Analysis of American Family Journey of dreams

A elaborate analysis and in-depth instance survey of the PBS telecasting series, American Family: Journey of Dreams Part I: Introduction: Researching the Impact of Social/Cultural/Economic Factors

As with many cultural groups populating in a culturally and socially different country so where they came from, they hold on to their civilization, values, and traditions really tightly, all nucleus facets reflected in the renters of Catholicism. Religion is looked upon as a usher in an person ‘s life and determinations, and with a household that is ethnically different so the bulk of the population environing them, it drives them even closer to continue their individuality and heritage. With many Latino households, Catholicism plays a critical function in twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours activities and determination devising. With the instance of the Jess, as we see him seeking to raise his girl, he plays a dominant function in her life that acts as a foil for her “ new universe ” character versus his “ old universe ” character. There is besides another facet that leads to a heavy Catholic influence on the household, the fact that many of the first coevals Latinos that came over the United States maintained their spiritual individuality, and really similar to Asiatic household forms, kids take after their parents, and there is really small divergence in nucleus beliefs coevals to coevals. However alterations and displacements in attitude do occur, but really bit by bit, and in the same manner, with Jess being a Catholic, his kids follow the same footfall. The grade to which Catholicism is actively practiced is variable as seen in the telecasting series, but however, association is solid, reflected by the 70 % association rate with Latinos and Catholicism ( 1 ) .

The typical Mexican American household is really really different so how it is viewed in public perceptual experience, with the media word picture of a hapless, broken, really big household being an highly little portion of the Mexican American community. It is notable to advert that while yes, these households do be given to be big due to multigenerational household members under the same roof, they tend to be really good knit. The influence of household members of different coevalss is normally positive with both coevalss larning about things that neither would usually larn about separately. There seem to be two cardinal triggers for the household being so tight knit. The first being that the household is Mexican American, but still seizing a strong Mexican individuality, with the common land between the household, traditions and cultural values are amplified when placed in foreign civilization. This is really similar to familial constructions present in other immigrant households across the universe. This thought of cultural saving is good reflected in the stating “ It takes a small town to raise a kid ” , in the sense that the full household must work together to continue their individualities as Mexicans.

While we see an elaboration in both cultural pride and value saving in a new state with older coevalss, its consequence is greatly compounded by the fact that first and 2nd coevals immigrant households tend to populate in culturally similar countries, with little settlements, per say, end up forming. If the demographics of the New England country are scrutinized, it can be seen that Asiatic immigrants tend to travel to a certain country that has similar people populating at that place already, same construct with the Dutch quarters and China towns across the universe. East Los Angeles is no different, with many Mexican American households already populating at that place from coevalss ago ( 97 % to be exact are of Hispanic beginning ) , new households who cross the boundary line terminal up at that place because it is the closest cultural hub for them, and with civilization saving about like a biological inherent aptitude for many of these households, they are drawn to an country with people like them ( 2 ) .

Part II: Family Development and Aging

The Gonzalez household can be said to be in phases runing from 4 to 6 to 8. In the episode “ la Cama ” the primary focal point is on Jess and Berta, with his flashback to the early facets of their relationship. In the instance of Jess and Berta, with Berta gone and Jess fixing himself for life in front with all their kids grown up and running lives of their ain, Jess is in the concluding phases of the development rhythm, phase 8. Within his immediate household, his married woman is gone and all of his kids are grownups. The Gonzalez household nevertheless can non rather be classified cut and dry with the standard developmental rhythm as there are multigenerational members populating together, each determining the lives of the other. There are many state of affairss in which a household can non be classified under one phase, instead the system would work much better with development phases being modified to label persons or immediate household members instead than a family as a unit. With many Chicano households trusting on future and old coevalss unlike traditional American atomic households, this standard graduated table can non be applied with much assurance.

