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erynne936
Jun 13th, 2008, 11:25 PM
Anyone who now lives in the US but spent their childhood in another country? I am taking a graduate class on development across cultures and I was wondering if some bored multicultural vegans might want to answer a survey? I will give you an avocado! :D


Gender:

Age:

Age at time of immigration:

Country of origin:

Why did you leave your country?
Was your decision to immigrate voluntary or involuntary? why?

What were your expectations when you came to the country?

When you think of family, who is included? Who are the members of your family? (Household only or extended tribe/clan affiliation?)

Would you describe your family as traditional or nontraditional in your culture of origin? why?
At what age does the average person get married in your culture?

Are there any rituals involved in the marriage process (dowry, bride price)?

Is arranged marriage acceptable or encouraged?

Are marriages monogamous or polygamous?

Can you tell me about childrearing in your culture?

Are there gender specific roles?

From your perspective, what are the differences and expectations of men and women in your culture vs. American culture?

Are there any differences you have noticed about the expectations parents have regarding childhood development?

Any special traditions about bringing up children? (losing baby teeth, starting to walk or talk, toilet training, starting menstruation....)

Have differences in acculturation and assimilation rates affected you and your family?

Is the same language dominant for the different generations in you family?

How are children educated in your country of origin?
What is the setting? Does every child get educated?

Is education highly valued?

What sorts of subjects are covered?

Is there formal testing?

Standardized testing?

If you are employed, does your work role differ from the role you had at home?

If you are employed did you have any difficulty finding employment when you came to the US?

Has your economic status changed?
How important is religion or spirituality in your country of origin?

Tell me about your religion/spirituality, if any.

Do you see any major differences in spiritual life here in the United States?

What is your general impression of American culture?

xrodolfox
Jun 14th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Anyone who now lives in the US but spent their childhood in another country? I am taking a graduate class on development across cultures and I was wondering if some bored multicultural vegans might want to answer a survey? I will give you an avocado! :D

For an avocado? I'll do just about anything.


Gender: Male

Age: 30

Age at time of immigration: 7 years old

Country of origin: Chile

Why did you leave your country? My parents moved to pursue graduate education unavailable in Chile.
Was your decision to immigrate voluntary or involuntary? why?

"Voluntary" for my parents, although political pressure did make it the "smart" thing to do. For me and my brother, it was involuntary as we didn't get a choice.

What were your expectations when you came to the country?

I expected the wild west from TV's the Lone Ranger and the cities from 1980's US movies. No trees, just open spaces and skyscrapers.

I also expected a nation full of people that didn't know they were directly responsible for the oppression of our country; a country so big and powerful they step on everything and kill it. Less of an evil empire, and more of a careless, thoughtless empire.

When you think of family, who is included? Who are the members of your family? (Household only or extended tribe/clan affiliation?)


My nuclear family is just my parents and brother. However, when I say "family", I tend to include my uncles, aunts, grandparents, and cousins. My family (in Chile all live in the same town).

Would you describe your family as traditional or nontraditional in your culture of origin? why?

My nuclear family is not at all traditional in Chile. The rest of the family is marginally traditional.

At what age does the average person get married in your culture?

Seems the same as in the US.

Are there any rituals involved in the marriage process (dowry, bride price)? None that are outside of what would be expected in cultures that try to mimic Europe. It's more or less that same as in the US except that the party lasts ALL DAY and far into the next day. There are also huge inter cultural divides in that there are many people in our family who are athiests, and thus refuse church weddings, while other people in our family are really into G-d and have modest church weddings.

Is arranged marriage acceptable or encouraged?

Arranged marriages would be parriah. There's no such thing at all.

Are marriages monogamous or polygamous?

Monogamous, although "cheating" is often expected in dominant culture.

Can you tell me about childrearing in your culture?
OK.

Are there gender specific roles?

Yep.
But the roles seem to be more flexible for men in Chile. Men in Chile tend to be more openly loving towards their children (fathers holding hands in public with teenaged sons), and men tend to know and be more comfortable holding and soothing babies and doing much of the work in taking care of small children.

From your perspective, what are the differences and expectations of men and women in your culture vs. American culture?

This could be a dissertation topic, so if you want more, you'll have to ask me specific questions on this particular topic. I'll do the best I can in few sentences in the meantime.

Sexism in Chile, in the form of objectification of women, is much more accepted in Chile. That usually takes the form of accepted workplace harrassment. Even though Chile has a female president elected in a popular and general election, women tend to not be seen as powerful leaders and there's a huge culture of the "backroom deal" based on family patrilineal connections.

