ERIC Number: ED276938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Ethnic Variations in Family Power Relations: Part I--Jewish American Families.
Victor, Jeffrey S.
Roles in the Jewish-American family system tend to be flexible, without a clearly defined division of labor or hierarchy of authority. Husband-father and wife-mother roles tend to be somewhat interchangeable and androgynous. Because role expectations constantly change to fit changing circumstances, ambiguity in each member's perception of expectations for behavior may result. The process of decision making, whether between spouses or between parents and children, responds to egalitarian, participatory ideals, within a cultural context of collectivistic, mutual responsibility for each other's behavior. Verbal argumentation within a family may symbolize emotional closeness and may be a way of negotiating family decision making. The Jewish-American family role system at its most functional resembles a communal participatory democracy of assertive equals. At its most dysfunctional, it is a chaotic anarchy with ambiguous role expectations. Therapists and researchers must be sensitive to the ethnic-cultural dimension of family relationships, including that of power relationships. Otherwise, they may apply a conventional Anglo-American cultural model of family relationships in their interpretations and, in so doing, miss seeing the hidden ethnic-cultural dimension of family life. A three-page reference list is provided. (NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council on Family Relations (Dearborn, MI, November 3-7, 1986).