age (elder parents)

  • Strict dichotomy between genders (ideology of male dominance prevails)

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Zapotec Peasants

  • agricultural village in Oaxaca, Mexico; pop. ~1,250 in late ‘60’s; patrilocal, ext. family, ideal

  • 3 central values representing good:

    • humility (we are all equally poor, attend to others, obedience to authority);

    • trust (character, taking people at word);

    • respect (manipulating social hierarchy to benefit one, granting favors)

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Zapotec Peasants

  • evil - institutionalized envy - opposite of that which is good - always making invidious comparisons; mark of disharmony, witchcraft

  • categories of kin - “insiders” (close to me) vs “outsiders” (people who mean nothing, or may be something to me); is an endogamous village, thus a matter of manipulating kin ties

  • deviant person is one with defective kin ties;

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Zapotec Peasant Ideology

  • community ideology re: sexual behavior - only between married individuals, are punished for extramarital affairs; incest, abhorrent to community, punished by authorities.

  • reality - only person without extramarital affairs is the deviant; no clear notion of adultery; gossip about sexual affairs constant, but one who informs is viewed as most deviant; incest occurs often; no real punishment for adultery

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Zapotec Peasants

  • major ritual & religious symbols of society built upon association with “insiders”

  • compadrazgo ties extend to 4 generations; everyone related thru blood & marriage

  • strategy to follow - keep number of insider ties to minimum needed to maximize security

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The Korean-American Family - History

  • pioneer immigration to Hawaii 1903-05 (uneducated, unskilled laborers);

  • Korean war brides, 1950's - intermarriage with servicemen, higher divorce rates

  • main immigration after 1965 Immigration Act (3rd largest after Mexicans & Filipinos, key emphasis on family unity - increased numbers of kin brought over), educated professionals & technicians

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The Korean-American Family

  • traditional family - patriarchal, strong influence of Confucianism (respect for & obedience to parents & elders, filial piety/ancestor worship);

  • married women did not work, subordinate to husband’s authority

  • education viewed as the main avenue for social mobility

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New Korean Immigrants

  • primarily West Coast (30% in California) - in large urban areas - Los Angeles, New York, Chicago

  • larger families (live with parents until marriage), lower divorce rate than Americans (higher than in Korea)

  • high female labor-force participation rate - mostly in small businesses --grocery stores, green groceries, fast food services (unable to find jobs to match status in Korea);

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New Korean Immigrants

  • double day for women; continued traditional socialization for boys & girls

  • strengthened conjugal ties, focus on family (positive dependency); strong extended kin ties

  • primary area of inter-group conflict - white suppliers, black ghetto residents

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The Chinese-American Family

  • In the U.S., significant numbers for 130+ years; largest Asian group in U.S.

  • little research on Chinese-American family, no typical family

  • major features - stable family unit (low divorce & illegitimacy); close ties between generations; economic self-sufficiency

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The Chinese-American Family

  • traditional family - patriarchal, patrilocal, patrilineal - father & eldest son primary authority; ancestor worship, filial piety (significance of tzu); concept of "face"

  • Acculturation - lessening of above, also reflected in the increase in interracial marriages among young

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Chinese Immigration Patterns

  • "Mutilated"/"split" family (1850-1920) -primarily men (Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882, 1888 Scott Act)

  • Small producer family (1920-43) - second generation Chinese population (discrimination of 1924 Immigration Act - citizens with chinese ancestry not allowed to send for wives & families)

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Chinese Immigration Patterns

  • Normalization of Chinese family (1943-65) - 1945 War Brides Act, 1948 Displaced Persons Act

  • Ghetto & professional Chinese family (1965-present) - ghetto - dual worker family, new immigrants in Chinatown (segregation work & family life); professional - middle-class, white-collar, suburbs, more modern & cosmopolitan - "semiextended" family points to continued importance of kin ties

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Male Dominance in Peasant Families Four Features of Peasant Society

  • Clearcut ideology of male dominance - does not necessarily reflect the reality of the peasant situation particularly with respect to the role women play.

  • A preference toward males in inheritance rules and residence patterns.

