The interview exercise involved two individuals, a coworker and a family member. The coworker is a recent immigrant to the United States from Africa. The interviewee is very resourceful due to the amount of knowledge on the cultural values and the family unit he holds. He is the head of the family and the sole breadwinner. The interviewees wife is a stay athome wife and takes care of his children.
Another interviewee the family member is an American citizen by birth. Therefore, the two individuals have immense experience and are in a position to offer accurate information on family values and cultural changes that have occurred with time. Consequently, their responses to questions depict on how they view culture and the family unit. The responses given by both interviewees are in great extent governed by the traditional values imparted to them by the parents and the role models in their society.
To start with, the coworker suggests that most Africans adopt traditional values preserved for generation by their elders. The colleague states that family or the genders roles have not changed over time. Consequently, fathers continue to be the authoritative figures in the families. In addition, they are breadwinners or the providers in the family (Knabe, Schob & Weimann, 2012).
On the contrary, women take up inferior positions by ensuring children upbringing and caring about their families. Marriage is the essential goal of the household. Successful marriage provides the family with respect in the society. The coworker states the family and the culture in general follow the Christian religious beliefs, they believe in the death of Jesus Christ and the afterlife.
Following Christian tradition, the coworkers culture prohibits living together before marriage. The clan of elders officiate marriage union between a man and a woman, and oversee the payment of the dowry. The culture discourages single parenting because the arrangement does not impart the children with the necessary skills to cope with life. The coworkers culture dictates that the children need to learn from both parents in order to manage their lives in future.
Children play an important part in the family and Christian society. The number of children is a symbol of wealth and people who cannot bear children do not take up leadership positions in the family (Vincett & Obinnah, 2014). The colleague also believes that there have been no significant changes in culture in the light of technological advancement. In his culture, for instance, the most preferred form of communication is verbal, because it allows free interactions between the parties.
The family member paints a different picture of the household and culture from that of the co-worker. The family member believes the gender roles have changed over time. Nowadays, both the females and the males have equal opportunities in the raising of the children. While the coworker conceives the primary goal of the family is marriage, the family member believes the main purpose of the household is to provide children with the best education. The modern family places emphasis on the education as it is the path that leads to better life.
According to the family member, living together before marriage is acceptable provided there is a clear guideline and reasons for doing so. Unlike African tradition, American society accepts single parenting. In addition, both the males and females have equal opportunities to education and occupations. The family member indicates the importance of using both the verbal and the non-verbal communication methods. The methods can serve to complement each other in case the partners are separated by distance.
The interviews suggest there are clear similarities and differences between the interviewees views on culture and family units. For instance, the family member and the coworker agree on the religious beliefs, in particular, beliefs surrounding the death and dying (Sumegi, 2014). In addition, the duo emphasizes the importance of children in the family unit. Children are a source of pride and fulfillment in life. Consequently, adults gain the respect in the society by their ability to raise and take care of the children. Both parties of the interview are happy with the current family arrangements and the gender roles.
However, both interviewees indicate differences in the gender roles. The coworker suggests that it is the responsibility of the fathers to provide the family. This is a fact that the household member disagrees with. The family member states that both parents have equal chances of raising children. Furthermore, the interviewees have different points of view about the alternative lifestyles while African traditions do not accept single parenting,
Americans believe it can be justified. The coworker conceives that the clan elders officiate marriage and living together is prohibited while the family member argues to the contrary. Finally, the family member upholds the use of verbal and non-verbal communication methods as effective methods of communication in family units, while the coworker argues verbal communication is the most effective.
Conclusively, it is apparent that the family roles affect the cultural domains and relationships in a number of ways. In the course of the discussion it becomes obvious that family functions tend to diminish the cultural domains and relationship in case of the family member, while the same roles strengthen the cultural domains in case of the coworker.
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