Thursday, April 19, 2007

Communication breakdown

Sometimes a broader context doesn't help things at all:
[T]he Cho coverage has focused fresh attention on the enormous cultural obstacles awaiting Korean migrants trying to assimilate into American society. Hwang Seung Yeon, a sociologist at Seoul's Kyunghee Univerisity, says Korean parents make enormous sacrifices to send their children to good schools. Working long hours, there is seldom time for them to communicate with their children—especially because of the language barrier between parents with little English and children who know minimal Korean. Parents want to follow the old ways; their children opt for the new. "In the families of Korean Americans, there is typically little communication," says Hwang. "Even when there is communication, it is often one sided or hostile." As a result, Hwang adds, many young Korean Americans are "lonely and lost because they are caught between two different cultures." —Newsweek
"Lonely and lost" doesn't lead to murder. Cho was a sick person, and his actions were his own—not "typical" of anything relating to his background.

The implication is that there's something inherent in the Korean immigrant experience that leads to a dysfunctional family life. If so, how would Hwang explain the gunman's apparently well-adjusted elder sister?

(Newsweek link via Dizzyhead Jdawg)


Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats