Creating and Presenting – Writing in Context Prompt: ‘To conform to the expectations of others can be destructive to the individual. ’ Statement of intention: This persuasive piece explores the ways in which young adults and even others in work places conform to the expectations of others and highlights the fact that this can be destructive to the individual. The writing will draw on specific stories from the text “Growing up Asian in Australia” to show how people change their identity in order to fit in, such stories include ‘Sticks and Stones and Such-like’, ‘The embarrassment of the Gods’ and ‘Perfect Chinese children’.
I will use formal language mixed with colloquial to convince teens and young adults who read this on a blog why conforming to the expectations of others can be bad and also show some of the effects. Essay: It is human nature to want to belong, as individuals we will continue to change ourselves whether it be through looks, personality, activities and rituals in order to fit into a group.
We change in order to become socially accepted and in some cases do whatever it takes to meet the expectation of others or to simply get some recognition.
Changing ourselves can at times be for the better but it will still be destructive towards us as an individual. By conforming to others we change ourselves and therefore change our identity. We will always want to have a sense of belonging to somewhere or some one whether it be family, friends or other groups. The story of ‘Sticks and Stones and Such-like’ showed us how Sunil Badami had a tough time fitting into school. He was not socially accepted due to his vast difference in looks and most importantly the pronunciation of his name.
He tried his best to conform to the expectations of others; as a means of fitting in he had rubbed his skin thoroughly in the attempt of turning his skin lighter. He would take in the constant verbal and physical abuse at school to appear like he wasn’t a ‘bad sport’ and also decided to change his name to ‘Neil’ because it was easier to pronounce and sounded more Anglo. He felt a sense of belonging as the kids accepted his new name but he was keeping two identities, the Neil at school and the Sunil at home; he was selective about which parts of his identity he revealed and to whom.
He has shown negligence towards his culture by not accepting his ethnic name. What he saw as an appropriate action to a certain group was frowned upon by another. His mother was not happy when she had found out about the change of his name and as we see conforming to one group may create other problems with another. With this confusion Sunil was now faced with two options, to accept his heritage or to conform to the other culture at school. In the end he chose to conform to his culture and even if he had felt a sense of belonging, he could not escape the world outside of home from the problems it created for him.
As we saw from the previous story Sunil had to make a choice to conform to the cultures and expectations of his peers but what about to the expectations of our families? ‘The Embarrassment of the Gods’ by Xerxes Matza tells us the story of the Gonzales family and the situation that is put before Emilio, the eldest son of one of the families. Emilio sees himself as an outcast to his strange family, he never seemed to have met the qualifications needed to join the circle of men at each of their family gatherings.
The only thing he had going was the fact that he was studying at university to become a journalist, being called a ‘scholar’ made him accepted into the family, another asset which they could brag about. Apart from this he had no other similarities with the men of the family who would talk consistently about women, money and most importantly their private parts. To be accepted into this circle of men Emilio had to prove that he was rich, successful and above all have an attractive girlfriend or had been able to impregnate a girl.
As far as Emilio and his cousin could see these men were brainless and would only rant on about those unimportant things such as the names of their privates. Although he doesn’t follow the all examples shown by the men of the family he takes some of their traits, he conforms to the ways of his family but like Sunil he keeps two identities and is selective about who he reveals these identities to. ‘Guess I have to be controversial, too. I’m a Gonzales, after all’.
If he was to conform to the group of men in the family he would change drastically, affecting his personality, thoughts and actions. The same concept is shown through the story ‘Perfect Chinese Children’ where Vanessa Woods shows us the difficulties of trying to conform to the expectations of family. As an Asian child they were expected to achieve high results, gain high income jobs and with that money payback their parents for raising them up. She was not the stereotypical child who did everything to perfection, she was a trouble maker.
For her it was hard to know where she belonged, at school she had no friends and was bullied, out in the world people were racist and some gangs targeted Asians and even her family were not recognised for any achievements from other relatives. She was a recluse even to her own family. Although as a child she does not conform to any group and acts on her own, in later years she begins to see the struggle and sacrifices made by her mother. She works to the best that she can and tells her mum the score she had achieved.
Even though her attempts are accepted, she still can not make her mother tell her that she is proud. We will all feel a need to belong. To have a sense of belonging helps us shape our own identity and it is through conforming to others and their expectations that we are accepted. Although we become accepted into different groups we cannot always be ourselves and in most cases become selective of our identity. This is destructive to the individual because the actions you take may be approved by one group but frowned upon by another and this could lead into creating problems for the individual.
Cite this Persuasive Piece – Growing Up Asian in Australia
Persuasive Piece – Growing Up Asian in Australia. (2016, Oct 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/persuasive-piece-growing-up-asian-in-australia/