I had to laugh at the title of this journal article published recently in the Journal of Adolescent Research: Redeeming immigrant parents: How Korean American emerging adults reinterpret their childhood (Kang, Hyeyoung; Okazaki, Sumie; Abelmann, Nancy; Kim-Prieto, Chu; Shanshan, Lan)
Korean American youth experience immigration-related parent-child challenges including language barriers, parent-child conflicts, and generational cultural divides. Using grounded theory methods, this article examines the ways in which 18 Korean American college-enrolled emerging adults retrospectively made sense out of their experiences of immigrant family hardships. Of those who narrated childhood hardship, over half narrated positive change in which they reinterpreted their relationship to their parents and redeemed their immigrant parents either through their own maturation or through spirituality. This narrative strategy is consistent with cognitive change in emerging adults’ view of their parents that have been documented in other studies (Arnett, 2004). Only a minority of participants did not narrate positive changes and remained distressed over their relationship to their parents. Findings suggest the possibility that narration of positive change is a culturally salient process by which many Korean American emerging adults come to terms with early family challenges.
So friends, there is hope! Maybe one day someone’s parent will publish a companion piece: “Redeeming second generation children.” Can’t wait.
(Let the record reflect that I don’t actually teach undergrads)
That I’m trying to hold out on getting a smartphone for as long as possible:
Some fun innovation. Amazing that they require that you do research about your teaching as a tenure requirement!
For Gascoigne, the flagship University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities seemed monstrously large, and private St. Olaf College was far too expensive. So she commutes twenty-four miles each way to UMR from her 3,000-citizen hometown of Zumbrota (motto: “The only Zumbrota in the world”). She describes her typical weekend as “studying, and cleaning my apartment,” which she shares with her roommate, a hairdresser. This explains the spiky hair.
America’s system of old universities has always done a good job of educating a small percentage of talented and well-off students. But the old system is ill-equipped for Jessica Gascoigne and Chelsea Griffin and hundreds of thousands of other students who need universities that are designed to help them in the way that UMR helps its students. For now, the University of Minnesota’s new Rochester campus is an interesting outlier. If more people can see the true potential of its newness, it will be much more.
Lovely piece by Mike Rose on the value of an education. Big regret that I never got to take his writing class at UCLA. Thanks to Victor/Hoi-ning for reposting:
Not one, but two Ohio contributors to the world of premium ice cream are mentioned:
I’m reading Habits of the Heart for the first time.
“In its own understanding, the expressive aspect of our culture exists for the liberation and fulfillment of the individual. Its genius is that it enables the individual to think of commitments–from marriage and work to political and religious involvement–as enhancements of the sense of individual well-being rather than moral imperatives…The expressive culture, now deeply allied with the utilitarian, reveals its difference from earlier patterns by its readiness to treat normative commitments as so many alternative strategies of self-fulfillment. What has dropped out are the old normative expectations of what makes life worth living. With the freedom to define oneself anew in the plethora of identities has also come an attenuation of those common understandings that enable us to recognize the virtues of the other. In fact, the new culture is deeply ambiguous. It represents both the easing of constraints and dogmatic prejudices about what others should be and an idealization of the cooly manipulative style of management. In our society, with its sharply divided spheres, it provides a way for the beleaguered individual to develop techniques for coping with the often-contradictory pressures of public and private life. Yet it does so by extending the calculating managerial style into intimacy, home, and community, areas of life formerly governed by the norms of a moral ecology” (47-48).
Lots to chew on.
Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail? Though the last question sounds lighthearted, it’s not. Two of the 32 people in my Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. Jeff Skilling of Enron fame was a classmate of mine at HBS. These were good guys—but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction.
[Clayton Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life? by way of David Brooks]
Karen Benjamin, Saint Xavier University
Suburbanizing Jim Crow: The Impact of School Policy on Residential Segregation
An extensive literature documents the historical process of suburbanization, residential segregation, and the popularity of restrictive covenants in the early twentieth century. Yet, the importance of local school policy in facilitating and driving that process remains a neglected area of research. Over the last century, school policy and housing markets shaped each other so extensively that a line cannot be drawn between them. This argument is particularly relevant for southern cities during the period of rapid urbanization between World War I and the Great Depression. During the school construction boom of the 1920s, southern school boards manipulated school site selection to create residential segregation in cities with previously integrated housing patterns. According to municipal documents, school board minutes, and local newspapers, board members in Houston, Raleigh, Atlanta, and Little Rock placed the newest and most expensive white schools in outlying suburbs with racially restrictive covenants. Meanwhile, they placed black schools in older neighborhoods rather than the newer suburban developments popular with the black middle class. Since schools helped determine where people lived, these policies helped pull white residents from integrated areas to all-white suburbs and cement black residents in deteriorating neighborhoods. As a result, previously vibrant, integrated spaces became politically isolated and economically depressed ghettos. Moreover, board members selected many of these sites over the ardent protests of both black and white residents, belying the myth that “de facto” segregation was at play. [This synopsis was pulled off the Spencer website, she's a 2010 fellow--sounds like a fantastic project!]
Thinking of Karen Benjamin and Michael’s work in tandem (especially because both address Houston) makes me wonder how a mix of de facto and de jure residential segregation in the past* affects contemporary residential (and school) segregation (and how residential and school seg continue to be deeply intertwined).
*(Benjamin contends that it wasn’t de facto, but I wonder if it’d be more appropriate to say that it wasn’t just de facto. Pretty depressing though, even when you had people who wanted to live in an integrated neighborhood, you had policies that were actively deterring it.)