Immigrant Parents: A Cultural Analysis

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Segmented assimilation is a sociological model that shapes the lives of many children with immigrant parents. Raised in a different environment from their parents, these children have a choice to either pick on new cultural values or leaving some of their parent’s culture behind. In many of the cases immigrant parents have a big role in their children 's life to maintain cultural values over new cultural values being adapted from the new society they now live in. This brings upon a mixture of confusion and loss of identification between the two cultures that surround the children 's life, affecting their way they perceive themselves. Struggling to keep the culture they are raised in and the new culture they now live in can create a…show more content…
Growing up with two different cultures and trying to incorporate both within is the process of remaking an identity that is coherent to the live of a child that struggles within the corporation of two cultures that influence their mind-set. The study of Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco in, Children of Immigration, the section “Remaking Identity,” the authors state the influence immigrant parents have over their children to maintain their cultural values. Not only does it affect the child 's self-identity, but being under pressure to keep a balance in their social lives outside of home. Being put under pressure to stick to one culture, these children are cautiously aware of when and where to switch among cultural behaviors that would look “normal” at home, and deliberately changing over to behaviors that will most likely fit in this community; this is a constant switch to make them look less “foreign.” Their cultural values cannot be broken down into one, as the study states that, “rather than using their parents’ standard, they apply the new society’s expectations about lifestyles …” (Súarez-Orozco 74) when facing problems outside home. Children of immigrant parents are constantly put upon pressure to maintain values at home, such as keeping their first language, or eating food within their culture. Assimilating to another culture that is different from their parents will be hard to occur as they are not accepted at home, and maintaining their parents…show more content…
In many occasions the confusion of maintaining two cultures can lead into distress. Robert C. Smith has studied that children of immigrant parents, specifically Mexican-Americans in New York City in the book, Mexican New York: Transitional Lives of New immigrants where he studies the social troubles Mexican-American children face living in New York and having immigrant parents. Smith speaks about the struggles that Mexican American children go through as they live in New York and trying to fit in the city’s environment as well as keeping the Mexican culture at home. When raising these children, Smith showed the struggle Mexican immigrant parents undergo raising in a place that is not Mexico. Wanting what is best for their children, while maintaining culture at home, these parents determine three possible paths their children can possibly take to better their lives. Not wanting these kids to assimilate into another culture, parents would contradict encourage for their kids to either, follow the lives of the white middle class, or to the lives of the inner-city culture in which man of the cases, “youths in this culture dropout of schools” (Smith 25). Not following the ideals their parent would wish for them to do, these kids would create a path of their own, that define themselves into a social group and setting themselves apart from others. When following the ideals of white-middle class or the inner city, rather than the path that defines them apart from the others, it would

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