Purpose of group

Donna Woodka woodka at pauline.sdsc.edu
Fri Feb 16 16:02:46 EST 1996

In article <Pine.A32.3.91.960216110326.186858B-100000 at musca.unm.edu>,
Linnea Ista <lkista at UNM.EDU> wrote:
>On 16 Feb 1996, Galloway Cynthia M wrote:

>> I would like to start, or attempt to start, another line of discussion.  
>> I work at a predominantly Hispanic university and most of my female students 
>> will not think about going away to school to pursue a Ph.D., even though 
>> some are very qualified.  Many students have told me that you just don't 
>> leave your family to go off to school.  I am not talking husband and 
>> children but mom's, dad's and siblings.  I have even been confronted by 
>> husbands and fathers that I am a bad influence on their daughters because 
>> I am not married, do not live in the state where my parents live, and 
>> seem to be happy. Does anyone else have this problem?
>> Cyndy 
>I have found this here at UNM also. One of our students recently quit to 
>find a job. Although she had offers from all over the country, she stayed 
>right here in New Mexico. Now I understand not wanting to leave New 
>Mexico because it is wonderful here, but her main motivation seemed to be 
>not moving too far from her family.  To be fair, this is not a cultural 
>phenomenon, though, I have two friends who refuse to move from the east 
>coast because it would mean being far away from their parents.  Could it 
>have something to do with the expectation in some families that the 
>daughters will eventually take care of their parents?

You're talking about an entire society that is *extremely* patriarchical - 
and family is very important in Hispanic culture - typically women are seen
as the "glue" that holds families together, with the eldest male in charge.
Family may include immediate family, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews.
etc. There is a major problem for businesses in the U.S. who try to deal with
Hispanic businesses - you have to talk to the patriarchical male in a 
company to get anything done. Talking to anyone else is just a waste of time
in some Hispanic companies. 

The problems in this culture can be seen in the downfall of Salinas and his
brother, and in the other problems in political, economical and social life
in Hispanic cultures. Those in the U.S. sometimes adopt "American" values,
but as you are experiencing, they can then be seen as a threat to the culture.

I think you would find similar situations in any patriarchical culture. I
would try very hard to help those women find positions close to family if
at all possible. I would *not* let the "bad influence" tag bother you,
however - but develop an understanding of the culture and recognize you need
to appreciate its effect rather than thinking your own values are somehow 
more appropriate. Don't think "wrong", just realize it's "different" from
your own experience and values.

(from my MBA "International Business" program...)

Donna Woodka     | "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my
                 |  bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the
woodka at sdsc.edu  |  kind of car I drove... but the world may be different
                 |  because I was important in the life of a child."

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