Socialization American Born Chinese Children under Chinese Culture According to the American Heritage Dictionary, socialization is "the process of learning interpersonal and interaction al skills that are in conformity with the values of one's society" (American Heritage). It is a process of learning culture. During socialization, children will acquire attitudes, norms, values, behaviors, personalities, etc. within agencies of socialization, which were described as "Agencies of socialization are structured groups or contexts within which significant processes of socialization occur." according to the sociology terminology (Giddens 1). Socialization always begins very early in life.
It starts from childhood and continues throughout the whole life. During this process, they will be influenced through family and educational institutions (Shu 1). What happen to the American born Chinese socialization within the Chinese culture? American born Chinese can be defined as the Chinese people who are born in American after their parents immigrated from the USA. More and more people immigrated to America, especially the Asian population. According to Shu-Ling Berggreen: "The Asian American population in the US 'increased by 140 percent from 1970 to 1980 and then by 108 percent from 1980 and 1990 (to a total of approximately 7, 273, 662), making it the fastest growing segment of the US population." (Berggreen 1).
What happens to the American society? American society is like an ethnic melting pot, where all kinds of cultures are mixed together to form the multicultural diversity of America. It is an "Ethno-cultural salad," in which all other cultures lose their cultural identification and form a new American culture, At the same time, each culture still preserves its unique taste (Strussner 3-4). Chinese immigrant families still keep their culture heritage through they live in America. In many big cities or the increasing number of suburbs, there are a lot of Chinese communities, which are called "China Town." It serves as a cultural "home-base." a sense of community or Chinese culture heritage. There, you can eat the yummy Chinese foods and enjoy unique Chinese culture or festivals. Chinese children in this situation will be socialized and form a set of values, norms, behaviors and attitudes toward life.
How does each "agencies of socialization" (such as family and school) influence American born Chinese (ABC) through the socialization? First, the family plays an important role in the process of socialization. According to Hua bin Chen and William Lan, cultural and historical background will influence people's behavior. The Chinese culture is more family-oriented. The family or society takes priority over values of the individuals. Chinese people have very strong family loyalty and cohesiveness (Chen 2). In China, Children at a very early age will be trained to be more responsible to the family.
They become more likely to obey and respect their parents; otherwise, they will feel guilty of disgracing their families. What happens to Chinese immigrant families in USA? In the Youth Radio website, an ABC was interviewed and expressed her own feeling regarding to the identity. Christina, a teen ABC said: "What do you do when American values clash with the values of your family? If you please your parents, you " re unhappy, but if you don't please them, they " re unhappy. You can't win." (Kwong 1).
There are a lot of different norms, values, life styles, beliefs and language between the Chinese culture and American culture. So, many teen ABC's always suffer the conflict from the Chinese traditional immigrant families as well as from American society. Also, one teen ABC told in Youth Radio that, "My parents don't really need to tell me what they want from me... I've instilled their Chinese values in myself. But my mind and heart are both Chinese and American, no labels necessary." (Kwong 1). Meanwhile, parents' expectations will deeply influence children's academic achievement (Chen 2).
Chinese parents generally place high value on education, hard work, family, and social status; to some extent, they pass these values on to their children. The majority of Chinese immigrant families engage in professional careers, such as engineering, medicine, accounting and research. Being socialized through their parents, many ABC's expect to achieve those careers through the higher education. They will be told how decent and wonderful it would be if their jobs as a doctor or scientist. Also, their parents will reinforce the idea that those jobs will be useful to a society as well. On the Goldsea website, it is reported that: "young Asian American infiltrated professional ranks, primarily in medicine, engineering and accounting.
The next few decades saw Asians multiply in those fields, while a small minority ventured into law, journalism and marketing. But even at the start of the new millennium, most promising Asian Americans continue crowding into medical and engineering fields, with corporate finance and management emerging as a serious alternative." (Goldsea 1). While many European Americans choose business as their careers, the young ABC still engage in the traditional careers due to the pressures of family and cultural biases. Chen point out that the traditional Chinese family will train children through conformity (Chen 2). Under the Chinese immigrant families, what happens to the ABC's Character regarding conformity? As to their personality development, they develop three type of character, one is "traditionalist," which is conform to parental values and adopt Chinese values, one is called "Marginal Man," they rebel against parental values and adopt western values, the last is "Asian American," which rebel against parental values and develop Asian American values. (Sue 1) To the "traditionalist," they attempt to be a 'good's on or daughter.
They obey unquestionably to their parents, study hard to maintain a good family (Sue 1). To the "Marginal Man," they don't agree the traditional parental value and Chinese culture. They try to assimilate into the American society, but sometime, they will suffer the culture identity (Sue 1). The "Asian American" formulates a new identity by integrating parent values with their present conditions (Sue 1).
They don't completely obey to traditional Chinese values; they develop their own values (Sue 1). Second, the school plays a vital role in socialization. Due to the different value and norms between the Chinese and American society, the ABC will suffer the culture identity and culture assimilation. Christina, a teen ABC, also express how she feel at school in the youth radio: "I hate being seen as 'fake' Chinese because I'm ABC. What's even more confusing is dealing with homework and people at school on top of figuring out your cultural identity. If I was just 'American,' I wouldn't have to think about if I'm Asian or Asian American or Chinese or Chinese American.
I could just be a regular teenager." (Kwong 1). ABC is like banana, yellow on the outside and white on the inside. They tended to come upon a sense of ethnic identity sometime in their lives; it is called 'Identity Crisis." On the other hand, the teen ABC tries to assimilate into the American culture at school. They speak English instead of Chinese, even if they were sent to Chinese language school to learn Chinese. They feel that it is easier for them to speak English rather than go to Chinese school (Kwong 1). In a word, both family and school play a crucial role in American born Chinese's socialization process.
Both of them influence ABC's behaviors, norms and personalities.