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Family SacrificesThe Worldviews and Ethics of Chinese Americans$
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Russell M. Jeung, Seanan S. Fong, and Helen Jin Kim

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190875923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190875923.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The Yi of Family Sacrifice

The Yi of Family Sacrifice

Chinese Americans’ Highest Values

(p.96) Chapter 5 The Yi of Family Sacrifice
Family Sacrifices

Russell M. Jeung

Seanan S. Fong

Helen Jin Kim

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 details Chinese Americans’ highest values and the central narrative by which they make sense of their lives: family sacrifice. Those under 30 tended to be “maximizing world-changers.” They desired to make a difference with their opportunities and careers. Those over 30 desired to be “expressive balancers,” seeking fulfillment by balancing work, community, and family. Both groups tempered these individualistic Americanized tendencies by expressing family sacrifice in three ways. First, they venerated the past, showing respect and honor to their ancestors and immigrant parents. Second, they gave back to their parents in culturally appropriate ways: hard work, good communication and food, and by including family in major decisions. Third, they centered their dreams for the future around family. The yi of Chinese Americans is an ethic of maintaining right relations with those whom one considers family.

Keywords:   Chinese American millennials, American millennials, familism, immigration, ancestor veneration, intergenerational conflict

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