The Color Of Cultural Differences

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In my personal case, both of my parents are immigrants. Since I remember I have been close to my grandparents, aunts, uncles and my immediate family. I have seen how my grandparents are helped and supported by their grown up kids. I am very close to my cousins that are in my same generation and we all are like siblings. Hopefully, we all will continue to have a big family, keeping our traditions alive for future generations and keep the family together as we get older. In the article, “The Color Of Family Ties Race, Class, Gender, And Extended Family Involvement” Gerstel and Sarkisian, professors of sociology, examine demographic data on African American, White and Latino families. They suggest that different factors, including racial, social class, gender and the behavior of the extended families determine the family structure of these minority groups. Gerstel and Sarkisian point out the experiences of families of racial and ethnic groups based on their cultural differences. First of all, it was really difficult for both minorities to be accepted into society in the past. The relationship of getting along with each other in terms of gender, family, school and work has been challenging. How these races and ethnic groups have overcome challenges and what they had to go through explains that the families of these groups are resourceful. In addition, real life family situations ties into the picture of American families. These ethnic groups and races are generous, as well as the opposite, in regards to getting or looking for help and support. Therefore, I will argue that, to combat discrimination, all racial and ethnic groups should be portrayed as having strong family ties even if they’re not traditional and involved with extended family.

According to Gerstel and Sarkisian there are many differences between White families and families of color however, I argue that there are many similarities, which shows that families can be strong or weak regardless of racial and ethnic backgrounds. The article, “The Color Of Family Ties” states that White men are more likely to help out financially in their family than the other races and ethnic groups. African Americans and Latinos are similar to when they give emotional support to their families. African Americans and Latinos are also very productive and supportive, helping each other in the house, taking care of their children and doing their errands. African Americans and Latinos can have strong families and live well together as large groups. Furthermore, African Americans and Latinos have a lower income, not as good education and overall live in poverty. White people have more opportunities to get a better education, which usually results in a higher income. African Americans and Latinos medical, usually pay for their illness and other hospitalized services to avoid discrimination towards them and get help with enough amount of care. In addition, White and minority families differ based on marriage: “The lower rates of marriage among impoverished groups may reflect not rejection of family values but on how women and her children may be able to depend upon marriage.”(51). African American, White and Latino families struggle with their marriage, family, living conditions, economic situation, and being successful regardless of their social class or race. Sometimes, families don’t last that long and might have to move on. All of these racial and ethnic groups basically want to change the economic conditions for the poor and improve the need of medical aid for taking care of their children, seniors and people with disabilities. They all want to have a job and avoid discrimination.

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As stated by Gerstel and Sarkisian, different types of family of stereotypes affect African Americans and Latinos which I argue causes discrimination. One stereotype on Latinos have more extended ties because of their religion and tradition. While the African American had more of a negative past having to deal with family values, slavery, cultural and not having much freedom or say because of their race. However, they are known to attend religious services. African Americans are more equal and respectful of the other gender than whites. African American and Latinos struggle similarity, “African American and Latinos are at the same paths with income and education to similar objects with their families.”(50) According to Gerstel and Sarkisian, Whites were more likely to walk out with higher chances, to maintain themselves and to help out with extended family. For African Americans and Latinos, it was difficult to live in the United States, pay for their living, and to attend school and graduate. Regardless, a small percentage of African American and Latinos went to college. In my personal case stereotype is racial to people when there getting name call, personality and cultural. I had an experience on how my friend was getting bullied at school by a white boy, he would say to my friend harsh racist words and was picking on him. So I had to step in and stop this situation because it was getting out of hand and didn’t want anyone to get in trouble. I felt so bad for my friend especially because he came from a different country.

As regarded by Gerstel and Sarkisian, On focusing of marriage couples, parents and children in families life of color. Whites, African Americans and Latinos families ties, “A focus on nuclear families in discussions of differences in family life creates a biased portrait of families of color.”(50) People of color portray a real family tie differences on what families do for each other in difference various racial and ethnic groups. My experience, I am Latino and proud of my family and my traditions. My parents are hard workers. Always being there for us and supporting to do activities or any education background will provide us a better opportunities. Most of my family members are married, and have a strong nuclear relationship. Most of them have children and support each other, not only economically, but morally as well. I don’t see my cousins, uncles and aunts daily, however we are always there for each other and thanks to social networks these days, our contact is often and immediate. I believe no matter what race we are we all deserve to have a strong nuclear family by supporting each other and never forget about our human values, respect, believe and understand each other, will make stronger communities and will contribute to having a better country and world. Therefore I believe what the professors states in there book. I want to work hard, and eventually help and support my parents, grandparents or any one close to my circle of life.

In conclusion White, African American and Latino families have to comprehend to be more interested into their families and be happy. It can be that every race can have a strong family, to accept and be proud who you are in your culture. It doesn’t matter what color of skin you are or what your income is, but really creating a family that would be together for a long time in a better life with your children. The key is to understand racial and ethnic varies in families and in groups by helping and supporting. Families stay strong and support one another no matter the situation you are placed in. In order to get rid of racism, everyone must be proud of their culture and respect other cultures. Therefore in anytime of political conflicts, world wars and true union we must succeed to have equal rights and that every family can be strong likely to help and support your relatives.

Work Cited

  1. Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian. “The Color Of Family Ties: Race, Class, Gender, and
  2. Extended Family Involvement ” Rereading America Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing, 9th ed. Edited by Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Bedford St. Martin’s, 2013, pp. 47-55                                                                        


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