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Though it is late, I would like to respond to Navin's comment - Even though Lareau did not make specific references to the immigrant subculture, it is important to note that class and the social and cultural capital that goes with class transfers, despite having to "start from the bottom" in a new country. Hence, the educated, West Coast, Masters degrees-holding Taiwanese and Korean immigrants are different than the poor, East Coast, Cultural Revolution survivors of the PRC. I am one of those Chinese kids that grew up in Brooklyn with less educated Chinese and then moved to the Bay Area and encountered upper-middle class Chinese. However, my mother's family was middle class and retained the middle class/bourgeois mentality despite the the Cultural Revolution while my father's was not. My mother was the driving force in the education of her children but even though she could barely afford it, she knew the importance of early childhood education and how and where to get supplemental help later in our education when we needed it. My parents moved to California so they could run a corner store and help finance our American dream: a house, 3 cars, college degrees. After both my brother and I completed our POLITICAL SCIENCE degrees at UC Santa Cruz (Ms. Lareau's alma mater), we have gone on to our careers in non-profits. I am currently in the process of applying for my masters so I too, can provide sociological research to improve the educational system. I previously worked for a non-profit that educates the Asian immigrant community about domestic violence. My brother and I have both worked extensively within the Asian American community in the California Bay Area; he has worked in local government with a new crop of Asian politicians and is currently employed at a non-profit to alleviate the suffering of the homeless. He is attending law school at Santa Clara University this fall. My other cousins who opted for the more "traditional" Asian humanities majors (e.g. finance, econ, etc.) back East are now wage slaves to the IRS and find nothing more interesting than amassing expensive retail goods. I cannot carry on an intellectual conversation with the lot of them. I can say with absolute certainty that my parents are very proud of us. I would also like to point to the matter that this pressure to succeed has resulted in a rise in suicides among Asian-American women: Having worked at Stanford University, I assure you that there is absolutely no shortage of WASP mathematicians or physicists. Just for good measure, I would also like to note that two of my cousins (siblings) that were raised outside of the US both play for the Hong Kong Philharmonic. They received their MFAs from San Francisco Conservatory and Julliard so please do not assume our excellence is relegated exclusively to the fields of math and science.
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2010 on Review: Unequal Childhoods at Half Changed World is now following The Typepad Team
Jun 7, 2010