Intercultural Interview Research Paper

1744 Words7 Pages
My respondent is a close friend who is a college-aged, 1.5 Generation self-identified Filipina-American, who eventually relocated to San Diego, California. For the purpose of confidentiality, she will be referred to as “Ayla.” This interview paper will focus on her early life as an immigrant, her views on culture, and her assimilation experience into mainstream American society as a young Filipina with strong ethnic roots, overall. Ayla immigrated to the United States when she was 8 years of age with her parents and 2 older brothers. She stated that this move was possible because her family had obtained tourist visas with the help of her father’s sister. Just like many immigrants, the motives for moving were to reunite with family and to…show more content…
However, not long after she moved to America, she was successfully able to master English through school, becoming part of the bilingual community. In Zhou and Bankston’s study on immigrant children and language, they found that parents believed learning English is necessary for success in academics, but should not mean that the native language should be forgotten (Zhou and Bankston, 1998). Similarly in Ayla’s case, her parents recognized the importance of English in both social interactions and school, but still believed that her ability to speak Tagalog should remain consistent throughout her life, causing her to become bilingual. In addition, Ayla’s bilingualism shows that she was starting to follow the path of “Selective Assimilation,” one of the three paths in Portes and Zhou’s Segmented Assimilation Theory, as she was able to speak and communicate with others using English, but was still able to stay connected with her Filipino family through their native language of Tagalog (Portes and Zhou, 1993). Furthermore, when she and her brothers grew older, all performed well academically, and all had high aspirations, which are other characteristics of “Selective Assimilation” (Kao, Vaquera, Goyette, 2013). For example, Ayla is a current college student working towards her Bachelor’s degree to become an Interior Designer, while…show more content…
Like the respondents, Ayla talked about Spanish colonization of the Philippines without being asked any questions mentioning it, saying “...the Philippines was conquered by Spain before and they told us how to do a lot of things. Like what religion to be or how to speak Spanish…” However, unlike the respondents in Ocampo’s study who did not want to be labeled as Asian, but instead as Pacific Islander, Ayla felt differently (Ocampo, 2014). She said that she does not care about whether she is identified as Asian or Pacific Islander, and that both are true in regards to her identity since she is from the Philippines, a Pacific island in Asia. In addition, unlike the respondents in Ocampo’s study who would rather be labeled as Pacific Islander, Ayla felt that in her point of view, Filipinos are Asian. She says, “when I think of Pacific Islander, I think of Hawaiians, or Tongans, or Samoans...literally, like, islanders. But...I think Filipinos are Asian.” In regards to how she identifies herself, Ayla says she considers herself to be Filipino-American. She said that as a child she considered herself to only be Filipino, but her self-identity changed as she entered adulthood, a main point from Tovar and Feliciano's 2009 publication (Tovar and Feliciano, 2009). Although she is not 2nd generation, and therefore never
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