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Boomerang Kids

Here in America, there is a relatively new movement called Boomerang Kids, where young adults leave home for work or school and then return to live with their parents. This is a real departure from the cultural norms of even ten years ago, and so I’m fascinated by the change back toward multi-generational households.

A quick google search will reveal many articles on the topic, but here is a link to a Pew report published last month that give a great overview of the trend as well as some really interesting statistics: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2012/03/PewSocialTrends-2012-BoomerangGeneration.pdf

So, I’m curious to know what you all think about:

  1. The long term effects of young adults delaying their move out of their parents homes. What does this mean for the adult children and for the parents?
  2. The reasons why this is happening? Is it only a function of the current economy or is there something more at play? Will this trend continue?
  3. How this is similar or different to other cultures/countries represented in the class
  4. How this movement is affecting the economy (ie. fewer households, discretionary income, debt, etc)?

Looking forward to hearing all of your perspectives and insights!

Kristina

Where is your identity? 你从哪里来?

 

I just came back from the IABD conference which was held in Long Beach, CA this year. When people asked me “where are you from?”, I needed to give them a long answer that “I come from China, but now I study in Boston.”

Today, the advancement of information technology, globalization, and the disappearing of ethnic boundaries make personal identity has become a vague topic. The question of “where are you from” is not easy to answer any longer. I am a person strongly keep my identity. I closely keep in touch with Chinese things everyday during the two years I stay in America: news, TV programs and books. I still do not like eating American food too much and cook Chinese food at home or eat in Chinatown. When I travel, I always say I come from China though Boston is where I am living now.

But for others, especially the second generation of immigrants, they usually struggle with unclear identities. Jennifer W. Jay of University of Alberta interviewed some American and Canada Born Chinese (CBC/ABC) students in her paper of “Rapper Jin and ABC: Acquiring Spoken Cantonese and Transnational Identity Through Restaurant Culture and Hong Kong TV”. She found that a number of CBCs and ABCs acquired some proficiency with spoken Cantonese through mimicking their parents and watching Hong Kong TV at home. Their first spoken language was Cantonese and they could sing the theme songs of television series but could not read or write Chinese. As their social circle broadened outside the home, they began losing both fluency in Cantonese and interest in their parents’ background except for Chinese food. Mostly the parents and grandparents accept the loss of fluency and criticize them as hollow bamboo kids (of Chinese ethnicity but empty of Chinese substances) or Banana Kids (of yellow skin but of all white culture inside).

(Refer to http://chinalinks.osu.edu/naccl-20/proceedings/20_jay-j.pdf)

The video I attached below is an interview to Gene Yang, creator of a graphic novel American Born Chinese. He shares his struggle to reconcile his Chinese heritage with his American homeland. On the cover of the novel, he asks himself a question which is “Am I the Monkey King or a Transformer?” Monkey King and Transformer are representatives of Chinese and American culture. Which cultural identity do you belong to? I think this is a question to most of second generations of immigrants to America.

Questions:

1. When you are asked the question “where are you from?”, what will be your answer?

2. Have you ever been through identity struggling?

3. Do you think it is important to keep one’s identity or not? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

 

P.S.  This is my last assignment at Emerson College. My life experience in the US will be end. I am very very glad to have Dr. CJ and all of you be my friends in the past two years. I hope all you guys good luck in the future!

Is Health Cool?

Nick Cannon’s: ‘NCredible Health Hustle’

            A’ight so say word, Nick Cannon is on his grind once again and it’s about to go down. He’s gettin it on and poppin wit his new web series ‘NCredible Health Hustle’.  The boy just had kidney failure and now he’s eatin right and doin big things trying to get back on point.  Yo, so da question is, can health be cool? Can he make it cool?

Now that I have said this with a little urban flare, I will help you out with the translation.  What I really said was: Nick Cannon has just started a new web series entitled “NCredible Health Hustle’.  The series is about Cannon’s journey as he tries to recover from his hospitalization from kidney failure.  He is now very health conscious and eating right making sure he does not end up back in the hospital. So my question that I want all of you to think about throughout this is: can the conversation about health be done in a way that reaches the urban community? Can it be made cool, or is it already cool?

