Striped Zebra
by
Uday Naval & Soofia Hussain

[October 01, 2004]
 

Striped Zebra: The Immigrant Psyche is a presentation on the forthcoming research volume on the subject of migration. The metaphor of Striped Zebra postulates that - upon migration - an immigrant’s mind assumes a “dyadic” structure, in which two parallel streams of thought run side by side. One of these, called the “Seed” values is those set of values that the immigrant brings along from the native culture and which are resistant to change. The second termed the “Feed” values is  those values that the immigrant is eager and willing to assimilate from the society he or she settles in (called the “host” society).

The presentation will spell out the principal components of both the Seed and Feed value systems. It would then go on to suggest that after a long sojourn in the host land, the Striped Zebra is open to the possibility of turning into the “Spotted Leopard.”

1) The migration phenomenon - global and ever-burgeoning

2) Two sets of values: Seed and Feed

3) Ethnic chasms - responses thereto

4) Why people hold on to traditions

  • Emotional anchor
  • Bonding with co-ethnics abroad
  • Bonding with folks at home
  • Continuity with their past

5) Adolescence: identity formation

6) Seed values

  • Male authority
  • Parental authority: marriage within the fold
  • Extended family
  • Respect for the elders
  • First language maintenance
  • Native cuisines, attires
  • Ethnic celebrations
  • Ethnic media

7) Feed values

  • The "American Dream"
  • Education
  • Individual rights
  • Gender Equality
  • Kids' rights
  • Value of time

8) Spotted Leopard

9) One Word

 

 

 


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