The understanding of the terms gender, ethnicity, and culture and their influence on the family is the core factor in this paper. These terms have diverse definitions though the understanding is basically the same. This is because the terms are applied differently in different social set-ups. Culture can refer to the common beliefs, values, symbols and meanings, passed on from one generation to another in time.
Ethnicity would refer to a common ancestral linage, sense of belonging, and is a major factor in the determination of identity through which communities evolve and develop common value systems and. Gender, as a term has two components mainly role and identity it is the characteristics that society and individuals attach to males or females. Gender identity is the private sense of being masculine or feminine. While gender roles are the prescribed expectations of society towards men or women. Table of contents Abstract 2 Introduction 4
Understanding of gender, culture, and ethnicity 5 Family rituals, traditions, and transitions 7 Conclusion 9 Reference …10. Introduction The combined roles of gender, ethnicity, and culture have an important impact in any family set-up. While gender identity is a private perception of being masculine of feminine the expectations of society is what mainly determines an individual’s perception of the same (McGoldrick et al 1996). Although the roles of gender are dictated by the greater society transitions in families and exposure can bring a shift from the norm.
While culture would refer to the common beliefs, values, symbols and meanings, passed on from one generation to another in time (Goldenburg & Goldenburg, 2000), this is always subject to change as value systems are dynamic and are influenced by outside factors such as education and to a large extent globalization and its effects on individuals. While ethnicity would refer to a common ancestral linage and sense of belonging (McGoldrick et al,1996), it does not change what changes is its influence in the individual’s interpersonal relationships as other factors come into play.
These factors are mainly exposure and education. Understanding of gender, culture, and ethnicity A three-generation family genogram. Legend Examples of gender roles in my family of origin. The gender roles in my family of origin were not quite clearly spelt out. This is because as society in Chile would demand the men were the family bread winners, and they carried the family’s vision. However, we were brought up from a tender age by our mother almost single handedly. The reason being my father had an alcoholic problem which led into a troubled marriage ending in divorce.
My mother had to work to bring us up. The preservation of family traditions is the prerogative of the man and this was done by our paternal grandfather. Now that he is quite old, family traditions are no longer adhered to unlike the case in the past. People of different race or ethnic orientation, were not welcome in our family. The major reason being the older generation was not accommodating to them. The feeling among the family was the people of different race or ethnicity were second class citizens.
The roles of men and women were not clear since in my family my father was absent and my mother performed the roles that society regarded as masculine such as working to raise the family. Women were normally expected to stay at home as housewives taking care of the children and day-day household chores. An outsider is any person who does not belong into our family ancestral blood-line or assimilated into the family by way of marriage. These were treated with suspicion and at times contempt. Whereas an insider is that person born into the blood-line or married into the family line, and were treated with respect.
These messages have broadened my view of interpersonal relationships. Biases, prejudices, and stereotypes. Biases, prejudices, and stereotypes learnt: I came to look down upon domestic servants as a low class people. This is basically from the stereotyping in our society, since these jobs were mainly for the uneducated and were lowly paid. People of different color or ethnicity were seen as second class and were marginalized in every sphere of life including the job market. Education in our family was seen as the only means to getting acceptable standards of living. Family rituals, traditions, and transitions
Rituals in my family. Saying prayers every day before dinner was a ritual our family grew up with. This occurred because my mother was a strong religious woman who instilled moral and religious values in us. She was a strong Catholic woman and prayers were the family cornerstone. Since my paternal grandparents are still alive and are the stronger side of our family, the entire family as well as the extended family needs to congregate at our grandparents’ home for holidays like Christmas. This will bring our father back into the family as we spend time together and reflect on the events of our lives as a family in the past year.
It will help all the family appreciate each other and provide room for change where necessary. In developing a ritual for a family one has to first understand the daily or calendar routine of the family. A family ritual assists the family to develop close bonding. Spending good quality time together especially at the dinner table is one ritual that would serve this purpose. At this time the family members would reflect on the events of the day and issues that arise can be discussed at this time. Dinner needs to be served at a time convenient to all members of the family.
This will assist the family to grow as a close knit unit where each family member is responsible for the general well being of the family as a whole. A tradition in my family. As we grew up one tradition was to visit our paternal grandparents every holiday. We would spend time with them at the beach over the summer holidays for as long as two months. They were a loving couple and very close to their family. The time we would spend with them helped me as I grew to appreciate family bonding as I felt the love and warmth they gave to all of us. This affected me directly because I did not see the same love and affection between my own parents.
My parents were divorced after a troubled marriage, since my father was an alcoholic. The time spent with our grandparents made me appreciate the institution of marriage as a life-long commitment. Transition in my family. One major transition in our family was my father’s alcoholic problem. Alcoholism destroyed our family structure in that my parents got divorced when we were young children and we were brought up by our mother almost single-handedly. In my country Chile, men were the bread winners and household heads while women were basically housewives. This was however not the case in our family. Our family was a woman-headed household.
It was my mother who instilled religious and moral values in us. She was the one who carried the family burden although our father would help us occasionally. A tradition in my family that needs to be changed. A tradition that needs to be changed in our family is that of employing maids, chauffeurs and all sorts of servants. As much as this helps in the growth of the national economy in terms of employment, at the family level it drains family resources and also encourages a dependency syndrome in the children. This is because they grow up seeing other people do things for them, and therefore lack a sense of responsibility.
It does not help in molding children into responsible adults. This tradition needs to be changed and families should only employ a minimal number of servants leaving the children and young adults with some responsibilities to take care of. This would help our family in that the men would grow up dealing with their responsibilities as society demands and not leave their households to be headed by their wives. The women will grow to be strong women like our mother being able to provide for their families even when the men neglect responsibilities.
Conclusion In conclusion, the influence of gender, culture and ethnicity has greatly molded my family. Gender, culture and ethnicity need to be understood in a modern sense since they are the major sources of stereotyping. The influence of exposure and education is what has positively impacted on the families inter personal relationships. References Goldeburg, I. , Goldenburg, H. (2000). Family therapy 5th ed. Australia: Brooks/Cole McGoldrick, M. , Giordano, J. , & Pearce, J. (1996). Ethnicity and family therapy. New York. Guilford
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