ERIC Number: ED245025
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Pacific Islanders' Concerns: The Tongan Family in Transition.
Funaki, Inoke F.
Three areas of concern relative to Tongan Americans' acculturation to the United States are the focus of this paper. First, Tongan Americans believe that a high school education is sufficient. Although Tongan families come to the United States in the name of education, once they are here their objectives change. Seeing that high school graduates can earn more money doing such jobs as yard services and tree trimming than can college graduates, Tongan parents reason that a college education is irrelevant. Also, immediate material achievement receives a higher priority than academic achievement. In the United States today, however, such a view is short-sighted. In the information age we are entering, those without sufficient education will be disenfranchised both from material rewards and from full participation in national life. Second, Tongan Americans think that fluency in Tongan is obsolete and that fluency in English is synonomous with academic achievement. The latter, however, is a false assumption, and keeping in touch with one's roots through maintenance of the native tongue enhances both one's self-concept and one's fluency in English. Third, Tongan Americans, in face of all the studies decrying the influence of television on children, see television as a good surrogate parent. The author's experience in bringing up his own children without television confirmed to his satisfaction that life without television is better for the family as a unit and for its individual members. (CMG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Tongan Americans
Note: Paper prepared for the Annual Conference of the National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education (6th, New Orleans, LA, May 2-5, 1984).