Monday, February 27, 2012

Modern (Not) Versus Traditional

Since this week’s reading was about family, I decided to observe the socialization found in my own family. In class we discussed how in most societies there is a stereotype of the father being the breadwinner and the mother being the one who stays home and takes care of home-related topics. In the U.S, this has become less common and moreover, many countries are moving farther away from this ideology. In my blog post, I will talk about how being brought up in an Arab home has affected the way I think when it comes to family related matters.
In my own family, I notice that my parent’s roles are alike in some aspects but are different in others. For example, both of my parents are employed however, they have very different household responsibilities. My father is the one who provides us with a house but my mother turns it into a home. My father provides us with a quality education by enrolling us into the best schools but my mother comes home from work and helps us with our homework. Simply put, my father pays bills and my mother pays attention.
Growing up in a semi-traditional, semi-modern Arab family, I formed specific assumptions concerning what my role would be as a wife and mother and what my future husband’s roles would be as a husband and father. I know that as an Arab woman I am expected to know how to cook, clean and take care of the children at a minimum. Additionally, I am expected to work since more and more women of my generation are entering the workforce. I am expected to marry a man of the same social status as that of my own family or higher. My future husband is expected to have received an education equivalent to or higher than that of the one I did. He is also expected to be a workingman who can provide for his family by ensuring a house for them, good education for his children, and a comfortable lifestyle in general.
After taking a closer look into my own family, I realized how I am influenced by the modernization found in my generation yet still connected to my Arab roots. Societies are in fact shifting away from the old stereotype of the male being the breadwinner and the female being the home caretaker. However, they are not completely letting go of their traditional views.

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