An example of this fantasy is Gary Soto’s story "Looking for Work." Soto being part of the lower class, wants to dress up for dinner because that’s what he saw on the sitcom “Leave it to Beaver” (Soto, p. 22). However Soto’s family being considered unconventional during the time finds the idea laughable. Soto’s sister later questions him about his request, as Soto answer “white people would like us more,” his sister responds saying “they’ll never like us” (Soto, p.23). The story ends with Soto going to look for more work around his neighborhood. Soto being a minority of the latin community, isn’t common for them to live in a big house in the suburbs, getting dressed up for dinner. He’s part of a community that is typically looked down upon. For him to succeed during this time, he would have to work harder than anybody else, and even then it still may not be the ideal nuclear family. Naturally his desires formed from watching the sitcom “Leave it to Beaver” as those same desires is what drives the people of America to work towards, to achieve this same lifestyle. Soto compared this perfect life, to his unconventional way of living, and naturally he wanted more, he wanted to be acceptedby the white people. That way he’d be a step closer to the ideal dream. Though when his sister says “they’ll never like us,” shows that Soto’s reality isn’t one of a nuclear family. That they will always be at a disadvantage. But Soto, still being an American, goes looks to work, not to
achieve a dream, but in the 1950s, he was chasing a fantasy. Generally, the argument can be made that it is possible for minorities to have a nuclear family. Though ideally, the concept of the nuclear family wasn’t directly targeted at them. For if it was, they would have the same opportunities as the whites. To reach this goal goes deeper thanjust getting married. America has made it economically possible to attain this desire. An increase in jobs through the “New Deal,” the “GI Bill” paying for students tuitions, and “regularly mandated raises,” along with many other federal programs (Coontz, p. 34). America was beginning to look more stable down the future. However, these economic advances, seemed to only be in favor of the white family. However “these protections are not extended in the same way when a family diverges from the perceived ideal form. The less a family resembles the nuclear family norm, the more it is scrutinised (Cutas and Chan 2012)” (Cutas and Smajdor, 10). Blacks and Latinos weren’t offered the same benefits. For example “Medicaid Regulations... implicitly discriminate against Blacks and Latinos...” (Gerstel and Sarkisian, p.54), another example is “The Federal Housing Authority...refused to insure homes in all-black or in racially
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- Fall '19
- Extended family, Gary Soto