Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Presentation #2

This week’s readings focused on gender roles and to be honest I preferred the readings from this week the most so far. I think that it was interesting to learn about the Iu-Mien and their culture since I have never come across it academically or otherwise. However, I think that the Iu-Mien article represented very familiar themes of gender inequality and expectations of women in a patriarchal society in relation to Asian culture. I guess after awhile, these themes of violence, oppression, subservience and resilience are no longer shocking or novel which I feel isn’t a positive situation.

The study done by Saechao focused on studying the Mien women and their lived experiences as well as resettlement difficulties. It points out an interesting and obvious after-the-fact perspective of how refugee resettlement is much different than immigrant resettlement because refugees are actually forced out of their country and are unprepared for the “new environment” in contrast to those that immigrate and are actually trying to leave their country and are mentally prepared. The majority that comes to the United States have assimilation issues due to language barriers, discrimination and struggles with balance of power in the family. I think it’s very common that in America children talk back to their parents and that Asian parents struggle with trying to have complete control over their child because it’s so engrained in their culture and it’s seen as an absolute horrible situation when the child is defiant as noted in the article by Saechao. With the Mien women, they are expected to bear the burden of birthing and rearing of children, household duties, obeying the males and somehow still have to work to fit in or assimilate into their new environment.

I think today’s presentation on the Saechao article was ok. I felt that the speakers tried to convey the struggles of the women and the difficulty overall of the assimilation for these women. I believe they touched on points about domestic violence and oppression and gender roles and how they relate to the Mien culture. I think at least their presentation was cohesive and they tried to present the study as clearly as possible on their Powerpoint slides and I appreciated that. Although when I did read the article I felt that the presentation did not give it a fair representation of it but when I realized the article was nearly 100 pages long and we obviously didn’t have enough time to comprehensively discuss everything in the article I understood why it was so focused on certain aspects of the article. 

Melissa Cheng

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