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The Bamboo Ceiling? - Page 2

post #16 of 28
In the case of the author, his parents have a point, no?

I mean, you don't have to be an Asian parent not to want you kid to end up unemployed, broke, unemployable, socially awkward, permanently single, and perpetually pissed off.

So, yeah, he shattered the stereotype but really has not made a great life for himself.

A lot of the crap we all have to do is boring. Even for white people. Much of my upbringing and life choices were, on this dude's terms, culturally Asian. I am less miserable about it than he is and I have a job.
post #17 of 28
I think Asian parents are more risk-averse than non-asians. Until very recently, they weren't pushing their children into business and finance. The options were Doctor, Lawyer and Engineer, all of which are fantastic career choices, but most have limited upward mobility.

As others have stated before, the culture of conformity is largely at play. I think my wife is a perfect example. She's off-the-charts brilliant. MD, PhD by 28. Top notch residency and fellowship. Numerous publications. The problem is, she's so scared of intimidating anyone with her intelligence that she often comes off as a bit of a ditz. She's been taught not to make waves her enitre life, but the end result will probably be her being passed over for promotions in favor of more outwardly confident white males.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
In the case of the author, his parents have a point, no? I mean, you don't have to be an Asian parent not to want you kid to end up unemployed, broke, unemployable, socially awkward, permanently single, and perpetually pissed off. So, yeah, he shattered the stereotype but really has not made a great life for himself. A lot of the crap we all have to do is boring. Even for white people. Much of my upbringing and life choices were, on this dude's terms, culturally Asian. I am less miserable about it than he is and I have a job.
Picking a art/writing career path was a mistake obviously. I'm not sure what made him pick it (perhaps it was a total backlash as a result of his parent's being overbearing). However, his concerns about seeing so few Asians in upper management or other respected fields besides the STEM (forget math) fields is pretty spot on. My friend just returned from DC as part of a policy fellowship. He noted how few of the policy advisors were Asian considering how much fundamental research in labs and academia is performed by Asian PIs. I think that's partly a result of a certain interpersonal skill set that isn't nurtured as well as it could be growing up in some Asian households. This is something I've gathered in my time in grad school and what the author talks about resonates with that. This isn't a good or bad thing, it simply predisposes those kids to be more inclined to pursue certain career paths than others. Of course, I realize that first generation Asian parents can't be faulted for wanting the most conservative career path for their kids if it guarantees a middle class life. It does hurt as far as diversity goes. I do see the tide shifting though. There are plenty of second generation Asians (and Indians) who are socially well-adjusted, still smart and go onto other, still respected, careers. I also think China and India are realizing the importance of setting up good business programs at colleges in addition to the usual CS and engineering stalwarts.
post #19 of 28
This snark is not directed at you, more at the cultural winds, but ...

What is diversity? Is it when Asians act like Asians and whites act like whites, or is it when everyone acts and thinks the same but at least the conference table has different eye shapes sitting around it?
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
This snark is not directed at you, more at the cultural winds, but ... What is diversity? Is it when Asians act like Asians and whites act like whites, or is it when everyone acts and thinks the same but at least the conference table has different eye shapes sitting around it?
I think in this context it's having diversity in what career a bright and capable Asian chooses - which ultimately have more upside.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramuman View Post
I think in this context it's having diversity in the what career a bright and capable Asian chooses - which ultimately have more upside.

Well, nothing is stopping anyone. Their parents may have certain expectations but the kids have free will.

The whole article was a Ron Takaki attempt to say "We're victims too!!! Pay no attention to the fact that Asians have higher incomes than native born whites, or any other metric of success!! We're just as downtrodden as anyone else and America sucks."