Concentrating on Jess and Berta entirely, they can be classified in phase 8 within the development rhythm. Analyzing cardinal events that occur within this portion of the Gonzalez household can uncover the consequence that this primary coevals has on the secondary coevals. The two events that are seen this episode that stand out are when the flashback about Jess giving Berta her pearls even under utmost fiscal emphasis within the household. The 2nd event that comes to mind is the flashback to the marrying itself. The nuptials represents a assortment of things, but of them the most of import being committedness, love, and lasting bonding. With two phases demonstrated in their lives, the flashback ends with him fixing to travel on a day of the month, being symbolic of the 3rd phase in his life, traveling on from the decease of his married woman. When Jess starts to travel on, it starts to demo a alteration in the household kineticss with the primary coevals easy melting off with Berta ‘s decease and Jess traveling on with his life back in focal point.

With the decease of Berta being a nerve-racking state of affairs for Jess, he progresses through the phases of widowhood, stoping up at ’emergence ‘ when the flashbacks occur right before Jess is traveling to travel on a day of the month. Normally adult females are affected more than work forces in widowhood, but given that the twosome was in a phase 8 in development, Berta was the primary beginning of company, love, and company for Jess. We can clearly see that he longs the fondness and company that is gone with Berta when Jess starts dating. Jess besides is a influential portion of his household, even though it seems that he is apathetic to everything. His ethnicity most surely has a profound consequence on widowhood. With the Mexican American individuality Jess associates himself with, comes along a multigenerational household and a strong set of values, gender functions, and cultural values.

The changeless contact with his kids and other household members helps relieve the hurting from decease to a grade, rushing along the stages of widowhood to the point where Jess can get down dating once more. Within the Mexican civilization, bereavement is an interesting procedures. The dead are held in really high respect and regard. With vacations such as “ el Defense Intelligence Agency de los muertos ” where the dead are celebrated for their lives and achievements, the Mexican civilization is really accepting about honouring the dead and their memory. This construct of honouring the dead is seen best in east Asiatic civilizations and faiths where regard is critical. This observance of the dead is really different so American traditions sing the dead, but the regard that the Gonzalez household has is apparent with the kids contending over the sewing machine, and repenting the minute where one of them lied to Berta about a college address. With decease non seen in such a dark visible radiation as in western civilizations, it helps everybody in all coevalss cope with the loss of Berta.

Part III: Adjusting to the Loss of a Parent/Grandparent

The Gonzales household is rather different than the standard theoretical account of a atomic American household. With multigenerational differences in its members, Nina is in a interesting place, being in a “ sandwich coevals ” of kinds. Her male parent is still alive and her brother has a kid, doing her a leader in the family as she is in her prime. She takes the loss of her female parent rather profoundly with the flashbacks about her declinations and memories with her female parent. There is the flashback of where she lied to her female parent about her credence address in high school and her female parent found out yet protected her. The personal connexion between Nina and her female parent is highly strong obviously seen by the episodes that they have. Jess and Nina seem to hold the strongest connexions to Berta, save Pablito, and even though they have deep relationships with her, they both trade with her decease rather different.

Jess seems to go self stray in the sense that he is non as happy, nor active around the house clasp. As he is now the oldest in the household and his married woman is gone, the loss of company is the biggest loss for him and it surely seems to do him distress. Nina on the other manus is portrayed as a really busy single assisting other households with citizenship and legal hurdlings. It about seems as if she demonstrates a authoritative illustration of suppression. The audience realizes how much she misses her female parent when hear how severely she wants the stitching machine, non merely because one her cardinal minutes with her female parent was centered around the frock she made with that run uping machine but because itaa‚¬a„?s a item of her female parent and the love they had for each other. She apparently throws herself into her work and occupies herself to the upper limit as if she can lose herself in her work.

This “ working, running, multitasking ma ” function that Nina takes on is really different than the traditional gender function that females drama in Mexican American society. The audience sees that Nina got in to Stanford, but to Jess it was more of import to do certain that his boy finished college, non Nina. The breakage of functions is a important measure to her cultural assimilation with American society where adult females have more freedom and power. Jess does non hold anything against her accomplishments, he is from a primary coevals and non accustomed to the function of a dominant female, one that Nina creates and subdivisions off the traditional functions.

