Familism is a social value that emphasize on powerful affection and devotion to one’s family. A family is prioritized ahead of personal welfare and engagements. It encompasses the duties done to the immediate as well as the extended family since they live near one another. It takes forms such as dependence on family support and embracing the family norms.
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Familism guidelines are pertinent to the family system as well as to the wider family institution that compose a society. These norms are conveyed to the juvenile generation if they are professed as justifiable and reasonable to compose a familistic culture. Familism is the core concept that helps to understand ethnic differences among multicultural setups.
Through studies done across social networks on the immigrant cultures of Latino- Americans, African-Americans and Asia- Americans, it is notable that the most familistic group is the Latino-Americans through their manners and thoughts. Young Latino-Americans portray a higher familism level than African Americans and Asian Americans of the same financial status. Latino-Americans are powerfully loyal and more attached to their members of the immediate family and those of the extended family.
The African-Americans come second while the Asian Americans are last. African Americans have a high regard for children and family and relies on their kin for housing during instances of financial constrains. Black women for instance take housekeeping roles even when they become aged. Nevertheless, this increased interdependence among the associates of the family does not necessarily disregard autonomy since it is one value that is highly advocated in these families (Goodwin, 1999).
Moreover, Latino-Americans rely on kin for emotional and social purposes while the African Americans rely on kin for influential support. Latino-Americans follow parental guidelines in dating and marriage issues with some parents chaperoning their kids. It is notable that African American and Latino Americans families are alike in that they depend on extended family help while the Asian Americans are the least dependants on the help from the extended family.
Asian Americans render women as passive and only engage in enticing their husbands and caring for their children. Asian families are different in the sense that they are eager to transmit their family culture to their offspring. However, migration of these families abroad changes their views of their customs although some may establish well and pass their traditions to the children and for wives to resume homemaking roles (Goodwin, 1999).
In the American society, the immigrants have to be assimilated in by the main culture to enhance their adaptation. If these immigrants are not properly documented for instance, they become marginalized and this hinders their social status. Fortunately, adjustment and family ties help them to pursue social networks which are more or less similar for these immigrants. This is so since they initially settled in the American society unwillingly as slaves, colonized individuals or they were captured.
Therefore, their adaptive power has been attributed to strong familial ties which, they accommodate and pass to their children. Since a family is dynamic, it keeps on evolving as a result of economic, political, and social aspects thus modifying its morals and its formation. Today, harsh economic situations and social transitions have facilitated fragmentation in the families since interdependency is reduced.
Under such scenarios, individual roles cannot be precisely defined and this enhances behavioral & psychological issues such as a sense of insecurity or strain in the family and the society at large. Families tend to become nucleated and new values are embraced which, neglects the concept of familism (Goodwin, 1999). It is therefore not easy to categorically ascertain the nature of familism of the immigrant cultures of Latino- Americans, African Americans and Asia- Americans.
Goodwin, R. (1999). Personal Relationships across Culture. London: Routledge.