Except, as noted, the author's argument falls apart on its own terms because he is too honest (an Asian trait?). However, even though he is honest he is still pissed off and needs a villain, and he is not honest enough to admit that there is no villain in this story.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Well, nothing is stopping anyone. Their parents may have certain expectations but the kids have free will. The whole article was a Ron Takaki attempt to say "We're victims too!!! Pay no attention to the fact that Asians have higher incomes than native born whites, or any other metric of success!! We're just as downtrodden as anyone else and America sucks." Except, as noted, the author's argument falls apart on its own terms because he is too honest (an Asian trait?). However, even though he is honest he is still pissed off and needs a villain, and he is not honest enough to admit that there is no villain in this story.
I think he does comes across as having an axe to grind. However, I agree with his broader message and I don't think he's saying Asians are downtrodden - to the contrary if anything. It seems more so that he wishes Asian parents would embrace a different approach to raising their kids than what the parents themselves took, something that might be better for their kids' ultimate success. The manner in which he expresses things might be different if the author were stuck in middle management at Intel or IBM, but I think the message would still be the same. Just my 2c.
post #23 of 28
Here's the gist of the article. Asians start off behind Whites in the professional world because people mentor and promote people who look like them, and the executive/management level is overwhelmingly White. Asians compound this problem by being non-confrontational grinders who don't demand opportunities to prove themselves. As a result, Asians are stuck in the middle levels of a company or organization. I don't see anything untrue or controversial here.
post #24 of 28
Can someone explain the whole cultural conformity thing and the ingraining of Asian mentality to the point they can't act otherwise? If they're Asian Americans surely they're exposed to outside influences. Even if you only surround yourself with people who think the Asian way, whatever that means, you can still think for yourself and break the mold. I had a traditional, strict Asian upbringing and so did most of my Asian friends, but a lot of us never really complied with all the humility or subservience etc. we were taught during our upbringing, and even those who did weren't as socially retarded as some of the people in the article seem.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramuman View Post
Picking a art/writing career path was a mistake obviously.

Why, exactly?
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I read it. Some of it was very interesting. I enjoyed the part about the guys going to pick-up boot camp.

Someone forwarded me an invite to an event with that pick up guy sponsored by one of the asian student groups at my alma mater.

If I had read this article first, I would totally have attended his thing for laughs.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramuman View Post
The message I took out of it was that it's a struggle to break from what's been ingrained in you for 18 years. To me, the underlying message is that Asian parents want for their kids the same thing that let them make a substantial leap from a modest life abroad to a comfortable life here. The parents think that those same principles (standardized test gaming, a focus on fitting in, etc.) that let them make their leap will directly enable their kids to make a similar leap.

+1. and its not an asian thing imo. we're talking about first, second generation immigrants raising kids in a new environment. I bet there's still a considerable portion of them have experienced or have memories of how harder life was "back home". the aim of these parents is to achieve financial security as soon as possible, lest they "fail" yet again in their new land. interestingly, most of my fellow chinese immigrants here tend to raise their kids to be entrepreneurs and business owners over doctors, engineers and computer whatnots. I can only guess its because in my environment, this road is a faster and safer way to gain financial security.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drum View Post
Can someone explain the whole cultural conformity thing and the ingraining of Asian mentality to the point they can't act otherwise? If they're Asian Americans surely they're exposed to outside influences. Even if you only surround yourself with people who think the Asian way, whatever that means, you can still think for yourself and break the mold.

I had a traditional, strict Asian upbringing and so did most of my Asian friends, but a lot of us never really complied with all the humility or subservience etc. we were taught during our upbringing, and even those who did weren't as socially retarded as some of the people in the article seem.

I understand the "not losing our identity" way of thinking of immigrants. and for the most parts I also raise my kids hoping that the (in my case) chinese values, and a certain degree of humility, be passed on to my kids. I live in Manila, but we're 3rd generation Chinese immigrants, and a couple of my siblings are 1st generation immigrants there. we have embraced the country we grew up in, definitely, but we were also "brainwashed" to practice "chinese values" that even here are sometimes different to filipino values.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I Much of my upbringing and life choices were, on this dude's terms, culturally Asian.

I knew it! you're a brotha!!!
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by drum View Post
Can someone explain the whole cultural conformity thing and the ingraining of Asian mentality to the point they can't act otherwise? If they're Asian Americans surely they're exposed to outside influences. Even if you only surround yourself with people who think the Asian way, whatever that means, you can still think for yourself and break the mold.

I had a traditional, strict Asian upbringing and so did most of my Asian friends, but a lot of us never really complied with all the humility or subservience etc. we were taught during our upbringing, and even those who did weren't as socially retarded as some of the people in the article seem.

this.

all those other dudes in the articles are just making excuses for themselves.
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