While Jess and Nina are both covering with Berta ‘s loss separately for personal grounds, Pablito is the lone 1 who is a kid. While kids have a little appreciation on the appreciation of decease, they do non hold the emotional capacity to to the full recognize what is lost. His relationship with Berta was the most guiltless of all the relationships the other household members had. The grandma to grandson relationship was really unfastened and friendly. While Berta was moving as a female parent for Pablito, the same lines that exist with a direct parent were blurred in this state of affairs. Pablito function with his grandma is redrawn when Nina becomes his female parent, and the parental line comes back, doing accommodation to life really hard for Pablito. Nina is in direct contrast with Berta in this function of defender besides in the fact that Berta led a quiet simple lifestyle whereas Nina is feverish, busy, occupied, and over exerted. All these alterations and alterations of functions has a negative consequence on Pablito who does non bask it in the slightest and is evidenced by his effusions of “ I hate you ” to Nina when he yells at her about how she is nil like Berta. This is the minute where Nina realizes that she must refocus her life to suit her new function of guardian.

Traditional Mexican American households present grandparents with really of import functions in relation to grandchildren. In the instance of Berta and Pablito, Berta ahs assumed the primary guardian function yet is still his grandma. This is a alone mix of functions where openness is achieved by short-circuiting the traditional inequalities of parental-child relationships. While Berta is from the first coevals and therefore her function as guardian is centered around cultural growing and development of the kid. As if it was a more of a assisting function, it is much more relaxed. In traditional Chicano households the female parents tend to look at their female parents for aid in raising culturally defined and adapted kids, and Berta takes on that function, and her consequence on Pablito is clear when Pablito complains about Nina seeking to alter everything, as she is different, from a new coevals ( 3 ) .

The construction of the traditional Chicano household reflects African American small towns, where multiple figures raise a kid, each supplying a cardinal facet to acquisition and instruction. The stating “ It takes a small town to raise a kid ” is seen clearly here, where everybody including Jess has a alone type of relationship with Pablito, whether it be friend, mother, teacher, male parent, or merely a interesting figure. With such a assortment of people raising Pablito, he is exposed to a spectrum of positions crossing across coevalss and when Nina is seeking to raise him, it clashes with his scheme of openness and what his relationship with Berta was like, making struggle.

Part IV: Home Ownership

The economic conditions that Berta and Jess live in are really hapless. the household lives on a meagre income that Jess earns from working at a Barber store. They save every penny and dime that they can in order to populate a better life someday in the hereafter. In this episode we see that Berta and Jess are speaking to Pablito about how they saved the money needed to set a down payment on a place that they would wish to travel to, and how difficult it was to salvage that money. When Pablito accidently loses the bag of money in the trough on the roof, Berta and Jess start infighting and faulting each other. They kineticss of Latino households and money is really curious as money plays a really big function in how the household lives, but besides the stableness of the households kineticss and functions. With Berta and Jess combat, we see how that they are non populating a perfect life, and that money seems to be the peculiar trigger for infighting in this instance.

The infighting that was brought up in a otherwise comparatively unagitated and stable household drives the point that money hold stableness in a unstable balance in households, if non Latino households specifically. Looking at statistics in recent old ages with the downswing of the economic market and strings of foreclosures across the state, there seems to be a tendency that reveals Latino householders to hold a greater likeliness of being foreclosed upon. With 769 foreclosures per 10,000 loans, Latinos are 2nd merely to the African American population that ranks at 790 foreclosures per 10,000 loans ( 4 ) . On the other terminal of the spectrum, Asians and non Hispanic Whites have the lowest rates of foreclosed places. There are a assortment of factors for this, runing from a low instruction accomplishment rate, to minimum pay occupations, big households to back up, and holding a low average income per family. With any one of these factors, the opportunities of losing a house become much higher, and it is biased against Hispanics and Latinos as they lean towards holding a bulk of the people falling into these classs.

