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Personal Narrative: My Interview With One Parent

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My interviewee is a second generation immigrant with one parent who was born in El Salvador and the other who has Mexican roots but was born in the United States. For the purposes of confidentiality my interviewee will be addressed as Ana from here on out. In this interview paper I will discuss the experiences that Ana faced growing up in a tri-racial household. I will also evaluate her experiences regarding assimilation to the lectures and reading assigned through out this course. Ana’s father was born in El San Salvador. He migrated to the United States escaping the civil war in his home country. He migrated when he was only in his young teens. He was allowed access to the United States, and was granted citizenship through political asylum.…show more content…
She was exposed to the American culture and was experience a rapid upward mobility, upward assimilation (Portes and Zhou 1993). By the time Ana was born, both of her parents had control of the English language and Ana was being taught English both at home and at school. Her experience with her parent’s culture was very limited and she had no resources that would expose her to the language or culture as was in the case of her older sister.
According to the Fishman model a second generation child of an immigrant should be bilingual, however in this case, Ana was treated as a third generation while her older sibling was treated as as second generation child (Feliciano Lec.1/18/16). For this reason Ana wasnt able to learn her parent native tongue. Her parents ascend to assimilation reflected itself on Ana and is shown through her progression to upward assimilation. The more a family attaches their identity to one culture the stronger their childrens identity towards a single culture will
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If a follow up question were to arise asking what her roots were shed have to say they’re Hispanic and to Ana “Its just weird, so I say that I’m Hispanic.” Regarding her identities, they shift, this is common among children of immigrants, in certain situations one would change their ethnicity to best suit the scene (Tovar and Feliciano 2009). According to Tovar and Feliciano article “Not Mexican-American but Mexican” “Second-generation respondents are far more likely than the 1.5 generation to self identify as American … even controlling for contextual factors” (211). Given the context identities change and Ana evaluates this by changing her identity to Hispanic when around other Hispanics to American in a school setting. Her educational outcome is also influenced by a dual frame of reference (Feliciano Lec.2/15/16). She views the struggle her dad confronted when living in El San Salvador and how far he’s come to be living in the United States. From a shack to a homeowner Ana’s father has come far but still struggles to maintain his family and provide for all his children. Her dual frame of reference creates an atmosphere where she’s wiling to succeed greatly academically to be able to provide for her family when her parents wont be able to. Ana is currently a full time student at the University of California Irvine, her
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