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ERIC Number: EJ856103
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 83
ISSN: ISSN-0264-3944
The Duty to Succeed: Honor versus Happiness in College and Career Choices of East Asian Students in the United States
Dundes, Lauren; Cho, Eunice; Kwak, Spencer
Pastoral Care in Education, v27 n2 p135-156 Jun 2009
To better understand factors underlying educational and career choices, this study used both survey data from an online networking tool and data collected in college classrooms to gauge differences between Asians (primarily Korean) and white students in the United States. More Asians (41%) than whites (9%) prioritized prestige over happiness, while more white students (67%) than Asian-American students (28%) deemed happiness as paramount in selecting a college. When assessing their parents, more Asian Americans thought their mothers (51%) and fathers (34%) emphasized prestige in choosing a college than white mothers (9%) and fathers (17%). In addition, Asian parents were assessed as much more prone to stress the importance of financial independence in career selection while white parents were perceived as prioritizing career enjoyment. Certain parenting techniques were much more common among Asians, such as reminding children of parental sacrifices made for the next generation, teaching them that academic performance is a matter of family honor and prodding academic success by comparing their accomplishments with those of children of family and friends. These findings may reflect a conscious strategy to overcome racial discrimination if education is seen as the primary path to upward social mobility. Awareness of the social and emotional cost of the staunch emphasis on the duty to succeed is important for those involved in educating and providing career counseling for college students with an Asian family background. Acknowledgement of pressure to honor parental expectations of narrowly defined acceptable academic and career achievement should be a part of counseling sessions that might otherwise focus exclusively on individual aspirations without due recognition of an interdependent, collectivistic orientation where upholding family expectations is integral to perceived success. (Contains 9 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States