Us Family Structure Colonial Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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century experiences an awakening of evangelical religions (Quakerism, Baptist, Methodist) encouraging more intense, personal, up-close relationships. Also, Ruth Bloch mentions that with the Enlightenment many writers came to portray the newborn baby s mind as infinitely impressionable . This leads to the notion that the mother, who is assumed to know more about raising a child, must mold their children into good citizens. This changes the responsibility of the children to the mother and creates the ideology that women are more moral and more nurturing. The families community ties weaken, there is an increase in value for personal achievement, and American character becomes more future looking . The combination of economic and social conditions effectively transform the colonial

family ideology into a domestic family ideology of separate spheres where the woman emerging as the guardian of the private sphere, which includes the family, home, morality, and religious values, and the man representing the public sphere of the workplace and bread-winner mentality (Morantz-Sanchez). While the already present white middle-class families assimilate to the domestic ideology, many European immigrant family groups attempted to conform; often the attempt to assimilate involves controversy and struggle within groups. For instance, much of the Jewish community, particularly that in New York City, experienced a disintegration of old-world culture during the process of Americanization. The movie Hester Street takes place in 1896 and emphasizes the sharp distinction

between an Americanized husband, Jake, and his old-world Jewish wife, Gitl. Gitl s struggle to conform to please her husband symbolizes an attempt to live by domestic ideology that is experienced by a number of people associated with this group of immigrants. Selma Berrol s article about Julia Richman, who attemptes to teach and help newly immigrated Jews and turn them in to Americans, serves as further evidence of attempted assimilation. This article also emphasizes that learning to live by the American domestic ideal does not come easy and that immigrants feel the pressure of forced Americanization. Other European immigrants also tried to live by the ideal American family of the late 19th century, but some immigrants did not assimilate easily; the Irish are one of these groups.

In Europe, the Irish were profoundly impoverish and oppressed. Initially the Irish become members of the working class of industrialization in the North. The working class family has a low economic status, which makes it difficult to live by domestic family ideology; often children would work in the streets to supplement the family income (Stansell). The Irish also struggle because they where mostly Catholic and the Protestant America, which is partially responsible for the transformation of family ideology, express sentiments of anti-Catholicism. However, The Irish create Catholic schools to avoid the implantation of Protestant views at public schools. The Irish are profoundly present oriented (Morantz-Sanchez) which differed from domestic ideology. Despite these apparent

differences between the family systems, assimilation and accommodation does occur as Irish move up in economic status by claiming their whiteness (i.e. their superiority to non-whites) and enter the realm of city politics. The Irish are unique because they represent both America s tolerance of European immigrants, as well as the significance of economic status of a group and the ability to conform the domestic ideology. Some groups of families are deemed worthy of assimilation, but Native American, African American, and Mexican families are left out. Native Americans attempted to assimilate, but were restricted from integrating are white families. Relinquishing ancient beliefs and customs, the [Native American] leaders sought to make their people culturally indistinguishable from

their white neighbors in the hope that through assimilation they could retain their homeland racism proved to powerful the federal government extinguished the Indians title and ejected them from the charted boundaries of the states. (Perdue) This demonstrates how the ability to conform is also limited by social status. In the 19th century Native Americans are not socially accepted, and are not given the opportunity to assimilate despite obvious attempts to accommodate domestic family ideology. Native Americans attempt to change ideology by developing a European division of labor, restricting women from political affairs, and altering sex-roles (Morantz-Sanchez). After removal the Quakers respond energetically to the Indians request for help and education, where domestic ideals