Gender Equality and Inequality in Parenting Other chapter (not listed above)

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Gendered Power and Parenting

Parenting styles can be incredibly diverse and come in many different ways. Many of us who are parents recognize a lot of the decisions we make as reflections of our own parents. For better or worse, our parenting styles have been greatly influenced by our parents, our culture, and our society. This paper aims to focus on some of the scholarly work that has been done in order to analyze different parenting styles, and also to observe the influences of the parental behavior on the child.

How do the article journals compare and contrast to the class readings?

Two separate child-care models were discussed in the first article. There is the more traditional approach in which the mother takes on the majority of the child-care responsibility while the father steps back and focuses on being a provider. The second model shows an equal collaboration between both partners in child-raising. This breaks the traditional gender role system that mothers are to be the primary care taker of children. Both fathers and mothers are able to develop close emotional bonds to the child in the second model whereas that is exclusive to the mothers in the first (Cowdery, Martin, & Mahoney, 2005).

According to the work done by Hunter, Bermudez, and Stinson & Abrams (2014), mother hood has a wide spectrum of different meanings. Mothers view themselves in a different light based on a large variety of different factors. They performed an in-depth study in which 20 interviews were held with Mexican mothers in order to establish what their living experiences were. The results of the inquiry were divided into six different domains. The first was how the woman described herself as a mother, the second were their perceptions of strength, the third was their challenges, the fourth was their influence over their children, the fifth was the true meaning of motherhood, and finally the sixth point was how it was as a Mexican mother. Hispanic mothers reported often feeling that they were both loving and good mothers despite the fact that they faced difficult challenges. Their cultures were an enriching add-on to child-raising since their communities were often very closely knitted. (Bermudez, Hunter, Stinson, & Abrams, 2014).

Two class readings were presented on this topic. One examined the two more common ways that parents divide up responsibility in the home. According to the traditional model, women as mothers take on almost all child rearing responsibilities while the father seeks to provide for the gamily. The second model was the one in which both partners shared the duty of child rearing equally. Finally, the second article examined the way of life for Hispanic mothers, the challenges they face, and how they identify themselves as mothers. The lesson learned was that they felt that they were capable of being excellent mothers, even in difficult times.

2. What did you learn from article journals? What have you never considered before? How might the issues of women (gender power) relate to other oppressed populations?

Tajima & Harachi's (2010) article examined the large quantity of new refugees and immigrants that are moving into America. These populations have been rapidly increasing in size over the last few years. Out of all the demographics in the country, it is the Pacific Islander and Asian-American one that is growing the very fastest. This group of people is usually abbreviated as the AAPI, and according to the 2000 census they make up roughly 4.2% of the U.S. population. The majority of the AAPI identify as Vietnamese followed by the Cambodians. This group of people faces unique challenges in America that most majorities do not. Many of these challenges are domestic and include the struggle between modernity and traditional family roles. The cultures of Southeast Asian families is usually strong and very traditional, younger generations undermining of it is a large place for conflict (Tajima & Harachi, 2010).

Bermudez, Hunter, Stinson & Abrams (2014) had another article created that focused on that motherhood provided both status and achievement for Mexican women specifically. Becoming a mother increased social status and also acted as a 'rite of passage' into being an adult. There have been much written on the topic of Hispanic mothers and while that specific group does have a very unique view on parenthood, it is important not to glorify it. Hispanic mothers do not love what they are doing all the time. There are large amounts of adversity factors and the motherhood experience can differ greatly, especially for single mothers. Scholars are still very important in helping us understand what it means to live as a Hispanic mother in America.

That the cultural makeup of a demographic could change the parenting experience so drastically is something I had not previously considered. The examination of similarities and differences, the integration of how data affects the depictions of parenthood, as well as the expansion of various strengths are all new ways for me to understand parenting (Bermudez, Hunter, Stinson, & Abrams, 2014). This is useful also for determining data about oppressed populations as well.

3. How much evidence was provided to support material presented?

The amount of proof provided was definitely enough to satisfy and make the articles believable. Tajima and Harachi (2010) discussed Fontes (2002) work and noted the incredible influence made on child rearing by ethnicity and culture. Oral traditions passed down through the generations are how the best methods of child rearing are being preserved among many cultures (p. 33). The different backgrounds of the parents have a large impact on the child's set of beliefs and image of the world (Chao, 2000; Kim & Wong, 2002). What are not as known currently though, are the particular ideals and values being passed down to children by minorities in America. The diversity of cultural groups in the U.S.A. is incredible, in fact, the country is like a giant mixing pot in which many different cultures and beliefs are thrown together. Most clinical experiences record that immigrant or refugee parents adapt and incorporate new culture throughout the process of immigration. This greatly affects what these parents would have their children know and how they choose to raise them. As of right now though, there is still little research done for the demographics that fit this description. Bornstein and Cote (2003) performed one of the few research projects done in this area on Japanese immigrants. They found that there was apparent uniformity between peoples of the same country after immigration. The cohesion disappeared and new culture was accepted (p. 368).

Bermudez, Hunter, Morgan, & Abrams (2014) work on Hispanic mothers focused in great detail on the true meanings of being a mother in a very specific demographic group. Ethnic minorities and female immigrants have to balance the values that conflict against their cultures in order to properly see themselves as individuals and mothers. A great example would be family care. Caretaking is a very important and strong value in Hispanic culture. This is true even when the caretakers are working out of the home. Despite any adversity or unplanned obstacles that may come a Hispanic family's way, there is still almost always a positive outlook towards child-care prevalent. This can be explained through the focus that the religious values and culture places on children and parent practices.

This model is grounded in feminist belief system and theory. It is a wide concept that takes into account the various contexts, privilege systems, ideologies, oppression, as well as social locations that all combine to create the expressions of family life (Uttal, 2009). One lens is not all it takes to properly understand these women. They like many other demographics and mothers face unique difficulties that vary greatly due to the mothers cultural identities (Allen, Llyod & Few, 2009, p. 10).

4. What did you read about that you do not agree with? What is your disagreement based on? (values, opinions, statistics)

The biggest disagreement I have had with the course material comes from (Cowdery, Martin, & Mahoney, 2005). The piece discussed how mothers have an instinctive advantage over fathers in child rearing since fathers report feelings of incompetence and fear. This is very unlike what I have seen in my home and I disagree with that being the reason for many fathers not being the primary caregiver. In most homes the father or the mother has to work to provide for the family. It is common for the mother to take time off to remain at home due to the maternity leave they have available. Fathers on the other hand, remain at work and can therefore not develop as close of a bond with the child as the mother. This has nothing to do with apprehension, fear, or incompetence. It is the busy schedule that makes it challenging for a father to take on the role the mother is often given.

How might you integrate what you have learned into your view of human behavior and the social environment? How…

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