Jess and Berta have lived with their household for a really long clip, including their kids and their kids. With the traditional Mexican American familial construction dwelling of multiple coevalss populating in the same house for many coevalss, for Jess, it would be different, if non unnatural for him to travel into a condominium where his full household was non at that place. There is besides the affair of political orientation, as Jess and Berta foremost came to America, they were non rich or even in-between category and whatever they achieved, they did so on their ain. Simplicity and traditions are the key here and every bit far as Jess is concerned, there is no demand to travel out of the house due to the memories made in it. His attitude towards maintaining things simple and unchanging is seen multiple times throughout the series. He does non desire to take part in repainting the house because he does non see it necessary. He does non desire to travel to a condominium because it ‘s non necessary. Due to the manner that he carved out his life, he sees things otherwise than his kids, who to a grade are assimilated into American society, where extravaganza and luxury to an extent are permitted.

While there is no reference of Jess or Berta ‘s parents in this series, we know that they have adult kids who lead lives of their ain, but unrecorded under the same roof at their parents. With a sum of 3 misss and 3 male childs, and Esteban being the married one, in his instance, his form would be patrilocal due to Pablito populating with Nina and Jess after the decease of Berta. the audience knows that Jess and Berta are the first coevals to travel to America, so the family that they create can be classified as neolocal, as they left their place from Mexico to come to America for a better hereafter. While there are few advantages to being classified as neolocal, there a important disadvantages that need to be considered.

Mexican households rely strongly on intergenerational instructors within the household to educate about cultural norms and facets, every bit good as base on balls on wisdom acquired from a long life. By traveling off from the family, Berta and Jess lose that valuable cognition and must get down the rhythm on their ain for their kids. The chief advantage and presumptively the chief ground why Berta and Jess would go forth is to research the chances presented to hapless Mexican Americans in the Unites States, the opportunities to do a life and a household and go successful. While Berta and Jess can be seen as neolocal, traditional Mexican households revolve about patrilocal abodes where the boy and his new married woman would travel into his parent ‘s abode, reenforcing familial ties and increasing the general cognition of each wining coevals ( 5 ) .

Part V: Decision

While we can see from the analysis how the “ civilization within a civilization ” phenomenon affects Mexican American households, there is one thing that must be noted about this “ civilization daze ” . The steady patterned advance of coevals after coevals of Mexican American households will take to a dilution of cultural values. It is a close warrant and it is even shown in the episodes where the 2nd coevals ( Jess ‘s grownup kids ) is interrupting gender, function, and value stereotypes. This is non to state that a comparatively high grade of cultural values are maintained, but merely that integrating within American society is about inevitable after a twosome of coevalss. Comparing the Gonzales household to a typical American household is like comparing apples and oranges, two immensely different societies with different ways of life can non be held on the same graduated table. While by no agency does the Gonzales household represent a typical American household, there are surely some facets that are common to both classs.

Latin american and Latino familial construction is really similar to Asiatic American households in more than one manner. With the grounds why both these ethnicities immigrate to America being really similar, the life styles and constructions of households are bound to be similar besides. The cardinal portion of the household, the multigenerational facet, where each coevals helps the other in larning about the yesteryear, the present, and the hereafter based upon experiences and wisdom is a nucleus facet in merely Latino and Asiatic American households. It is non seen on a big graduated table in white or African American households. It is interesting to see how on the footing of comparing household constructions, white and African American households have a batch more in common than expected, with both normally holding two parents, and multiple kids with norm of 2, and traveling off from the old coevals. Latino and Asiatic American households tend to get down out hapless as immigrants to this state, but they clutch their personal beliefs and values highly tightly for many coevalss before it starts to blend with American values. The difference in the success rates nevertheless shows that Latino households are closer to African American households so Asiatic households, and surprisingly white households are closer to Asiatic households, so Latinos. Understanding the implicit in factors that create this economic switch are important to associating familial construction to chances.