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Male Dominance in Peasant Families Society

  • Predominance of males in prestigious productive activities, namely agriculture, which does NOT necessarily indicate who controls or makes the most decisions regarding the allocation of products

  • Social segregation of the sexes with an emphasis on male authority within the household

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Presence of Complementary Roles in the Peasant Family Society

  • Women are primarily associated with the domestic domain, which is of central importance in peasant society (source of female power)

  • Peasants are relatively powerless in their relationship to the larger society of which they are a part, and face-to-face interaction is significant within the community.

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Presence of Complementary Roles in the Peasant Family Society

  • Ergo, informal relationships and forms of power are as significant as formal authorized relations and forms of power (this serves as a second basis of female power)

  • Males have greater access to jural and other formal rights and are occupied with activities overtly considered to be important. (This is the basis of the ideology of male dominance.)

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Peasant Family Structure Society

  • Men and women are equally dependent on each other in important ways. (Source of the balance of power between the sexes.).

  • In summary, the first two components above, provide the basis for feminine power; the third insures the presence of an ideology of male dominance; and the fourth, maintenance of a balance of power between the sexes (complementarity) which is achieved by acting out the "myth" of male dominance.

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Vietnamese American Family Society

  • Approximately 600,000 currently in U.S., more than 1 million have fled to the West

  • Traditional society/culture - 4 classes: scholars (most respected); peasant farmers; craftsmen; businessmen

  • village next in importance after family as a positive dependency network

  • patriarchal family, center of individual’s life

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History of Immigration - Four Waves Society

  • Educated - end of the war, April ‘75, more educated, successful adaptation

  • Boat people - ‘78-’79 - ethnic chinese vietnamese business people

  • Escapees - via Thailand, Malaysia, walked across Laos etc.

  • Orderly departees emigrated in “79 after Viet. govt. allowed them to join relatives abroad

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Traditional Vietnamese Extended Family - Ho Society

  • Truong Toc - head of family, oldest male, responsible for care of ancestors

  • Mother - no power, privileges, obey father, husband, eldest son; only area of equality, property & debts; had rights only as a mother, obeyed & respected by children

  • Piety for parents, most significant moral obligation

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Traditional Socialization & Marriage Society

  • sex segregation in socialization, fa-son; mo-da; mother blamed for child’s misconduct

  • siblings, age-hierarchy significant; share all within family

  • boys, formal schooling, not for girls

  • boys - may marry at 16 (usually later), girls, 13; arranged by family; emphasis on children; patrilocal residence; taboo to marry foreigners

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Vietnamese Family in America Society

  • U.S. - Texas & especially California (highest number of SE Asian refugees)

  • significant values - care for family members, family first before individual, self-sufficiency based on family;

  • compared with other Asian Americans, have highest percentage of extended families (55%)

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Vietnamese Family in America Society

  • four family patterns - nuclear family; incomplete extended family; broken family (father or mother, some children, rest in Vietnam or dead); one person family

  • young population; only Asian group with high percentage of female-headed households

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Vietnamese Family in America Society

  • Changes - more freedom/independence by young; father less absolute control;

  • women, significantly higher fertility than other Asian Americans (fewer kids w/ more education);

  • Conflicts: Vietnamese vs American identity (“marginal man”), parents & children; role conflict between husband/wife; less respect for aged

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Japanese American Family Society

  • Difficulties attached to stereotypes persist because are localized to California & Hawaii, & because little research done until recently

  • Significant immigration after 1890 - young male agricultural workers (discrimination similar to Chinese)

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Japanese Americans Society

  • Issei - immigrants (1st generation, restrictive rules); Nisei (2nd generation - American born, 1910-45); Sansei (3rd generation)

  • Issei - membership by situation - identity w/ group for social support, loyalty; society seen as a large family; group control of behavior

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Japanese Americans - Issei Society

  • importance of ie, traditional household - residence important, arranged marriages, patriarchal, emphasis on eldest son

  • rank & status determined by age, sex, and period of service (seniority) - significance of enryo (restraint/reserve)

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Japanese American Family Society

  • influence of Japanese culture decreases w/ each generation, 1/3rd Jap. women & increasing number of males marry out (5% Issei,15% Nisei, 50%+ Sansei);

  • relatively slow acculturation due to descrimination

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Japanese American Family Values Society

  • emphasis on duties & responsibilities - filial piety (family unity);

  • socialization via dependence on group, avoid direct confrontation, “losing face”;

  • enryo - showing restraint, awareness of hierarchial status

  • amae - need to be loved/cherished, depend on & presume another’s benevolence