Good Example Of Essay On Gender Relationship Within Chinese-American Families

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Family, China, Women, America, United States, Children, Home, Husband

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/22

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Many immigrant Chinese families often adapt to the American way of life. However, it is not a convention for them to change their values and way of life with the passage of time. There are certain norms and conventions that are kept up by the Chinese-American couples and families as they live in America, and they pass on their values to their children and young ones.
In the past, gender roles were much stricter and highly observed especially in the Asian countries of China and Japan and the values adhered to there were followed similarly by the migrants from these countries to wherever they went. In China, a woman left her home after marriage and she would go to her husband’s home and follow three main conventions there; submissiveness to her father, her husband, and her sons. (Ferguson, 2004). Later, these very principles were to be followed to the place she would live in with her husband.
In Chinese-American households, there were certain trends that were followed and observed amongst the husband-wife role and the duties that each of them carried in their home setup. Usually, the Chinese culture is observed to be like the most collective culture and not the most open of them all. They observe a closely knitted set of values. The social structure mainly privileges men rather than women, who enjoy the more superior position and are more in control of the household affairs than women. (Karen et al.,. 2010). Many Chinese prefer to live in the white suburban areas. Although the woman are expected to perform at the workplace, and they may work side by side men, however, it is seen that many women would wish to take the more submissive role and work at home.
Women like to take responsibility for the house and like to stay at home rear their children and give them their utmost attention and love. The men are supposed to work and provide for the family and take care of all the matters that involve going outdoors.
Traditionally the husband is the head of the family. (Karen et al.,. 2010). The communication trends in the family flow from superior to subordinate which means from the husband to the wife, and this means that the wife becomes the connection between the children and the husband. The difference in gender roles appears when in China one would see women standing equal to men, here in America they would like to take on subordinate roles themselves. They believe that there are certain things that only the man in the family would do and not the wife would prefer doing. When it comes to personal choice and giving up on dreams that a person would wish to fulfill, it has been seen that Chinese woman have often compromised on theirs so that they could give their entire wholly on their family. Yet in some cases the men too, have given up their education fulfillment criteria so they can work to provide for the family. (Ferguson and Dona, 2004).
The family system is quite an important one in Chinese culture. They give a lot of importance to rearing up the children in a good atmosphere, inculcating good manners and giving a good, balanced life to their children. (Hamilton, 1996). Generally, mothers were discouraged to work outdoors, and they were expected to work at home, raise their children and let their husbands earn the bread for the family. Sons were given more importance over the daughters, and the way they are raised is also different for both the genders.
The sons will be reared to learn and understand the outside world whereas the females will be reared in a way that they will be married off and sent to live with their husbands and will follow suit of their mothers. This is a disparity that the Chinese mothers are told to forward to their children. The Chinese female child is often made to feel like she is an outside member of the family and that she will have to leave the household once she is grown up.
The other aspect that is prevalent amongst the Chinese immigrants is the respect to the elderly members of the family. The grandparents are an important part of the family institution, and they are to be respected and given due importance to. The grandparents are also responsible for rearing their grandchildren, and the grandchildren have to abide by the rules and respect patterns for their grandparents. The elderly teach their young the manners and customs of the Chinese and make them follow their roots.
The elderly however often complain that their sons and daughters do not give them the due attention and they feel isolated when they are left at home in the day and at night when their children are tired and busy with their own lives often neglect them. This is however part of their lives, and they deal to live this way.


Donna K. Nagata, Wendy J. Y. Cheng and Amy H. Tsai-Chae. (2010). Chinese American Grandmothering: A Qualitative Exploration. American Psychological Association. 1948-1949
Hamilton, Beatrice. (1996). Ethnicity and the family life cycle: The Chinese American family.
Family Therapy. Volume 3. San Diego, CA
Julie Dona Susan J. Ferguson, (2004),"Gendering processes in immigration for Chinese
American and Japanese American women", Equal Opportunities International, Vol. 23 Iss 3/4/5 pp. 80 - 106
Karen Mui-Teng Quek, Carmen Knudson-Martin, Deborah Rue, and Claudia Alabiso. (2010).
Relational Harmony: A New Model of Collectivism and GenderEquality Among ChineseAmerican Couples. Journal of family issues. Sage.

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