Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Intergenerational Transmission in Turkish Immigrant Families: Parental Collectivism, Achievement Values and Gender Differences*

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Intergenerational Transmission in Turkish Immigrant Families: Parental Collectivism, Achievement Values and Gender Differences*

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Although cultural persistence is essentially a question of transmission (Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman, 1981), cultural transmission is not and cannot be complete. Rather, culture is being shaped and reshaped by the ongoing interactions between persons and groups and their environment. The process of cultural transmission does not lead to the replication of culture in successive generations; it falls somewhere in between an exact transmission (with hardly any difference between parents and offspring) and a complete failure of transmission (with hardly any similarity between the generations). Functionally either extreme would be problematic for a society. Complete transmission would not allow for novelty and change, and hence the ability to respond to new situations, whereas failure of transmission would not permit coordinated action between generations (Boyd and Richerson, 1985).

The impact of socioeconomic and cultural context on the transmission process has been documented in ecological approaches of child development (cf. Bronfenbrenner and Crouter, 1983). This study focuses on the intergenerational transmission of values in immigrant families. The migration context exemplifies conditions of rapid and deep sociocultural change. In terms of the possible pathways of transmission, the migration situation implies some discontinuity between so-called vertical and horizontal or oblique pathways (cf. Berry, Poortinga et al., 1992). Vertical transmission is transmission between the generations within a family or society; horizontal transmission refers to influences exerted by peers, and transmission from members of the previous generation other than the parents is defined as oblique transmission. In immigrant families the vertical mode of transmission is crucial for the maintenance of the heritage culture beyond the first generation. Conversely, the horizontal and oblique modes correspond to the process of culture learning and adaptation to the new sociocultural environment in the host society. Culture learning takes place through crosscultural peer contact, formal education and the emulation of dominant cultural role models. The present study is specifically concerned with vertical transmission from parents to children within immigrant famines.

The paradox of transmission under migration conditions is that immigrant parents are likely to experience at the same time increased difficulty and a greater need to hand down their heritage culture to the next generation. On the one hand, parental beliefs and values may have lost some or much of their adaptive value, as the new generation grows up in a sociocultural context which differs from the context in which their parents were socialized and enculturated. Also, parental models are challenged by competing role models, which are often more attractive or prestigious within the dominant culture of the host country. On the other hand, the parents may well invest more in cultural transmission after migration in a deliberate effort to pass on their cultore. In the absence of convergent horizontal or oblique cultural transmission In the host society, one may expect that intra-familial transmission is more intensely motivated and more intentionally directed and sustained from the parents' side. Moreover, as immigrants are most often facing social disadvantage and discrimination in the host society, ethnic cultural resources and intergenerational solidarity serve to support family-based strategies for social mobility (Phalet and Hagendoorn, 1996; Phalet and Swyngedouw, 1999). Indeed, conclusions on a proverbial generation conflict in immigrant families rely mostly on fallacious cross-level inference from aggregate differences between cohorts. In contrast, correlational data from parent-child dyads indicate higher - not lower - levels of vertical transmission after migration. Such was the case for parental and filial normative orientations in Turkish parent-child dyads in Germany as compared to Turkey (Istanbul) (Nauck, 1997). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.