Family Interview – Compare and Contrast Cultures Paper-Summary of the Interviews
The interviewees were chosen because African Americans and Latinos seem to share many experiences that the other populations have not gone through. Both Latinos and African Americans have experienced barriers to opportunity, disadvantage, exclusion, and segregation. Besides, they are part of the minority population in the United States. These particular groups, therefore, have a particular level of cultural strength to live in the Western culture, with the majority of the population not sharing their background, culture, and experience.
Summary of the Latino Family Member Interview
In the interviewee’s family, gender roles are hierarchical, with the father considered the head and main decision-maker of the entire household. The other household responsibilities, such as nurturing and house chores, are left to the mother. This was the case both in the traditional Latino society and partly in the Modern Latino society (Sole-Smith, 2021). Even in the modern period, where women have taken up previously dominated male roles in the workplaces, women are still required to do nurturing jobs at home. They are also expected to support their husbands’ decisions. Therefore, when it comes to family roles, little has changed in the Latino family.
Moreover, as a result of the societal transformation that changed the role of women generally, the family goals of the Latino family have expanded to include educational and social awareness, especially among girls and women. According to their religious beliefs, marriage is considered sacred, and therefore, other lifestyles, such as cohabiting prior to marriage, are not encouraged. Even though some Latino family members have embraced Protestant religious beliefs, they still do not consider cohabiting acceptable. However, there has been a rising range of cohabitation and an increased number of children born outside marriage (Landale, Oropesa & Bradatan, 2017). According to the interviewee, this has been tolerated.
When it comes to death and dying, the Latino family beliefs are built from a religious perspective. They believe in life after death, and they also believe that sickness is highly influenced by environmental factors. Therefore, they are increasingly careful about what they eat and how they behave because these can affect their health.
The family also values education because most members have studied at universities and colleges and have encouraged each other to do so. Their jobs are mainly business-related. According to the interviewee, most of the Latinos are bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English to be able to adapt to the American culture.
Although cohabiting is traditionally not acceptable in the Latino culture, most Latinos have adopted the lifestyle and have also intermarried with the rest of the population. When it comes to the celebration of birth, elders are considered very important because they provide emotional and educational support to the new mother. Lastly, leadership roles are mostly taken up by men. Even though women have shown interest in leading, their cultural and social norms have created a barrier for them to be leaders.
African American Interviewee
Like in the Latino culture, the father is the lead decision-maker, and the mother is the nurturer. Their children are also expected to help around the household. Traditionally, African Americans value marriage and believe in its sacredness. However, as a result of slavery, tough economic times, segregation, racism, and many other inequalities that they have faced, they find themselves cohabiting, especially after the birth of a child (Hill, 2016). Some were found to be single mothers because of an increased rate of incarceration among men (Hill, 2016). Although they have embraced education, structural inequalities in the United States have acted as barriers to the achievement of their educational and career goals. Some African Americans have been incarcerated, and this is problematic, especially if you want to secure a good job or to further education. Other ways of coping have included getting married or cohabiting with a partner to help solve economic challenges. The interviewee acknowledged the fact that her family had been Christian for a long time. As a result of their suffering and in relation to Christian teachings, they believe in life after death. They also believe sickness is caused by physical, occult, and spiritual reasons. They have accepted that death is natural and that it is a relief or rest from their suffering. Therefore, towards the end of life, they strongly hold on to their faith. Although challenges of segregation have decreased, most of the interviewee’s family members still have to take up second jobs to support their families and to get them to good schools. In their communications, sensitivity to race segregation is largely paid attention to. Over time, African Americans have accepted White-Black relationships/marriages, which was not the case in the traditional past (Hill, 2016)). When it comes to the celebration of birth, grandparents are very supportive both emotionally, financially, and in any other way needed. Lastly, although women are also taking up leadership roles in the workplace, they are also still nurturers of their homes.
Comparison and Contrast between the Two Interviewees
In both cultures, it is clear that the traditional family setup has the father as the head of the household and the mother as the nurturer of the home, offering supportive roles to their husbands (Sole-Smith, 2021). Even though society has evolved, encouraging social awareness, both interviewees acknowledge that traditional responsibilities still exist.
In addition, both interviewees value marriages, but because of reasons such as economic hardships and adaptation to the American culture, some have tolerated cohabiting, especially in the African-American culture. However, in the African American community, cohabiting is considered normal given their history of struggle that has largely affected the traditionally accepted marriage. Unlike African Americans, most Latinos are bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish (Torres, 2019). Also, both interviewees’ families are Christians. However, before slavery, most African Americans were not Christians (Masci, 2021).
In conclusion, the fact that both cultures expect the father to lead and take care of the family in general, the children are likely to grow up understanding their gender roles. If, for instance, the father is not available, they would have to find a way of adapting to the changed roles. For instance, in the African American culture, when the father of the household is arrested or imprisoned, the woman would have to work harder or remarry to take care of her children. As a result of the tough economic challenges, many have resorted to cohabiting to have shared responsibilities of raising a family. Even though this is not allowed in Latino culture, they have also adopted new lifestyles, like living together before marriage, with women still taking up traditional roles like men.
Hill, S. A. (2016). Marriage among African American women: A gender perspective. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 37(3), 421-440.
Landale, N. S., Oropesa, R. S., & Bradatan, C. (2017). Hispanic families in the United States: Family structure and process in an era of family change. Hispanics and the future of America, 5, 1-30.
Masci, D. (2021). 5 Facts about the Religious Lives of African Americans. Retrieved 12/8/2021 from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/02/07/5-facts-about-the-religious-lives-of-african-americans/
Sole-Smith, V. (2021). How Latino Families are Shifting the Balance of Gender Roles. Retrieved 12/8/2021 from https://www.parents.com/parenting/latina-gender-roles/
Torres, L. (2019). Latino definitions of success: A cultural model of intercultural competence. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 31(4), 576-593.
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It is important to identify and understand your own family culture in order to be able to understand and respect other cultures. Interview a family member and an individual from another culture with which you are unfamiliar. Some examples of an individual from another culture to consider for the assignment include a neighbor, coworker, patient, or friend. Please inform the individuals of the purpose of this assignment and make sure you receive their consent.
Review the “Family Interview ” template prior to the interview. Additional space is designated on the template for you to create three additional questions to ask both interviewees (family members and persons from another culture). Additional questions should be relevant to the readings or discussion and should provide value to the interview by helping to understand the culture.
Some of the questions may include:
Family beliefs: Have they changed over generations?
Educational and occupational status in the culture and in the family
Communication methods: verbal and nonverbal
Current family goals/priorities
Family member roles and organizational systems
Spiritual beliefs: current practice and death and dying
Work attitudes and structure
Using the “Family Interview ” template, interview your designated family member and a person from another culture. Be sure to write your responses in a way that will assist you in writing your paper. After the interview is completed, write a paper of 750-1,000 words that includes the following:
An introductory paragraph with the reasons for selecting the interviewees
A summary of the responses from the interview template gathered from the interviewees
A comparison and contrast of your findings between the two interviewees
A reflective concluding paragraph on how family roles affect the cultural domains and relationships of each individual
Submit both the completed “Family Interview” template and the written paper” to the instructor.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.
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