The Generational Cultural Divide

I love NPR. I especially enjoy the stories that take a snippet of someone’s life and use it to explain the larger social and cultural complexities of life in the United States. Claudio Sanchez shares a story of a first generation Chinese American who constantly faces the tension of balancing Chinese (collectivist) and American (individualistic) cultures. The piece focuses on education and much of it can be applied to the Hispanic culture which shares many Chinese cultural characteristics.  

The broadcast highlights important considerations in Hispanic educational and career development because Hispanics move between their culture and a dominant culture. As noted by Herr and Niles,  “…decision making, development of self-identity, and life choices do not occur in a vacuum. They occur within political, economic, and social conditions that influence the achievement images and belief systems on which individuals base their actions” (p182). The story outlines only a few factors, conditions, and complexities surrounding educational attainment and career development of Hispanics.

 Reference: Herr, E.L., & Niles, S. (1997). Multicultural Career Guidance in the Schools. In Paul Pedersen & John C. Carey (Eds.) Multicultural counseling in schools (pp.157-176). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.