Maria and I discussed for a long time during and after the Culture Matters talk show, about the relationship in families in America and China. Her point of view is very interesting, and I tend to agree, but before I do that, let me check with my readers first.
Maria’s Theory of “Economically Independent from Family”
Maria talked about the change in U.S. in 1960s.
During the period of time, with the country becoming richer and richer, there are more and more support from the society, and individuals are actually support by the society, instead of family.
In most countries, like in China, family is not only an emotionally connected unit, it is also an economical organization.
As a child, he/she HAS to rely on the family to provide food, shelter, and education.
As an adult, to form a family is economically beneficial for couples, and many couples live together not just for love, but also for stability of their economical interest. For example, many wives will face financial challenge after devoice.
As an older person, they rely on their children to support them, and children have the obligation to do that.
There are of cause emotional connections, but the economical connection is also very important in people’s relationship.
In America, in contrast, there are lesser financial connection, since:
1. As a child, he/she is basically support by the society – education, food, and health care. When they need to go to university, although they need a lot of money to go to Harvard, but they don’t need too much if they go to state university, and family’s support is that that critical.
2. When people get old, they have their own social insurance, and their own doctor, who can help them when they need help.
Basically, Maria argues that although there is some economical connection, basically, America can be very independent from their family.
When People are Independent from Family
When people are independent from family, what they need from family is just emotional support. The sole propose of a family is to make them happy. If a family cannot make them happy, they leave.
The contract is, family in economically family dependent society, parents care about their children’s future more than the children themselves, since their future depend on the children. While in a family independent society, the parents care about the happiness of their children, much more than their achievement, since at the end of the day, the life when they get old is not dependent on the children.
Does it Make Sense?
It makes a lot of sense to me, but I am not that familiar with the American society. Anyone wants to give any comment?