With Latino households, gender functions play a much more outstanding function so Asian, white or African American households. Females are expected to make feminine activities such as jobs, cookery, cleansing, and other quite activities. Males on the other manus are expected to make the stereotyped manly activities such as out-of-door work, supplying for the household, doing of import determinations etc. These gender functions to use to Asiatic households more so so African American households and white households, where kids are treated still far from gender impersonal but much closer so Hispanic or Asiatic households. The difference lies in the fact that with Asiatic households, instruction is where the equal land lies for male and female kids, with a bulk of instances dwelling of equal chances for both gender ( Asiatic American kids ) . Latinos and Hispanics on the other manus stretch the gender inequality and stereotypes to include instruction so adult females might non acquire the same grade of chance as her male opposite numbers.

Kinship plays a important function in all foreign ethnicities traveling to a culturally different topographic point, as it helps stoke cultural values, familial values, and helps maintain traditions alive in a community where these things would otherwise decease out rapidly. In Mexican American households, the male parent plays the dominant function in the household with the traditional stereotype of machismo playing out. There is besides a strong accent on people outside the direct household assisting out in raising a chide, i.e. , the construct of co-parenthood. Another basis of Chicano beliefs is Catholicism as mentioned earlier, and how it binds the household together in sync with the emphasis put on traditional gender functions ( 6 ) . these gender functions sometimes create struggle within the household, but it normally tends to make a stable and organized construction upon which kids can be successfully raised.

When Mexican American household structural facets are pitted against the traditional American household construction, there are more differences so similarities. On a higher degree nevertheless, a degree where single motivations, intangible constructs such as dreams, hopes, visions, fates are concerned, the playing field becomes well degree and in these positions, Mexican American households and traditional American households can be seen as about indistinguishable to each other. By traditional definitions, the Gonzales household can said to be populating near the poorness line if non below it, and while they try to do terminals run into, the focal point is ever kept on the kids and how their lives can be made better. This thought of forfeit for the kids is mirrored in American values every bit good as the thought that ‘each single can carve out a life for themselves and their household. ‘ This cardinal facet of the American dream can be said to be the Mexican dream every bit good due to the fact that within both societies, possibilities are endless in a land where anything can go on, and where the belief that difficult work will ensue in successes is held in the extreme respect.

Even though there are many structural differences present in the household organisation of Americans and Latinos, the grounds and aspirations behind about all the households that move to the Unites States are indistinguishable, they all want better chances so what their place state can offer, and with America being the land of chance, where freedom is valued as the most of import thing a adult male can retain, the grounds of all the immigrants that come here can be summarized by a verse form written by Emma Lazarus. She writes in “ The New Colossus ” , “ With soundless lips. “ Give me your tired, your hapless, Your huddled multitudes hankering to take a breath free, The deplorable garbage of your pullulating shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the aureate door! ” ” ( 7 ) .


1 ) Murray, Bruce. “ Latino Religion in the U.S. : Demographic Shifts and Trend | National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference ( NHCLC ) . ” NHCLC-America ‘s Largest Hispanic Christian Organization. The Latino Evangelical Voice. Web. 4 Apr. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

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2 ) “ ESRI Data Tapestry Segmentation. ” Hypertext transfer protocol: // Web. 4 Apr. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // serviceName=FreeZip & A ; errorURL= % 20http: // & A ; zipcode=90022 & gt ; .

