Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews

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Interview

What are your family roles/gender roles? How are they the same as or different from those traditionally practiced by your culture (who is the head of the household, who makes decisions, how are decisions made, etc.)?

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  • Eve: Family role can be described as supporting. This factor defines some gender expectations towards her, like necessarily having a soft nature and being careful. Apart from that, her family never imposes limitations on her self-expression. She can dress, apply makeup, and choose a career at her own discretion. This liberty of choice has become common for girls within the last decades. In her family, the father is the household head, but he never makes decisions single-handedly. Whether it is about grocery shopping or buying a new car, he asks the wife’s opinion.
  • Cousin: The word ‘helper’ fits the best to describe his role in the family. He is expected to be strong physically and willing to help with all aspects of life, from finance to babysitting younger children. The latter is quite unconventional for Latin households as, traditionally, the lion’s share of babysitting falls to women. However, in his family, the mother is the head of the household, and as the main housekeeping person, she arranges duties for the rest of the family. For crucial financial decisions, her husband and some extended family members are encouraged to share their thoughts.

What do your culture and family see as primary family goals (education, marriage, etc.)?

  • Eve: Culturally, the primary family goal is to produce children. From her family’s perspective, it is to provide the best living conditions possible to the children.
  • Cousin: Culturally, one needs to build a strong relationship with someone and give birth to children. Within his family, the primary goal is mutual support and trying to prosper.

What is your culture’s view on alternative lifestyles (living together prior to marriage, domestic partnerships, single parenting, etc.)?

  • Eve: Polish people feel alternative lifestyles are acceptable. Given that the traditional family institution needs a thorough reformation to survive, the culture is open to different forms of unions outside wedlock if it supports healthy relationships in the couple. Single parenting is considered a somewhat unlucky condition because the solo parent has too much responsibility.
  • Cousin: In Latin countries, practices like unmarried cohabitation and single parenting are not considered alternatives. If anything, they have been a part of the culture for several centuries already. It is more common to meet a solo mother than a solo father. However, it is also frequent that families are very complex, non-nuclear, and involve several generations in the children’s upbringing.

What are your family’s religious beliefs, and have they changed over generations?

  • Eve: Like most Roman-Catholic families, they believe in mercy and the afterlife and want fair business operations at work. These are the main teachings her parents grew up with and passed on to her. When it comes to sexual morality, she and her family think that planned marriage and pregnancy are the most reasonable way to organize one’s life, despite the church’s teachings on contraception and abortion.
  • Cousin: His family is Catholic, but they are not very committed to religion. Their views are growing milder each year, and his family wants him to be a kind and reasonable partner and father in the future rather than oppressing and selfish macho.

What are your family’s spiritual beliefs around death and dying?

  • Eve: While her parents believe in the afterlife according to Christian teaching, she does not share the same thoughts.
  • Cousin: Parents hope that after death, they will find eternal tranquility and bliss. He is an atheist.

What are your culture’s education and occupational status within the family unit?

  • Eve: Education is vital to secure every individual’s prosperity. Career promotion is worth the effort, and family members normally encourage each other to look for better conditions and prospects.
  • Cousin: Although it is quite new for his family, he and all the younger children feel very motivated by their parents to study well and work hard to succeed in their chosen careers. They can choose the occupation, but the choice has to be approved by their parents.

What are your culture’s preferred communication methods (verbal and nonverbal)?

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  • Eve: The Polish people are quite straightforward, and most people feel comfortable expressing their emotions verbally.
  • Cousin: People rely on some nonverbal messages a lot, like the strength of the handshake or the frequency of touching each other.

How does your culture treat same-sex households?

  • Eve: It generally depends on the level of education of each person. The attitude is complex and depends on many factors like appearance, income, occupational success, etc.
  • Cousin: Same-sex couples and especially households are treated negatively. Social pressure is high, and male same-sex relationship is overtly condemned.

What is your culture’s view on rising family unions’ instability?

  • Eve: It seems like the authorities are trying to come up with a quick fix by abolishing legal abortion. They do not understand that the ‘traditional family’ will never resurrect anyway. People no longer need to be in this kind of union to survive because each person can provide enough for themselves and a child. Traditions can no longer dictate the nature of the relationship between the two. However, it is only the gen Z view, while some older people might disagree.
  • Cousin: In Latin countries, it has always been unstable, so they mainly do not share the panic of other cultures.

What is your culture’s view on early marriage?

  • Eve: People born between 1990 and 2000 would likely think it is pointless and odd.
  • Cousin: It is not rare in Latin countries for a female to get married and have her first child by 18.

