Hierarchical Social Constructs Among Chinese Americans

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Hierarchical Social Constructs amongst Chinese Americans Introduction There are many aspects of the Chinese American culture that other ethnic groups do not understand. Social hierarchy, an overarching aspect of the Chinese American community, is a paradigm that shapes Chinese American culture. This social hierarchy often affect personal decisions that may prompt a Chinese national to want to immigrate to the United States. Once here, many of these now Chinese Americans are forced to transact with the larger American population while negotiating their spot in their expatriate hierarchy. As a Chinese family immigrates into the US, they are faced with many decisions in regards to their acculturation and eventual assimilation. While negotiating these obstacles, individual Chinese Americans are faced with the dilemma of what customs they want to retain and what cultural nuances they want to discard. As there are many thriving Chinese-American communities in large US cities, it becomes imperative that social workers further understand Chinese-American culture. According to Barnes and Bennett, “Immigration and births now account for 2,734,841 Chinese Americans living in the United States, the largest Asian-American population reported in the 2000 census” (as cited in Dorton & Lantz, 2007, p. 121). People want to emigrate out of China for various reasons. Some people may decide to emigrate due to prospects of a better education, improving one’s family life, or as
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