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3 ) Kataoka-Yahiro, Merle, Clementina Ceria, and Rick Caulfield. “ Grandparent Caregiving Role in Ethnically Diverse Families. ” Journal of Pediatric Nursing 19.5 ( 2004 ) : 315-28. Science Direct. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

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4 ) Bocian, Debbie Gruenstein, Wei Li, and Keith S. Ernst. Foreclosures by Race and Ethnicity. Rep. Center for Responsible Lending, 18 June 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

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5 ) Station, Robert D. A Comparison of Mexican and Mexican-American Families. Rep. National Council on Family Relations, July 1972. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

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6 ) Vigil, James. “ Chicanos. ” Encyclopedia of World Cultures Supplement, 2002. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

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7 ) “ Your Rights. ” Democratic Earth – What ‘s Your Freedom Worth To You? ! – Court of Justice. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

Accessed at 10:13 Autopsy

Notes Per Episode:

La Casa — The overall subject of the episode is centered around the household coming together by repainting the house, seems about symbolic of a new beginning in a new universe with the following coevals ( jess ‘s kids taking over )

— Interesting to see how Jess appears non to care really much about painting the house, yet he seems to consistently input and non look indifferent at all, contradictory to what he claims.

— The full household is brought together with each coevals assisting the other. This is symbolized through how they help each other techniques on taking the old pigment off and priming the walls with new colour.

— Pablito demonstrates a cardinal facet every bit good as he seems to be playing the voice of the Satan ‘s advocator where he dislikes the alterations that are traveling on within the household, coercing the household to oppugn itself and how it is altering, and the grounds why they are altering. This inquiring is implied when at the terminal they donaa‚¬a„?t like the manner that the colour looks and how they want to set it back the manner it was.

— The full episode is centered around a metaphor, delving through the yesteryear that was embedded in the house, and it brings back memories as they dig deeper and seek to “ overhaul it ” A??’A? This modernisation facet is seen subtly but it sticks out due to Jess ‘s two girls speaking about how “ psychologists and physicians and scientists proclaim that certain colourss have certain effects ” and they talk about energy flow and motion and psychic energy is apparently out of topographic point until we realize that the household is seeking to accommodate and absorb metaphorically into American society.

La Cama

— This episode systematically centres on the flashbacks of when Berta and jess were immature and in love. The bed can be said to be the cardinal metaphor along with the pearls. While the bed seems to stand for the matrimonial facets along with their differences, where Berta claims that jess is rip offing on her. The pearls seems to stand for a soldierly facet of bonding. The economic state of affairs that they are in is stressed and even though Berta sold her pearls, jess got her another set to let for his married woman to be happy. While this episode is largely flashbacks there is another facet discussed in real-time

— Jess is seen traveling through the phases of widowhood and eventually is able to travel through the stage of outgrowth where he is at peace with his married woman ‘s decease and is actively dating now.

The Sewing Machine

— The household ‘s bond is shown stressed when jess ‘s in-between girl gets into Stanford is traveling to give her credence address and she creates a debacle when her she tells her ma that parents are non allowed to see the address, and its lone for module because her female parent ( Berta ) has spent nightlong and expensive lacing to make a frock for that address, and the miss does non desire to have on it. Her female parent ends up happening this out, and it drives the miss to repent her actions in the hereafter, when her and her brothers and sisters are contending over who gets the stitching machine, one of the souvenir from their female parent ‘s life. The other kids are besides contending over who gets ownership of it, but for different grounds. One needs it for a undertaking? and the other needs it for a memorial shrine dedicated to their female parent. While each one of their grounds seems to reflect the relationship they had with their female parent, when the small kid, Pablito asks for it for the most guiltless of grounds, we see the relationship between the grandma and the grandson. And as this event brings the household back together, they realize how much they mother their female parent.

The pilot

— The premiss of this first episode is about how the kids of Jess and Berta ( 1st coevals parents, 2nd coevals kids ) want to purchase a condo for their parents who are elder now and they all ( anticipate for the parents ) want to absorb into American civilization to the full. Problems begin to originate in this family when you have multi generational household members under one little roof.

— The decease of Berta occurs in this episode and kicks off the full series. The loss of their female parent helps set life and the household in perspective relation to each other. While they all want to travel out and go forth this old life behind. They can non due to one ground or another. It might look this manner superficially, but in a deeper degree, there seems to be internal struggles with everybody in go forthing the memories and lives behind with the house that they grew up in.


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