ethnic families: case studies

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Ethnic Families : Case Studies. Dr. Jane Granskog. California State University, Bakersfield. Four Families. Contrast between families from India, France, Japan, & Canada Note characteristics of family structure - interaction between genders, roles carried out
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Ethnic Families: Case Studies Dr. Jane Granskog California State University, Bakersfield Four Families
  • Contrast between families from India, France, Japan, & Canada
  • Note characteristics of family structure - interaction between genders, roles carried out
  • Note patterns & differences in socialization of the young
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • American Catholic Irish Family
  • Immigration over extended period (200 yrs);
  • Irish Catholic in Ireland: peasant tenant potato farmers; stem-family (impartible inheritance by favored son);
  • only single daughters worked outside the home, married women did not; patriarchal family structure
  • Irish Immigration Patterns
  • family patterns promoted high number of single women & men who then migrated to the U.S.
  • Colonial period to 1815 - mostly small farmers, protestant, single, from N. Ireland
  • 1815 to Great Famine - increasing numbers of Catholics from S. Ireland
  • Irish Immigration Patterns
  • Immigration after Great Famine (1845-48) - ‘47-’54, 1.25 million (1851-1900, 3 mill.); young (15-35) mostly single, Catholic, S & W Ireland; 1901-’24, 700,000, majority single women
  • Primarily went to cities - East Coast (Boston, New York), St Louis, Chicago, San Francisco
  • American Irish Catholic - Patterns
  • Catholic church powerful institution in U.S., personal salvation theology, strong service, mutual aid organizations
  • Changed reference groups - from comparing to Irish in Ireland to other American Irish
  • Harsh work experience, manual labor discrimination, slow upward class mobility; high number of housholds headed by women
  • American Irish Catholic - Patterns
  • 1920-50 established parish life, ethnically & ecologically nucleated; behavioral constraints, conform via gossip; children obedient & respectful, achieve in school & sports (boys)
  • Modern - working class - family & religion key, favotism toward sons, male dominance, use of alcohol, focus on action;
  • American Irish Catholic - Patterns
  • middle class - various sub groups - those emphasizing education & achievement along w/ more traditional Catholics; family solidarity remains key
  • Problems - care of elderly, marital disruption, feminism, divisiveness within Catholic Church
  • Italian American Family
  • Immigration - increased beginning 1870’s, peak, 1901-14 (mostly young men)
  • Early ethnic family, 1850-1920 - primarily from South Italy, insulated from mainstream America; emphasis on la famiglia, patrilineal extended clan supplemented by comparaggio (godparenthood);
  • Italian American Family
  • father-headed, mother-centered, emphasis on family honor, solidarity, maintaining “face” of family
  • 2nd generation- smaller families, most in NE; lower rates of divorce, higher endogamy than most other ethnic groups (decreases w/ education), strong sibling solidarity;
  • Italian American Family Values
  • la famiglia, respect & care for elders;
  • strong work ethic (“ben educato” - good manners, resistence to formal education) derived from predominantly peasant background;
  • significant continuity in cultural values despite social & physical mobility
  • 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
  • The Korean-American Family
  • traditional family - patriarchial, 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
  • 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);
  • New Korean Immigrants
  • double day for women; continued traditional socialization for boys & girls
  • strengthed conjugal ties, focus on family (positive dependency); strong extended kin ties
  • primary area of intergroup conflict - white suppliers, black ghetto residents
  • 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
  • The Chinese-American Family
  • traditional family - patriarchial, 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Male Dominance in Peasant Families Society
  • Predominance of males in prestigeful 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
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Traditional Vietnamese Extended Family - Ho Society
  • Truong Toc - head of family, oldest male, responsible for care of ancestors
  • Mother - no power, priveleges, 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
  • 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
  • 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%)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mexican-American Family Society
  • 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
  • Mexican-American Family Society
  • 1970’s, 64% increase in pop. of Mexican origin; presently 8.7 million of Mexican origin/descent in U.S., 60% of total Hispanic population;
  • 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.
  • Mexican-American Family Society
  • 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
  • Traditional Mexican-American Family Features Society
  • 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)
  • Traditional Mexican-American Family Society
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