A Different Perspective - Sarah Brodsky Sociology 3AC A...

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Sarah Brodsky Sociology 3AC 1/15/06 A Different Perspective Every family has their own story and has their own experiences, struggles, and successes that are brought together though cultural identity. My family has seen the Holocaust, immigration to the United States, and establishment of their own White, Jewish, British-American culture. However, I have only really been able to experience my own culture via my family and have not been exposed to many other cultures. I often ask myself how the world seems in the eyes of somebody who is not from the same background as me. Would the world seem different? Would the world seem better or worse? Or, would there be no difference at all in the way we view the world? I interviewed my fourth-generation Japanese roommate, Caroline Ogawa, in order to get some insight into my questions and a culture other then my own. I asked Caroline about how her family came to the United States and how her cultural background first emerged. Both pairs of Caroline’s Great-Grandparents first came over to the United States around 1900. Her Grandparents were then born in the United States and were raised for a period of their childhood in Japan. Her grandparents soon moved back to the United States and settled in San Francisco. Because Caroline’s grandparents spent their childhood in Japan, they were not assimilated into American culture and did not speak English very well. When War broke out between the Japanese and the United States during World War II, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Caroline’s grandparents were put in internment camps because the United States feared that any person of Japanese origin was a threat to the country. Her grandparents were some of the first Japanese-Americans to be put in internment camps because they lived in San Francisco, which was thought to be the next place the Japanese would attack because it is so close to the water. Her grandparents met their spouses in the internment camps
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and one of her grandfathers went to fight for the United States in the army. The internment camps were very harsh to the Japanese and the conditions could be unbearable at times. The experience her grandparents had in internment camps reminded me of the experience many Jews had in concentration camps. My father has told me many stories about my family members who were in concentration camps and how only one member from the Brodsky family out of twenty managed to survive. Although the Americans did not try to wipe out the Japanese, the conditions of the internment camps that Caroline spoke of didn’t seem too different from the conditions placed upon the Jews in Nazi Germany. Caroline’s parents were raised in California and were taught to be as American as possible. Her grandparents did not teach her parents Japanese because Caroline’s grandparents wanted her parents to fit in with American society as much as possible.
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  • Fall '06
  • WILSON
  • Sociology, Caroline, Caroline Ogawa

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