Compare and Contrast Analysis

For the following research, two people of similar age, educational background, and social status were chosen. The reason for such a selection was to highlight culture-specific differences, which cannot be attributed to any other disparity in life experience. Therefore, my male cousin, Latin, and a European Caucasian female groupmate from my extra school classes became perfect candidates for this study. Both are older generation Z representatives and show interest in how modern society is developing, which is critical because they could elaborate on their views and beliefs. Next, in terms of gender, the two are binary and heterosexual. The choice of non-same gender interviewees is justified because the majority of ancient cultures are based on the male-female contraposition, from which many family-related cultural differences derive. These include spheres of responsibility, decision-making, marital practices, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to study how different gender individuals feel within their cultural context to contrast and deeply compare two cultures.

People nowadays are very mobile, exposed to many cultures simultaneously, and open-minded, surprisingly resulting in a remarkable similarity of views. Although both interviewees demonstrated quite specific knowledge of their cultures’ general domains, like religion and history, they agreed on the obsolescence of the social domains. Interestingly, both interviewees tended to oppose themselves not to other cultures but to previous generations of their own culture. The most drastic change from their parents manifests in their attitude towards the family. Both claimed self-development as a high priority and called social trends aimed to consolidate ‘traditional’ family outdated and oppressive. Education turned out to be a shared value, whereas religion had not been striking them as important for quite a long time already. Alternative lifestyles have a different meaning in each culture but generally are accepted and sometimes even welcomed. Family and gender roles appear more flexible nowadays. Primary interviewees’ family goals aim at psychological and financial comfort in both cases and differ from the cultural ones.

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The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that both interviewees feel quite detached from what is considered their traditional culture. The dismissive attitude is especially prominent when it comes to religion and family formation. Specifically, religion-wise, they both are committed atheists, whereas their parents exhibit somewhat mixed sentiments towards religion. Both interviewees believe that although religion played a significant role in forming cultures as we know them nowadays, it no longer defines people’s behavior strategies. Hence, it is not considered vitally relevant in the modern world.

When it comes to family formation, the view contrast is striking. Eve, the Caucasian interviewee, explained that some generation Z people are opposed to the traditional family’s idea. The reason is that the former responsibility division between men and women was to ensure the family’s survival. However, people in the 21st century have advanced medicine, affordable food, and housing. Therefore, the basic needs are covered, and the psychological aspect has come to the forefront in Poland. Moreover, peace at home is considered essential for children’s healthy psychological development (Thomas et al., 2017). It is critical that partners are comfortable with each other while their gender and traditional family roles pale insignificance.

At the same time, in Latin countries, women feel more empowered to call themselves the head of the household. They demand equal shares of responsibility for the housekeeping and upbringing of children (Esteeve et al., 2018). However, the family is strictly hetero normative there, and despite the culture of collective children’s upbringing, all deviations from the hetero standard are harshly criticized (Malta et al., 2019). It is a vivid example of an attempt to consolidate the traditional family in a toxic way.

In light of the mentioned above, it seems like family roles have become very flexible and do not entail any gender-specific requirements, especially for children in the modern world. The family is expected to teach them to be adequate members of society in the first place. When it comes to young people in general, they let the zeitgeist define them more than their origin and traditions. They look at what is wrong with their culture or their own family and try to fix it. With the advent of the Internet and social media, one can immediately compare one’s condition with other people worldwide and come up with fresh ideas. As a result, cultural domains and interpersonal relationships are subject to thorough reshaping now.

References

Esteve, A., & Florez-Paredes, E. Families in Latin America. Unequal Family Lives, 40–65. Web.

Malta, M., Cardoso, R., Montenegro, L., de Jesus, J. G., Seixas, M., Benevides, B., Whetten, K. (2019). Sexual and gender minorities rights in Latin America and the Caribbean: a multi-country evaluation. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 19(1).

Thomas, P. A., Liu, H., & Umberson, D. (2017). Family Relationships and Well-Being. Innovation in Aging, 1(3).

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NursingBird. (2022, July 17). Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/transcultural-health-care-family-interviews/

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NursingBird. (2022, July 17). Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews. https://nursingbird.com/transcultural-health-care-family-interviews/

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"Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews." NursingBird, 17 July 2022, nursingbird.com/transcultural-health-care-family-interviews/.

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NursingBird. (2022) 'Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews'. 17 July.

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NursingBird. 2022. "Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews." July 17, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/transcultural-health-care-family-interviews/.

1. NursingBird. "Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews." July 17, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/transcultural-health-care-family-interviews/.


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NursingBird. "Transcultural Health Care: Family Interviews." July 17, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/transcultural-health-care-family-interviews/.