SOLUTION: Suffolk University Pressures From the Larger Society on The Family Essay

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Shuo Zhang
October 13,2020
100D/E
Essay 1
Pressures from the Larger Society on the Family
Family and society influence each other interchangeably. Whereas family
socializes children, offers emotional and physical support, and gives its members
social identity, society groups family units into differentiated institutions. Societal
features tend to impact the way members of a family behave on social spaces. Family
dynamics are greatly influenced by popular cultures and social aspects that create
conflicting intergenerational relationships. Various scholars, such as Vivian
Gornick, Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mary Doyle Curran, and Malcolm X
hold divergent views on intergenerational relationships, culture, and social aspects.
They provide first-hand experiences that show how pressures from the larger
society can affect the family unit.
Intergenerational relationships are defined by the existing interactions
between aging parents, adult children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The
underlying reciprocity in family relations is beneficial to all generations. However,
in some cases, intergenerational relationships are characterized by conflicts. Vivian
Gornick in “No Longer One of Them,” notes that traditional roles that underpinned
her mother as a housewife made her to end up relatively disadvantaged. Gornick’s
mother disagrees with her daughter’s view of expressing her thoughts and feelings
loudly and freely. Gornick has the freedom to talk about various things that her
mother considers inappropriate. The different views held by the two women create
intergenerational conflict between them, which makes them to quarrel from time
to time. Equally, in “Mother Tongue” Amy Tan argues that her mother watched her
speech in disbelief when she used the kind of English that is not familiar to her
mother. The use of grammatical phrases, conditional phrases, and perfect tenses is
something that is alien to Tan’s mother. Tan adopts different kinds of English in
distinct contexts. She refers to the kind of English she uses when talking her mother
as mother tongue. Thus, when she utilizes some lexicons during her presentations,
her mother fails to understand the message being shared.
A significant part of how children develop is influenced by the culture that
surrounds them. Various cultural traits, such as language and religious beliefs are
central in shaping a child’s thought process. Child development is an interactive,
multifaceted, and dynamic process that is dependent on multiple factors. Children
interact in different ways with their environment. The things they contribute and
receive during their interactions impact how they react, behave, and think. In
“Girlhood among Ghosts” Maxine Hong Kingston argues that Chinese girls were
raised up to be silent. Thus, they were unable to participate in various activities at
school like other girls, unlike the African Americans that talked freely. Notably,
when they go to evening Chinese classes, the Chinese girls intermingle and talk
normally. Maxine Hong’s mother warns her daughter about speaking anyhow in the
United States of America fearing that she might talk about something that will put
the entire family in trouble. Hong’s mother argues that she had to shorten her
daughter’s tongue to prevent her from engaging in unwanted conversations with
strangers. The culture of asking the Chinese girls to remain silent affected Hong and
her sister making it hard for them to even read stories in class. Thus, their voices
were shaky and inaudible.
Social aspects, such as policies and classes play a significant role in
influencing the family unit. Some policies are designed to protect specific groups
from others. In the process, there are minimal interactions between different social
groups. In his autobiography Malcolm X notes that his family was disintegrated by
social institutions that were established “because of a society’s failure, hypocrisy,
greed, and lack of mercy and compassion.” He believes that his family would still
have been intact if his father was not killed by the KKK and her mother denied
insurance due to government operatives. The system and the white supremacists
were against the African Americans. Instead of the government ensuring that
Malcolm X’s mother is compensated and empowered to take care of her children, it
exposes her to racial discrimination and ridicule. Social institutions that were put in
place were insensitive to the challenges of African Americans, which was the reason
why Malcolm X’s mother becomes depressed and the family disintegrates. Mary
Doyle Curran’s novel, “The Parish and the Hill,” shows how Mary O’Connor’s life
was affected by social class. Her cousin, Ann, though an Irish was hesitant to play
with Mary because she considered her dirty. Life at the Parish was livable because
Mary’s family stayed near people that were not basing their relationship on social
class. However, life at the Hill was hectic because of the discriminatory tendency of
the individuals that were living there.
In conclusion, pressures from the larger society have a significant impact on the
family unit. However, the family unit can also influence the dynamics of society.
Authors, such as Vivian Gornick, Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mary Doyle
Curran, and Malcolm X have explored intergenerational relationships, cultural
dynamics, and social aspects in relation to the family unit. Gornick’s and Tan’s
stories are vital in demonstrating how a family unit can be affected with
intergenerational conflicts. Gornick’s mother disagrees with her daughter’s view of
expressing her thoughts and feelings loudly and freely. The use of grammatical
phrases, conditional phrases, and perfect tenses is something that is alien to Tan’s
mother. Maxine Hong Kingston’s write-up shows how culture affects the way
Chinese girls interact with others. Hong notes that Chinese girls are expected to
remain silent. Mary Doyle Curran’s and Malcolm X’s stories illustrate how social
aspects impact family unit. Whereas Malcolm X’s family disintegrates, Mary stops
talking to her cousin.
.

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