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ERIC Number: ED428030
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Two Cinderellas, Two Worldviews: Dilemmas for Vietnamese Americans.
Newman, Ann D.
This study explored the acculturation experiences of new immigrants in their cultural transformation from Vietnamese to Vietnamese American. Three objectives guided the research effort: (1) to investigate the cultural transformation of new immigrants through an ethnographic study of a Vietnamese Boy Scout troop; (2) to discover how the beliefs and practices of Vietnamese refugee families are reflected in school and work performance; and (3) to explore how the Vietnamese cultural perspective shapes individual behavior and implications for Vietnamese Americans. Methodology included participant observation, interviews, and document analysis. Ethnographic documents included social services information on refugees, magazines and newsletters, and the "Boy Scout Handbook." Findings discuss how the family system was the root of society in ancient Vietnam; behavior was guided by Confucian principles. In a situationally oriented culture like the Vietnamese, major life decisions are considered in a group context. Initially, the family orientation of new immigrants provides a cushion to culture shock both as a source of resources and affiliation needs. Eventually, the rugged individualism of American culture poses ethical dilemmas for those attempting to adapt to the host country. Conflicts between family and self are particularly poignant for Vietnamese American youngsters attempting to cope with both cultures. The study concludes that the road to acculturation begins with understanding the underlying assumptions of each society and then seeking balance, a characteristic valued by both. (Contains 13 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A