For children and families, however, there seems to be quite a lot more cultural respect and care. Strangers don't shoot stares of "shut your kid up!" when a child is loud in restaurants and/or stores like they do in the US. There are special faster lines in stores and in parking areas reserved for pregnant women, or families with small children. It seems like while spaces for the handicapped are less common than in the US, the institutional nurturing of families is quite common in Chile.

Are there any differences you have noticed about the expectations parents have regarding childhood development?

In Chile, there's less pressure on children to grow up fast at an early age (ie. no Baby Einstein books). The focus tends to be on nurturing small children. Instead, the pressure for children to succeed academically comes on later.

There is a general idea that breasfeeding and weening can occur later than in the US.

Any special traditions about bringing up children? (losing baby teeth, starting to walk or talk, toilet training, starting menstruation....)

Nothing there that would seem different than in the US.

Have differences in acculturation and assimilation rates affected you and your family?

Yep.
I don't "fit" in to either Chilean or US cultures. I'm quite comfortable with that outsider status.

Is the same language dominant for the different generations in you family?


Kind of.
I'm 50-50 bilingual. My folks are Spanish dominant bilingual . My kids are bilingual, but English dominant.

How are children educated in your country of origin?

Mostly through mandatory public schools. Although private parocial schools tend to be the best, and there's a few high end private schools that only the well off can attend.

What is the setting? Does every child get educated? Yes. I find that the education system in Chile is generally superior to that of the US in mathematics and science and some social sciences.
What is lacking in most Chilean schools, as well as US schools, is the serious implementation of critical thought and pedagogy.

Is education highly valued? Very much so.

What sorts of subjects are covered? Same as in the US.

Is there formal testing? Yes.

Standardized testing? Yes.

If you are employed, does your work role differ from the role you had at home?

I've been employed both in Chile and in the US. I have to say that working in Chile is much worse than in the US.

My work is similar, but less flexible in Chile.

If you are employed did you have any difficulty finding employment when you came to the US?

I've found much more difficulty getting employment in Chile. The jobless rates are at least 5% to 10% higher there than in the US.

Has your economic status changed?
I make quite a lot more in the US, for less work, than in Chile. My social class, however, is lower in the US than in Chile.

How important is religion or spirituality in your country of origin?

There's a tacit Roman Catholicism in the country that's experienced as general faith by the majority, akin to how most people in the US claim Christianity but go to church just once a month.

However, much of my family is either quite religious or vocally athiest.

Tell me about your religion/spirituality, if any. We're athiest that occasionally go to Zen Buddhist Temple.

Do you see any major differences in spiritual life here in the United States?

It's quite similar, except that the influences in the US are mostly protestant while in Chile it's mostly Roman Catholic. The biggest difference is that the athiests in Chile tend to be more organized.

What is your general impression of American culture?

I am highly critical of US culture, just as I'm critical of Chilean culture. Each has wonderful aspects that I treasure and cherish. However, each culture has deep problems.

In the US, the hegemony of world ignorance is stifling. In the US, the treatment of children and women and families is horrifying. The US is terribly family unfriendly, mostly due to right wing policies and this idea of the rugged individual.

In Chile, minorities are treated with disdain and hostility. LGBT communities are actively socially attacked to a greater degree but in a similar spectrum as in the US. Class differences are visible and quite immutable. There's a collectivity in spirit that can quickly turn to a collectivity in despondency and an institutional disdain for cultural creativity. Conformity is a highly valued trait in Chile, where only experts or geniuses are allowed to remake the norms. That conformity is stifling.

I find that both cultures have a long way to progress.

cruelkitti
Jun 14th, 2008, 10:45 AM
That was really interesting to read!


...an avocado well-earned.

erynne936
Jun 14th, 2008, 04:06 PM
xrodolfox, that was so interesting! Thank you so much! I have a quick question now, but I might ask you a few more later. You said that you came to the US at 7 years old ? But then you spoke of working there, so I am wondering if age 7 is correct or am I misunderstanding something? Thanks again for taking the time to give such thoughtful answers :) I will put your avocado in the FedEx today! But it might be guacamole when it gets to you.... convenient, right? :D

erynne936
Jun 14th, 2008, 04:21 PM
Why did you leave your country? My parents moved to pursue graduate education unavailable in Chile.

What type of education were they looking for? What are their occupations?


Would you describe your family as traditional or nontraditional in your culture of origin? why?

My nuclear family is not at all traditional in Chile. The rest of the family is marginally traditional.

why is your nuclear family not traditional in Chile?



Are marriages monogamous or polygamous?

Monogamous, although "cheating" is often expected in dominant culture.

more so than in the US?


Are there any differences you have noticed about the expectations parents have regarding childhood development?

