Download Life Lines: Community, Family, and Assimilation among Asian by Jean Bacon PDF

By Jean Bacon

Asian Indians determine prominently one of the knowledgeable, heart type subset of up to date immigrants. They circulate speedy into apartments, jobs, and life that supply little chance with fellow migrants, but they proceed to work out themselves as a particular group inside modern American society. In lifestyles traces Bacon chronicles the construction of a community--Indian-born mom and dad and their childrens residing within the Chicago metropolitan area--bound by way of neither geographic proximity, nor institutional ties, and explores the procedures by which ethnic id is transmitted to the following iteration. Bacon's research facilities upon the engrossing pics of 5 immigrant households, every one a fancy tapestry woven from the unique voices of its kin. either vast box paintings between neighborhood agencies and analyses of ethnic media aid Bacon reveal the complex interaction among the personal social interactions of relations existence and the stylized rhetoric of "Indianness" that permeates public existence. This artistic research means that the method of assimilation which those households suffer parallels the assimilation approach skilled by means of someone who conceives of him or herself as a member of a particular neighborhood looking for a spot in American society.

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30 Public Life Making Sense of Native Explanations What should we make of the "ego problems" explanation for organizational division? It seems strange that people ignore the interplay between divergent cultural subgroup interests and the ego problems they cite as sources of disunity in the community. Ultimately, it is not divergent interests that cause organizational splits or prevent cooperation or unity but the ego problems of particular individuals. Strange, too, is the fact that people do not recognize a connection between the lack of unity they find so deplorable and the decline of organizations based on a pan-Indian identity in favor of parochial and federated organizations.

Both organizations actively promote the connection of the Indian community to mainstream political and social life. The Federation focuses primarily on creating a political voice for the community (supporting political candidates and intervening with American bureaucracies such as the police and immigration), while the Alliance is more concerned with forging social connections (sponsoring a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless; running seminars to educate teachers about Indian culture and the particular needs of Indian children; arranging specialized nursing-home care for immigrants' aging parents).

Although American society shares this basic orientation with much of The Question of World-view 21 the West, the specifically American worldview also accords an important role to the group in social life. Drawing on a long tradition of research on the American character and social behavior, Bellah et al. argue that a counterpart to American individualism is a fervent commitment to group life. " Rather, group life in America is premised on voluntary associations. "20 The American worldview, then, is not totally characterized by the interactions among equal and autonomous individuals in a context-free environment.

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