I said the first paragraph the way that I did because though that was not proper English that is a language spoken by many Americans. It is what some may call Ebonics or slang.  It is a cultural language and if you are trying to reach an audience where their population speaks Ebonics and you don’t then how do you communicate? It is like going to another country and you don’t speak the language, communication cannot happen. That is the complexity that is American culture. How we sidle up to differences in our country.  Though there are blatant differences globally, how can understanding the internal differences help you navigate those global differences?

The project that Nick Cannon has undertaken with his web series is very important.  He is a cultural presence that everyone knows.  He was on the show “All That” on Nickelodeon, has had a television, film and rap career and is Mariah Carey’s husband. He is 31-year-old and was hospitalized for kidney failure in January and later diagnosed with lupus nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys. “According to BlackHealthZone.com, approximately 20 million Americans have some form of kidney disease. An even more sobering statistic: Black men between the ages of 20 to 29 are 10 times more likely to develop kidney failure due to high blood pressure than Caucasian men in the same age group. Furthermore, African American men between the ages of 30 to 39 are about 14 times more likely to develop kidney failure than their White counterparts. While hypertension and diabetes are the leading causes of kidney disease in the United States, when zeroing in on why the progression to kidney failure in the African American community is at a much higher rate, it may simply come down to two things: genetics and a lack of proper healthcare.” For the article on check out http://www.blackenterprise.com/2012/01/24/are-black-men-more-susceptible-to-kidney-disease/

Nick through his web series has found a way to reach the urban population that may not listen to the doctor or some Public Service Announcement.  The reason they may not be listening is because the way the message of health is delivered is not cool. In an article by the Washington Post, Cannon says, about his recovery about the diagnosis that “From there, I just figured that I wanted to document the entire process, ‘he said in a recent phone interview. ‘This process might inspire a lot of people. So getting back into shape and getting back to the way that I always was before the condition was a journey.’ ‘Everybody loves it and kind of respects the fact that I would be so candid,’ Cannon said.’

Nick Cannon has considered the “cool factor” in every element of his series.  The title, “NCredible Health Hustle” the incredible is spelled in an urban way and including the word ‘hustle’ makes the video hotter by default.  Then the way he talks and behaves in the series is very relatable.  He has also chosen a popular medium to deliver his message.  I am sure he could have gotten a reality television show if he wanted but he realized that we are quickly growing into an online culture and so he chose to do a web series.  Watch the trailer and one of the episodes or more and tell me what you think. Deuces!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Tk4EQNbtw

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSTyfZUX2ps&feature=relmfu

Questions:

  1. What are some methods to reach an untouched or sub-population with an important message, such as health, in your culture?  What boundaries are there in communicating with them?
  2. Can health be made something cool that African Americans especially and others can rally behind?
  3. Are there any other topics that may need to be upgraded or made cool in your country?  If, so what are they?

Where do they intend to lead us to? 他们企图带我们去向何方?

 

大家好!既然Dr. CJ给了允许,那我也就不客气地写一点中文吧 =) 不过就在不久之前,中文才在语言类的调查研究中当选了世界最难学的语言第一名,所以如果我整篇博客都用中文写的话,估计会被大家杀掉……对中文感兴趣的同学也许已经用翻译工具明白了前面的话,不感兴趣的应该已经直接忽略了这些文字……就这样好了,逗大家玩玩,以上内容和博客本身没有关系 =p

The words above have nothing to do with the blog content. Just relax =)

With the rapid development of globalization, media, the key tool for people from all over the world to better know and understand each other, is playing a more and more important role in globalization process. In our daily life, media is the most convenient and efficient way for us to know what is going on everyday either in our own country or other countries that far away from us, as well as reach other people and countries that we are not familiar with and curious about.

However, media is not always reflecting the fact and truth while large amount of information and messages are widely spreading everywhere through different media channels. I am always interested in the issue of media bias, which has a huge impact on people’s thoughts and attitudes toward almost every aspect in the society, such as economy, politics, culture, history, etc. Sometimes it can strongly influence or even change people’s concepts and values toward life and soul.

Why is media often biased? Who is actually manipulating the media? What is the purpose of the manipulation?  The answers for questions like that are not very clear for common people like us. Here I would like you to take a few minutes to watch a short video clip The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News, which is related to this topic and may give us a brief idea about how media works, especially from the aspect of politics.