In Chile, there's less pressure on children to grow up fast at an early age (ie. no Baby Einstein books). The focus tends to be on nurturing small children. Instead, the pressure for children to succeed academically comes on later.

There is a general idea that breasfeeding and weening can occur later than in the US.


when does the academic pressure start for the children, what age? is it when they enter school?


If you are employed, does your work role differ from the role you had at home?

I've been employed both in Chile and in the US. I have to say that working in Chile is much worse than in the US.

My work is similar, but less flexible in Chile.

Just my earlier question about what age you came to the US?


Has your economic status changed?
I make quite a lot more in the US, for less work, than in Chile. My social class, however, is lower in the US than in Chile.

Why is your social class different?




I have to reiterate that I really loved reading your answers! This is fascinating! I am glad I am taking this class, and more Americans would do well to learn more about other cultures - including myself! I feel that many Americans are embarrassingly ignorant of the rest of the world and the effect the US has on it.

xrodolfox
Jun 15th, 2008, 03:01 PM
I'll respond in more detail later, but I'll just clarify one point.

I moved to the US from Chile when I was 7 years old in 1984. Then we visited Chile for a month at a time each in 1988, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, and then 2001. In that last visit, my wife and I moved to Chile for just over a year. Then we worked and lived in Chile with the intent of staying there for 4 years or more.

We moved back to the US in 2003 due to our unexpected pregnancy.

We live in the US now, and have intentions of moving elsewhere as soon as we work full time again.

xrodolfox
Jun 17th, 2008, 03:59 PM
What type of education were they looking for? What are their occupations?

My father pursued and received a PhD in Power Electric Engineering from RPI in Troy, NY. My mother got a MSW from SUNY Albany. My father had 3 Masters in Engineering already, and my mom had an unrecognized Masters in Social Work as well.

why is your nuclear family not traditional in Chile?

My nuclear family is "traditional" in the sense that there was a male father and a female wife, and two children, but my parents weren't "traditional" at all in regards to Chilean values.

My parents are both atheists. They don't wear wedding rings. They got married mostly for the legal benefits. My mom and dad are "feminists" in the sense that they don't divide household duties like most families do in Chile.

Monogamous, although "cheating" is often expected in dominant culture.
more so than in the US?

I think that cheating is more expected than it is in the US. In Chile, they have "motels" (nothing to do with the "motor + hotels" of the US that popped up near roadways in the 1930s and 1940s). Those chilean motels are exactly like hotels, except that entrance is totally anonymous, as are getting rooms and keys. You pay by the hour. They are designed for couples to have a "little privacy", but it is well known that most of those couples are cheating. It is acknowledged enough by popular culture that those "motels" often make part of the plot in Chilean cinema and TV shows.

when does the academic pressure start for the children, what age? is it when they enter school?

Children enter school in Chile at the same time as in the US. Five year olds go to Pre-K, and 6 year old kids go to Kindergarten.

Academic pressure starts perhaps a year or two later than what I've seen in the US (granted, I live in a University town of Ann Arbor, which is consistently ranked as one of the most educated areas in the US). The pressure in Chile would start at around 7 or 8 years old, depending on social class, and about two years later than comparable social class in the US.

Why is your social class different?

In Chile, the foreigner is fetishized, especially English speaking people. Thus, I was seen as "high" social class, even though I am Chilean as well. I had access and knowledge to a world outside of Chile that most Chileans of all classes idealize.

In the US, my knowledge isn't idealized at all, and my poverty reduces any knowledge to low social standing as that is the most salient of social markers for people who are working full time in the US.


I have to reiterate that I really loved reading your answers! This is fascinating! I am glad I am taking this class, and more Americans would do well to learn more about other cultures - including myself! I feel that many Americans are embarrassingly ignorant of the rest of the world and the effect the US has on it.

I'm glad you are enjoying my responses. I hope more people respond as well. Are you getting responses from others, perhaps on different forums?

erynne936
Jun 25th, 2008, 06:26 PM
I'm glad you are enjoying my responses. I hope more people respond as well. Are you getting responses from others, perhaps on different forums?

Thank you for the elaborations on your answers! I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write back. I am taking a summer class so with the whole semester smooshed into 6 weeks my last 2 weeks have been very full of projects! :dizzy: I did post this survey to some other boards I am a member of, and I did receive one other reply, from a woman from Australia, but she gave short yes/no answers and didn't have time to elaborate. So, your reply was the best! I incorporated your answers into a paper that I just received back with a 100% grade, so thank you very much for your help!! :D (an informal paper, just for class, nothing that will be published or anything like that) You have been more than accomodating and I really appreciated and enjoyed reading about your experiences in Chile and the US :) I can't thank you enough for the time and thought you put into your responses. You are a very nice person! :thumbsup: