Asian Immigrant Families in America
The United States of America is a country founded and built by immigrants. Many people from all over the world has migrated to this country in hopes of building a brighter future for themselves and their children. America has always been viewed as the land of opportunity, and this is the reason why so many people have moved to this country. While all immigrants are faced with similar problems, some immigrant groups are faced with more difficult problems than others. Asian immigrant families are faced with many challenges upon their arrival in the United States of America.
One of the problems Asian immigrants face is fitting in. Asians have always been more traditional and family oriented. When they do things, they do it for their family. For generations parents have ingrained in their childrens' mind that family is the most important thing in the world. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's taught in a way that one must do everything for their family and not themselves. One author states that if one was to ask an Asian immigrant student what they want to do in their life they would most likely say something along the lines of being an engineer, and if one was to ask for an explanation as to why they choose that profession, the most common answer would be somewhere along the lines of “it's for my family” or “because that's what my family wants me to do” (Eli Lieber 190). Author Eli Lieber explains that for an individual to go against his or her family's wishes is a big taboo for Asians (192). It is seen as an act of rebellion and a way of bringing disgrace to their family. Simple things such as following ones dream of becoming a famous singer, actor, or baker can be seen in the negative light in the Asian community. However, from an American's perspective it is seen in the positive light as a strong willed individual just chasing their American dream. The American ideology of individuality clashes greatly with the traditional Asian ideology of togetherness. Americans are encouraged to chase after their individual dreams rather than focusing on helping their family. Asian parents encourage their children to become doctors, engineers, lawyers, and other high paying occupations that are well respected by people. American parents also wish for their children to be occupy one of those jobs, but they are also more lenient if their child wishes to be a chef, artist, photographer or any other jobs that aren't considered to be as “important” to society. The differences between ideologies of these two cultures often make it hard for Asians to fit in with Americans simply because they have been taught that togetherness is more important than individuality throughout their whole life. Another problem that Asians are faced with when trying to fit in is the language barrier. Asians often have difficulty learning the English language, especially when they migrate to this country at an older age. The language barrier plays a significant role with their interactions with the native born Americans. Sociology professor, Baek Choi, explains that fluency in the English language plays a significant role in the “acculturation process of immigrants” (76). Professor Baek Choi goes on to explain that “acculturation is the process of adaptation and culture modification that occurs as a result of continuous contact between two different and distinct cultures. Oftentimes, it results in the change of beliefs, values and behavior of the immigrants” (197). The more fluent an immigrant is, the more likely they are to interact with the US born citizens simply because they have more confidence in themselves. They are able to understand what is going on around them, and can clearly communicate what it is they want or need with the non-Asian community. However, Asians are more likely to settle in places where there are lots of other Asians rather than venturing out to the non-Asian community. Being around people...
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