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UCLA sociologist zeroes in on what motivates “tiger moms“
UCLA sociologist zeroes in on what motivates “tiger moms“
2014/4/6 10:01:21 | 浏览:2895 | 评论:0

《每日邮报》:“虎妈”效应无效? 美亚裔儿童成绩优异另有原因

一项新的研究表明,在美国的亚裔儿童成绩优异并更容易获得成功并非是“虎妈”因素。

  社会学教授杰妮芙·李(Jennifer Lee)和周敏(音译:Min Zhou)访问了82名中国和越南儿童移民的父母,以希望更好的了解为什么亚裔儿童在美国较之其他族裔儿童更易获得成功。

  耶鲁大学法学院教授“虎妈”蔡美儿是在2011年1月8日曾在《华尔街日报》发表文章《为什么华人妈妈更胜一筹》,回顾了自己的教育方式,并阐述了自己眼中的华美教育差异。

  然而这两位学者的发现却与虎妈理论不同:尽管亚裔父母会帮助孩子,但是决定性的因素应该是亚裔社区更重视传统工作和学业成功。这也许能解释为什么有些美国的亚裔儿童尽管出身并不富裕,但是仍和那些富裕家庭的孩子差别不大。毕竟,“虎妈”代表的是亚裔家长会给孩子投入大量时间金钱以让其学习音乐或者外语等特长。

  在亚裔家长心中,“在学校表现不错”意味着要拿全A的分数,毕业后能够进入加州大学或者常春藤盟校以及能够从事像医生、律师、药剂师或者工程师这类的职业。对亚裔学生来说,拿到B意味着“不及格”。

  这使得亚裔儿童即使没有父母的强迫,也会感受到来自社区和同族裔的压力。也就是说,如果成绩不够好,亚裔儿童可能会觉得自己将变得“格格不入”。研究者称,如果不以“种族论英雄”,亚裔美国人则可有一定的空间去按自己的方式寻求成功。

  不过,现在也有越来越多的亚裔美国人不再拘泥于传统的“成功”定义,而是选择以自己的方式追求想要的东西。研究者表示,这种趋势将给亚裔移民的父母和孩子以更多的信心来扩大对成功的定义。

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2599850/Forget-tiger-moms-Study-says-Asian-American-children-succeed-socioeconomic-factors-dont-measure-ethnic-outliers.html

Do so-called "tiger moms" — Asian-American mothers who push their children to get straight As and gain admission into elite universities — have a narrow view of success?

A new study co-authored by sociology and Asian American studies professor Min Zhou of UCLA’s College of Letters and Science argues that they do. Chinese- and Vietnamese-American "tiger moms," a term popularized by author and Yale law professor Amy Chua, see education as the only sure path to upward mobility.

"They fear that their nonwhite children may experience discrimination in ‘soft’ fields like writing, acting or art," Zhou said. "So they steer their children toward more conservative professions such as medicine, law and engineering.

UCLA sociologist zeroes in on what motivates “tiger moms“
"Tiger moms" push their children academically because they believe that education is the only sure path to upward mobility, a recent study shows.

"The parents think that their children would not experience bias from employers, fellow employees, peers, customers and clients because of the ‘hard’ records of merit in these fields," she added.

For the study, which was published this month in the journal Race and Social Problems and was co-authored with Jennifer Lee, UC Irvine sociology professor, researchers analyzed in-depth interviews with 82 adult children of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants in the Los Angeles area.

"Tiger moms" make no qualms about their intensive efforts to groom their children through extra classes, activities and tutors, the study’s authors wrote. They pressure their kids to get straight As so they can gain admission to the nation’s elite universities and pursue graduate degrees.

One person interviewed for the study said:"A is for average, and B is an Asian fail."

Study authors referred to this narrow view of achievement as a "success frame."

They also noted that many Chinese parents come to the U.S. with a college degree so they are able to afford extra tutoring, after-school classes, SAT prep courses and summer school classes in local community colleges.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs in these immigrant communities run tutoring, college preparation courses and other educational programs at affordable prices for immigrant families, which creates even more pressure for "tiger moms" and their children to excel.

Even Vietnamese parents who came to the U.S. as refugees and with little education also shepherd their children into these programs.

"For the Chinese and Vietnamese respondents, high school was mandatory, college was an obligation, and only after earning an advanced degree does one deserve kudos," the study’s authors wrote.

For example, Caroline, a 35-year-old second-generation Chinese-American woman said that her mother believes it’s ludicrous that graduating from high school is cause for celebration.

"I was happy(at my high school graduation), but you know what? My mother was very blunt," Caroline said. "She said, ‘This is a good day, but it’s not that special.’"

"It’s a further obligation that you go to college and get a bachelor’s degree," she added. "Thereafter, if you get a Ph.D. or a master’s, that’s the big thing; that’s the icing on the cake with a cherry on top, and that’s what she values."

Even Asian-Americans in the study who achieved some degree of success but didn’t attend what their parents considered to be a top university feel that they have failed.

Study participant Maryann, a child of Vietnamese immigrants who had only obtained a sixth-grade education, graduated from a Cal State university. She’s working as a substitute teacher while she’s getting her M.A. in education. 

"Despite the extraordinary intergenerational mobility that she has attained, Maryann feels that she departed from the success frame because she earned only a 3.5 GPA and graduated from a Cal State university rather than a UC," the study’s authors wrote.

Yet another Chinese-American woman who graduated from a UC school, owns a profitable contracting and design company and earned $160,000 in one year, feels unsuccessful because she doesn’t have an advanced degree.

But the study’s authors said exerting such pressure on young Asian-Americans takes a toll.

UCLA sociologist zeroes in on what motivates “tiger moms“
UCLA sociologist Min Zhou

Asian-Americans who don’t fit the success frame feel like failures or underachievers, and often distance themselves from their ethnic identities, family and friends, they said. A Princeton study found that Asian-American college students at elite universities had the highest academic outcomes, but the lowest levels of self-esteem compared to white, black and Latino students.

Zhou and Lee recommend that Asian-American parents widen their view of success "so that their children do not feel so constricted in their occupational pursuits." Already, second-generation Asian-Americans are broadening their views, they said.

"Broadening the success frame is not a route to failure," the study’s authors wrote. "Instead, it may lead to uncharted and fulfilling pathways to success."

The interviews were randomly selected from the survey of Immigration and Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles. The survey is a research project funded by the Russell Sage Foundation that’s produced a series of studies on Los Angeles immigrants and will culminate in a book by Zhou and Lee.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/08/forget-tiger-moms-asian-american-students-succeed-because-its-expected-say-scholars/

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