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Family Secrets: Transnational Struggles among Children of Filipino Immigrants

Diane L. Wolf
Sociological Perspectives
Vol. 40, No. 3, Immigration and Incorporation (1997), pp. 457-482
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/1389452
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1389452
Page Count: 26
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Family Secrets: Transnational Struggles among Children of Filipino Immigrants
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Abstract

In comparative studies of language proficiency and grades, Filipino second generation youth look relatively successful and assimilated, echoing what we know about their parents: post-1965 Filipino immigrants are predominantly middle-class, college-educated, English-speaking professionals who have integrated easily into U.S. society. Based on fieldwork in two California sites, this paper examines some of the issues and problems confronting second generation Filipino youth. "The family" seems to offer an extremely magnetic and positive basis of Filipino identity for many children of immigrants, yet it is also a deep source of stress and alienation, which for some, has led to internal struggles and extreme despair as manifested by rates of depression and suicidal thoughts. More specifically, by focusing on the gap between family ideology and practices, this paper suggests that many Filipino second generation youth struggle with an emotional transnationalism which situates them between different and often conflicting generational and locational points of reference. /// [Spanish] En estudios comparativos de habilidad del lenguaje y calificaciones escolares, la segunda generación de la juventud filipina demuestra tener, relativamente, éxito y asimilación haciendo eco al conocimiento que tenemos de sus padres: los postinmigrantes filipinos de 1965, quienes predominantemente pertenecen a la clase media, universitarios profesionales con el domino del idioma inglés y quienes fácilmente se han integrado a la sociedad norteamericana. Basándose en estudios de campo en dos áreas de California, este trabajo examina algunos de los asuntos y problemas que confronta la segunda generación de la juventud filipina. Parece ser que "la familia" ofrece bases atractivas y positivas de la identidad filipina para muchos niños de inmigrantes, aunque también es un recurso profundo de tensión y enajenación, el que para algunos, ha provocado conflictos internos y una desesperación que ha sido manifestada por altos índices de depresión y tendencias suicidas. Este trabajo sugiere que un gran número de jóvenes de la segunda generación de inmigrantes filipinos luchan con una emoción transnacional que los ubica entre diferentes puntos generacionales de referencia, específicamente por el enfoque entre la brecha ideológica y las prácticas de sus familias. /// [Chinese] (Unicode for Chinese abstract). /// [Japanese] (Unicode for Japanese abstract).

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