Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Chinese Mother

[Click on title for article]

An interesting follow-up to our discussion today. One problem I have with her argument--and there are many--is the segment of the Chinese population she references: Sino-American immigrants. These people, I would imagine, are some of the most ambitious in China. They would likely expect the same of their children. To be sure, there are many millions in China who would fail Chua's standards. What she calls the "Chinese mother" must therefore be amended to something like the "ambitious Chinese mother who moved to America because of her ambition and expects the same ambition of her kids." There were plenty of white American kids whom I went to school with with equally pushy parents. They will make equally good doctors. And I can say as a matter of fact that they did not think of themselves as Chinese.

My circumstantial evidence for the day is a scene I witnessed walking back from the metro. A member of the Chinese "delegation," 5 or 6 years in age, was running around a patch of freshly poured pavement that was surrounded in yellow tape. The parents paid no attention and nearly walked away without their child. Hardly attentive parenting, by my estimation. This example is less than conclusive, but I figured it was relevant on several fronts.


Kye said...

The New York Times had a similar take on this, noting that Chua grew up in the Midwest and was raised Roman Catholic. What this parenting style really represents is not so much Chinese values, I think, as a laser focus on high academic achievement--the sort of personality one might expect to find in a Yale professor.

Kye said...
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