Funny in Farsi

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Justin Barney
Psy 41
Professor Strahan

Funny in Farsi Analysis

The focus of this paper is an analysis of the book Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas using concepts from the Lives Across Cultures textbook. Ten concepts are identified and defined from Chapter readings. Following definitions, examples from the novel of these concepts are shown.

Ethnocentrism is defined as the tendency to judge other people and cultures by the standards of one’s own culture and to believe that the behavior, customs, norms, values and other characteristics of one’s own group are natural, valid, and correct while those of other’s are unnatural, invalid and incorrect. For example, in Funny in Farsi Firoozeh experiences ethnocentrism from citizens here in America during the Iranian hostage crisis. Her and her family would sometimes hide their ethnicity and define themselves as other nationalities in order to avoid racism during the crisis.

A child’s microsystem is the layer closest to the child and contains those structures with which the child has direct contact such as their family or preschool. Firoozeh’s description of her microsystem focuses mostly on her parents with an emphasis on her engineer father.

The Exosystem of a child is the contact she has with extended family, friends of family, neighbors and mass media. Firoozeh describes a close bond with her extended family including her uncles, aunts, and cousins. In addition media had a large effect on her upbringing due to tensions between the United States and her home country, Iran.

The developmental niche of a child includes Physical and social settings of daily life, customs of child care and child rearing and the psychology of the caretakers. Examples of these are the presences of multiple generations in Firoozeh’s family, descriptions of Iranian food, and the presence of both parents..

Socialization is the process by which an individual becomes a member of a particular culture and takes on its values,...
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