FInal socio paper

FInal socio paper - Should Ethiopian parents living in the...

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Should Ethiopian parents living in the U.S. leave their culture behind when it comes to raising their kids in America? Kali Shebi Sociology 309 Final Paper May 17, 2011
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Culture is one of the most defining components of a person’s identity. One culture’s way of doing certain things might be different from another but nonetheless it’s these distinguishing factors that make each culture unique. I was born and raised in the capital city, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I lived there until I was fifteen years old and came to America with all my immediate family afterwards. I cherish the culture I grew up in as it has taught me the values of respecting my elders, my family and always caring for others as I would for myself. However, upon coming to the U.S., there are some aspects of my culture I found conflicting with the American culture. For example, it is believed in my culture that keeping eye contact especially with elders is a sign of disrespect as is being prideful with one’s own accomplishments and so forth. The more I stayed in this country, the more I realized how these two cultures were different. Soon after, more conflicts between my parents and I as well as my younger brother started to arise as we became more Americanized while our parents still fully held on to our culture. Finding the balance between two cultures is difficult. This is why I ask the question, should Ethiopian parents who live in the U.S. leave their culture behind when it comes to raising their kids in America? These cultural differences do not only affect Ethiopian immigrants but it is evident among other immigrant families as well. It is clear that America is home to many immigrants from all around the world. That is one factor which makes the U.S. very unique. There are numerous reasons as to why families leave their home country to resettle to a totally different one. For instance, political reasons, job assignments, education and for the most part, a search for a better life, could all be possibilities (Waters and Jiménez 2005; Cherlin 2010). Furthermore, Anzaldua (2008:4) mentions in her Borderline theory that people seek change to better their lives and coming to America seems the “good” change some people need in their lives. Most
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immigrants hold America as the ideal place to achieve all their dreams and wishes because of the vast opportunities it provides. Nevertheless, upon the arrival to the land of opportunity, since most of the immigrants are excited about coming to America, they sometimes underestimate the difficulties they will face trying to live in a culture that is different from theirs. What ends up happening in most immigrant families is the parents struggle with acculturation while it is somewhat easier for the children to adapt quickly since they enroll in school systems. Parents use this opportunity to depend on their children for translations and understanding of the new culture. Hence, there is a high sense of interdependency among immigrant families compared to the U.S. born families
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FInal socio paper - Should Ethiopian parents living in the...

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