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[Xmca-l] Re: Some facts about cultural "triple packages"



Thanks David and others.

I guess I posted the video as something of a meditation on the question
that had been posed on the other thread - namely: what to do with empirical
stuff?

The video is one where I feel a bit frustrated with the argument and am
tempted to theorize away their findings but can't help but wonder how to
confront their facts and figures with other facts and figures.

I think David has at least pointed in the direction of the facts and
figures that are needed. Most notably something that points to the
particular configurations of capitalism that one confronts in different
national settings and how these configurations of capitalism foster
inequality and inevitably become top heavy (with 1% owning 50% of
everything). The Amy/Jed solution suggests that everyone altogether could
be just as successful as the current 1% if they just knew how to delay
gratification (and were as self-assured and self-doubting as Amy and Jed).

Anyone else have any other takes on their argument?

And do you see this as the latest incarnation of the cultural deficit
model, just with a few minor tweaks to make it sound less offensive?

-greg





On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 9:43 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Interesting contextualization, David. thanks
> mike
>
> On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 6:10 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Amy Chua and her husband are both, like Obama, professors of
> > constitutional law, and this explains a lot: their individualism,
> > their idealism, and their anecdotal approach to psychological
> > research. Naturally, I agree with all of the criticisms made on those
> > fronts; nevertheless I find myself in perverse sympathy with the talk,
> > particularly the point she made about the non-cultural sources of
> > poverty which seem to have been ignored by people on the list, perhaps
> > because they come near the end of the talk.
> >
> > "The Triple Package" is not a great book (as you can probably tell
> > from the "Seven Habits" style title). But it's still a book worth
> > putting in context. I don't think it is really a generalization of
> > Chua's book on parenting (which was actually very self-critical and
> > not at all self-congratulatory). I think it is a generalization of
> > Chua's last book, which was right in her own field, although like many
> > books which lie in the middle of one's field it did have a quite
> > personal trigger.
> >
> > As they say in their talk: all nations are unequal, but some are more
> > unequal than others. The Philippines are one of those more unequal
> > nations: Chua's grandparents are Filipino Chinese, and the Chinese in
> > the Philippines are about one percent of the population and own some
> > forty or fifty percent of the country's capital. So Chua's grandmother
> > (or perhaps it was an aunt--I'm don't exactly remember) was horribly
> > murdered by her driver. Nobody was punished, and the reason was that
> > the police felt enormous sympathy for the driver's hatred of rich
> > Chinese and released him on a technicality.
> >
> > At first, Chua was overcome with rage. But then she began to
> > generalize; she realized that her grandmother's murder was actually
> > part of a much wider pattern of constitutional change, where political
> > democracy is combined with extremes of economic oligarchy, and
> > consititutions make possible and even encourage demagogy and ethnic
> > scapegoating of what we might call the richer oppressed (e.g. Indians
> > in Uganda, Lebanese in Liberia, Tutsis in Rwanda, Croats in Serbia,
> > Chinese in Indonesia, Jews just about everywhere).
> >
> > This is "culture" as a weapon in the hands of the powerful
> > poor--people like Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Idi Amin, Slobadan Milosevic.
> > But it must have occurred to Chua while she was writing the book that
> > demagogy and scapegoating was only part of the story--I think this
> > book is actually an argument that culture can also be forged into a
> > weapon in the hands of the poor by precisely the family members who
> > seem most powerless--not her own grandmother, but grandmothers like
> > that of Sonja Sotomayor.
> >
> > Idealism? Of course. Chua ignores the real reasons for the success
> > stories she tells, because they have nothing to do with these triple
> > package values (values which she admits are shared by almost all
> > ethnic groups). As Thomas Piketty points out in "Capital in the
> > Twenty-first Century", economics seen over the long run is...well,
> > it's a long arc, and it bends towards injustice. But precisely because
> > the injustice towards which it bends admits so very few to the very
> > rich, the very poor eventually play catch up, both iinternationally
> > (China) and intra-nationally, while the majority of the ruling ethnic
> > power are forced into the actual, not the nominal, middle class (i.e.
> > in the USA, people who live on earned income and not returns on
> > capital).
> >
> > There were two exceptions to all of this playing catch-up, and they
> > happen to be the real "double package" on which American culture was
> > materially founded: genocide and slavery. That is why I feel that
> > treating the Native American and the black American experience as if