 

The fact is that, we, the audience of media, are passive receivers being targeted by certain “manipulators” of media. For example, from the aspect of politics, politicians take advantage of media for better winning people’s support; party in power uses media to guide public opinions for better consolidating its power and influence. What we see and think mostly depends on what kind of information and messages we get from the media and where such information and messages intend to lead us to. In other words, any kind of media bias can cause huge influence on people’s attitudes and affect people’s ability of independent thinking. Different types of media bias such as the reference of unreliable source, lack of diversity, the utilizing of double standards or stereotypes, etc., can be easily discovered from every media channel nowadays.

Here is an example of the negative impact that media bias had brought about. In 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, during the process of Olympic Torch Relay, some people in Germany and UK were rioting against the torch relay team, aiming to obstruct the torch relay process and show their opposition to China as well as their support of the independence of Tibet. They burst into the torch relay team, trying to snatch or destroy the torch; they waved the flag of Tibet as well as the banner “free Tibet” in the crowd; they even burned Chinese national flag in front of other Chinese people who were watching the torch relay at the roadside. People in Germany and UK took such actions because that the mainstream media of Germany and UK, like ZDF and BBC, had reported that Chinese government kept using military force to confine and suppress Tibetans, who had been suffering a lot and didn’t have any freedom in Tibet. There were also some other fabricated stories widely spread through these well-known media channels, which made people in those countries feel there was totally no human rights in Tibet that Tibetans should get rid of the “shackles” from Chinese government. I don’t want to talk too much about the political issues between Tibet and China because it is another question that is not related to the topic here. My purpose is trying to show how easily people can be influenced by what media conveys and how strong the influence is that can really make people take some serious actions.  People who made such actions were fully convinced by the media, ignoring the source and reliability of those stories.

If you are interested, here is another 2-minute video clip showing how Chinese people in Germany protesting in silence against biased German media after the torch relay. Still remember “the single story”? Maybe what we need to do is to spare some time to listen to different voices talking about the same issue.

 

Here are my discussion questions:

  1. Are you a person who can be easily influenced by media? Why or why not?
  2. How much do you care about the reliability or objectiveness of a piece of news?
  3. When you hear about some news from certain media channel, will you believe that it is the whole story or try to look for more information that could help you judge the issue on your own?
  4. From your opinion, how can people avoid being influenced by biased media as far as possible?

So much for the topic. Can’t wait to see your insightful thoughts.

Health Care Inequalities between Men and Women

 “A Woman is not a pre-existing condition” This is the slogan that can be seen on a shirt worn by a women at a 2009 health care reform campaign. This week’s topic, which I will be discussing, is: Gender and how it relates to a Health Crisis. In the U.S., there is an on-going debate about healthcare inequality between men and women, specifically that men pay less than women do, on average for identical health care plans (basic plans that do not include maternity care).

Insurance agencies claim that women often pay more than men for similar health care plans, because they use their coverage more. As reported in the New York Times article linked below, “Insurers said they charged women more than men because claims showed that women ages 19 to 55 tended to use more health care services. They are more likely to visit doctors, to get regular checkups, to take prescription drugs and to have certain chronic illnesses.” Essentially, women are being penalized for taking care of their health. Women who take these measures and receive regular check-ups are often preventing catastrophic, expensive to treat diseases from developing.

The difference in rates between men and women can not be explained by maternity costs, and if a women chooses to add this to her plan, has to pay another additional (expensive) fee. “According to CNN New research by the National Women’s Law Center released Monday shows that, in states that have not banned gender rating, 92% of the top plans charge women more — despite the fact that the vast majority of them do not cover maternity services.”

Women are not just being charged more than men, they are being charged significantly more. The average woman pays 30% more than a man purchasing an almost identical package. Some states have taken action to ban gender rating, but 90% of the best selling health care plans still charge women more than men.

 

I would like everyone to take a few minutes and read the following articles, as well as share your thoughts to the questions below.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/20/opinion/greenberger-health-premiums-gender-gap/index.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/health/policy/women-still-pay-more-for-health-insurance-data-shows.html?_r=1

 

1.)  Is healthcare inequality between men and women an issue in your country?

2.)  Do you think that there is some legitimacy in women paying more for health care plans?

3.)  Women are often charged 30% more than men for basic health care plans. Although women do utilize the services more, does this warrant such a significant increase in cost?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and opinions!

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