Model minority mothering: biculturalism in action
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This thesis traces the immigration of "model minority" mothers: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, from their home countries to the United States. It examines the reasons women immigrate to the United States, the situations into which they immigrate, and the ways that they adapt traditional East Asian modes of mothering and child rearing techniques to life in the United States. This thesis finds that Chinese, Japanese, and Korean women emigrate to the United States primarily under the direction of male figures of authority. Motivators of their emigration include leaving poverty and war in their own countries, joining husbands or potential husbands in the United States, hoping to escape the cultural restrictions of their home countries, or becoming prostitutes. As these women make their own way in the United States, they find themselves encountering immense cultural difficulties, not the least of which is the alteration of their role as mothers as they try to raise their children in an entirely new cultural context. Despite the hopes of many of these women, what they find in the United States is not a life of leisure and wealth; rather, they are forced into positions in which they must work for long hours outside the home to provide economically for their families as well as raise their children and care for the home. This thesis finds that memoirs, novels, biographies, autobiographies, narratives, historical accounts, and sociological data highlight several major areas of adaptation for these women including: the differences in these women's sense of community in America, their expectations of the educational system in the United States, the reversal of power in the use of language between mother and daughter, and the complex measures of adaptation to and rejection of U.S. cultural norms that mothers must implement while raising their children. Rather than being crushed by the labor that they must perform and the cultural adaptations that they must make, these women willingly sacrifice their lives to build a base upon which their children can succeed through the attainment of higher education leading toward upward mobility.
Ashie, Christina Anne (2008). Model minority mothering: biculturalism in action. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from