> > it were somehow comparable to other immigrant experiences is really a
> > form of Holocaust denial. The building where I live lodges mostly
> > foreigners, and there are many Americans. One of the professors is
> > black, American, and an incredibly successful and well known author in
> > business studies. Like Barack Obama, he has a name--it's an African
> > name, not the name of some slave-owning scoundrel; from the sound of
> > it I suspect he calls himself a "Nigerian-American" and not
> > "African-American". The other day I met his son in the elevator, and
> > when I heard his name I told him I recognized it, because it goes at
> > the top of every article his dad publishes. The kid was fairly
> > incandescent with pride.
> >
> > David Kellogg
> > Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> >
> >
> > On 17 September 2014 02:45, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe <pmocombe@mocombeian.com
> >
> > wrote:
> > > I am not a psychologist, but is this what is passing off as empirical
> > psychological research?  On another note, can we get some real
> > psychologists to weigh in on the impact of spanking children on their
> > psychological development.  This Adrian Peterson thing is getting racial
> > really quickly.  By the way, my parents would be in prison today based on
> > how I was spanked....
> > >
> > >
> > > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> > > President
> > > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> > > www.mocombeian.com
> > > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> > > www.paulcmocombe.info
> > >
> > > <div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: "Henry G.
> > Shonerd III" <hshonerd@gmail.com> </div><div>Date:09/16/2014  1:12 PM
> > (GMT-05:00) </div><div>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <
> > xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Some facts
> > about cultural "triple packages" </div><div>
> > > </div>I am struck by how inauthentic (phony?) Chua and her husband are,
> > even more so than most TED talks. As I listened, I remembered the work by
> > Ogbu on oppositional responses of "involuntary immigrants" (Blacks as
> > slaves, Native Americans and Hispanics caught up in the movement of
> > national borders). I have heard Ogbu has been criticized, but he
> convinced
> > me.
> > > Henry
> > >
> > > On Sep 16, 2014, at 4:59 AM, Katherine Wester Neal <wester@uga.edu>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > >> Thanks for sending, Greg. I also found it hard to keep watching. I
> have
> > read Amy Chua's "tiger mom" book, and this TED talk seems to be a way to
> > validate and extend the parenting ideas that she lays out in the book
> > (which I find to be harsh and a bit mean-spirited). I have many issues
> with
> > their claims, but I'll just mention two.
> > >>
> > >> First, I don't think their generalizations/facts are very useful. They
> > perpetuate the idea, for example, that stereotypes are acceptable,
> > especially if they're "true," which is probably where the comment that
> > they're racist came from. It is also unhelpful to tell white, middle
> class
> > parents one more time that "other" kids are going to outperform their
> kids
> > and their kids are falling behind. This sort of scarcity rhetoric hurts
> > kids and parents, in part because it sets up an us/them dichotomy.
> > >>
> > >> Second, as Greg said, there's no theory. I am suspect of facts, such
> as
> > these, without theory because they don't account for how the facts were
> > produced.
> > >>
> > >> Katie
> > >>
> > >> Katie Wester-Neal
> > >> Doctoral Candidate
> > >> University of Georgia
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> On Sep 15, 2014, at 11:41 PM, "Greg Thompson" <
> > greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Been enjoying the party, and apropos of David's call for some facts
> > (which
> > >> I'm in full support of - despite being a theory-wonk), I thought I'd
> > offer
> > >> this Ted talk that was sent to me by an LCHC colleague:
> > >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHUMcxaqm9U
> > >>
> > >> Lots of facts in there, and not a little theory.
> > >>
> > >> They've got big claims about the facts of their program in inner-city
> > >> schools and about inequality too (you have to listen to the end to
> hear
> > >> about that).
> > >>
> > >> What do you think?
> > >>
> > >> Anything to it?
> > >>
> > >> Anyone have any facts to counter their facts?
> > >>
> > >> -greg
> > >>
> > >> p.s., I'm still listening to it right now. Not sure I'm going to be
> able
> > >> to stomach the entire talk... getting a little queasy. Feeling like
> > someone
> > >> is selling me something that is going to cost me a ton and I'm not
> > going to
> > >> like. Ugh...
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> --
> > >> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > >> Assistant Professor
> > >> Department of Anthropology
> > >> 882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > >> Brigham Young University
> > >> Provo, UT 84602
> > >> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>
>
> --
>
> Development and Evolution are both ... "processes of construction and re-
> construction in which heterogeneous resources are contingently but more or
> less reliably reassembled for each life cycle." [Oyama, Griffiths, and
> Gray, 2001]
>



-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
882 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson