Growing Up Asian In Australia Analysis

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Without close and supportive relationships, we can often feel isolated.

The feeling of isolation can directly detach an individual from the winsome pursuit of individual identity. The absence of support from family and friends inhibits the qualities of human compassion that a person would strive to possess. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” depicts that after psychological and safety needs are satisfied, the need for belonging must be evident in order for individual identity to be acquired. Our identity constitutes of a shifting phase of learning about self belonging, but we can only successfully obtain this through ongoing supportive relationships with others.

The relationships formed with family members primarily determine who we become.
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In fact, there are many examples in today’s society who chooses to reject the relationships they form with through their upbringing, leading to self destructive behaviour and a feeling of being isolated. This may be due to a difficult upbringing by their family or even having a difficult relationship with their peers at school. Often these difficulties will lead to their relationship with their families being damaged and hence having no sense of belonging. These people often have difficulty developing an individual identity. As a result, these individuals often feel isolated and depressed and in some circumstances; suicide. This is clearly shown in Alice Pung’s “Growing up Asian in Australia”, a collection of short stories from Asian immigrants living in Australia. In her story, “the courage of soldiers”, Pauline Nguyen explains how her father, a Vietnamese immigrant, wanted desperately to raise his children as high achievers. As a result, he assumed complete control over their lives, imposing strict Vietnamese values and expecting nothing less than very high grades at school. Pauline relates how at report time, her father would cane his children once for every “B” and twice for every “C” casually throwing them a dollar for every “A”. He never attempted to know or understand his children or develop a meaningful relationship with them. As a result, Pauline ran away from home and went into hiding from her father. She was subsequently unable to enjoy a sense of belonging and lost a large part of her family identity resulting in feeling isolated and unwanted. Thus, it can be seen that a close and supportive relationship with our family is imperative for us to develop a sense of belong so we do not feel isolated from

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