Adultism in Chinese Culture Essay

Adultism in Chinese Culture One day, Mrs. Smith is in her greengrocer’s shop. There are many people waiting in her shop to buy things. While she was serving his customers, a small boy runs into the shop. He pushes in front of the people and wants talk to Mrs. Smith. However, the people in the shop think that he also wants buy things but without line the queue. So, they are unhappy toward his action and starting to scold him. “Children today! They are so rude! They can’t wait! They always want to be first! Young people must learn to wait. You can’t push in front of people.

You are not the only customer in the shop, you know? ” Mrs. Smith said. The small boy try to explain but there are no people giving any chance for him to talk and ignore him. Then, Mrs. Smith continues serving her customer. Due to some of the customer’s request, she goes out the shop to take something. A minutes later she runs in again and shouting that her car had been stolen. The small boy tells that he saw two men near her car and drove it away. “Why didn’t you tell me? ” She turns to him and shouts in an angry voice. He tried to tell her, but nobody listened to him.

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Nowadays, Young people are often mistreated and disrespected simply because they are young. Adults usually put their influence and authority without regard for the experiences, feeling, or opinions of youth. “This form of social control, coupled with the negative perceptions of young people that are prevalent in our society, leads to adultism. ” (Velazquez and Garin-Jones, 2003). The Free Child Project defined that the word adultism refers to behaviors and attitudes based on the assumption that adults are better than young people, and entitled to act upon young people without their agreement.

This mistreatment is reinforced by social institutions, laws, customs, and attitudes (http://freechild. org). It expressed by treating the young person as weak, helpless and less intelligent than adults. So, they are more controlled by adults. In the same way, adultism happened quite common in Chinese culture. In Chinese culture, decision making of young people always controlled by adults. Most of their future careers are decided by their parents. Therefore, young people have no voice, no power, no decision making skill pursue their interested.

For example, parents forced their children attend extra activities such as tuition class, piano lesson, ballet lesson and so on. It is just because they want their children to be more perfect than others. Thus, parents would enforce what they believe is necessary goal and against their children will. On the other hand, arranged marriages were once the norm in Chinese culture, which the marital partners are chosen by parents. They have no freedom to choose his or her own spouse. This also shows that adultism has already occurred in the olden day of Chinese culture.

Adults assume young people are not able of helping themselves, so they do “for” them. According to Velazquez. and Garin-Jones (2003), this form of adultism results in lost opportunities for young people to take on new challenges, learn, and develop. Besides that, adults still practicing their own traditional Chinese beliefs and influence on contemporary culture. So, they still remaining traditional culture mind. As a result, females tend to do housework and their freedom is limited. This is because adults think women are not equal to men and are not worthy to have literary and education.

Then, in Chinese social system which the father or eldest male is head of the household, having authority over women and children, we called this as patriarchy (German, 2006). Men have the power and control the women, hence, father’s job always just only pass to son generation by generation. As a result, young people do not have the support they need and lose their motivation to participate in planning that directly affects their lives. Actually, androgyny in Western Culture is quite popular, which is the blending of male and female characteristics within a single individual (Gianoulis, 2004).

Nowadays, female and male are changing their role which female be a strong women for working while male staying home for taking children. Punishing and disciplining in children also show as adultism’s action. The China Daily (December 17, 2004) stated more than 60 percent of Chinese children have suffered from corporal punishment. A common way for Chinese parents to punish their children as kneeling is considered a way of contemplating one’s wrongdoings. Thus, their children are being forced to kneel as showing remorse and seeking forgiveness from their parents. Moreover, some of them also were thrown out of their home. Adults reserve the right to punish, threaten, hit, take away “privileges,” and ostracize young people when such actions are deemed to be instrumental in controlling or disciplining them. ” (Bell, 2005). He also mentioned that the rules in school system are imposed on young people and enforced by adult staff. For example, teachers can yell at students when they feel frustrated, students are disciplined if they yell back at teachers. In additional, students are forced to accept their “grades” to view as they are smart, average or dumb which can influence their future lives.

And also if a student receives an “F”, it is assumed the student failed but not the teacher. Because of that, young people will avoid contact with adults and also feel alienated from them. To value youth culture and break the vicious cycle between adultism and young people, here is some solutions of breaking the cycle. First, adults have to develop an understanding of youth culture. Adults need to spend much time with young people and making contact to know about their world and their thinking.

Make an effort to learn about them by asking questions and exploring the different facets that are central their lives. This is an opportunity to learn about each other and develop relationships. Second, demonstrate sensitivity in interactions with young people. Adults should communicate openly and respectfully to help them to explore the available options in youth lives. Be careful the words before says out to a children. Improve the communication skill and encourages problem solving that helps all parties involved get their needs. Not just always blaming them that they are not enough experiences or immature.

Help them to take responsibility for their choices by refraining from judgment and thinking about the ways to value the relationships with youth too. Third, adults also can develop cultural competence in work and interactions with young people. They should focus on understanding and valuing the unique talents and unlimited potential that young people offer. They can ask questions about culturally competent policies and practices in youth and juvenile services, inform situations and systems of care (Velazquez and Garin-Jones, 2003). Fourth, don’t embarrass young people by “disciplining” them in front of others.

Tell them very discreetly or away from others, correcting them is an intimate act that should be done in private. It is a delight to interaction with adolescents who have been consistently allowed and encouraged to think for themselves, to express their authentic natures, and to learn at their own space. Young people tend to be comfortable talking with adults and respected for what they want to say. They have their own brilliant and innovative notions about how to live in a fulfilling life. So, adultism should be reduces and enpowered the young people.


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