The Ambiguity Of Kinship Essay

1463 words - 6 pages

The planet that we live on is no longer the same as it was several hundred years ago, nor are its inhabitants. An ongoing depletion of our world’s flora and fauna and biological simplicity has left us with a sharp increase in globalization and a convoluted network of people. There is no certainty about what lies ahead but we can question and seek to understand the state in which we are living. One particular by-product of this worldly complexity is that of kinship—family relationships through blood, marriage, or adoption. The significance and importance of biological family ties has changed drastically in the passing years and it’s interesting to note how. On February 29, I interviewed a UCLA freshman who I will call Annora Cook for the sake of keeping her anonymity. Annora is one of my good friends here at UCLA. She is an only child of Vietnamese and Caucasian descent and was born in Santa Ana, California. She is a Design | Media Arts major at UCLA and is planning to double major in Communications. Through my findings I have noted the differences between nuclear, extended, and postmodern families. In particular the importance of consanguineal relations as well as other kinds of familial ties.
Annora’s family consists of her mother, father, four grandparents, sixteen aunts and uncles, ten cousins, and many second cousins. Annora’s mother emigrated from Vietnam along with her mother, father, and brothers and sisters. For the most part they all settled down in
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Orange County, California. Annora’s father is from the San Fernando Valley in California but his ancestors originated from Germany and Denmark. When Annora was describing her family initially she alluded to the 2002 film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, directed by Joel Zwick. Similar to the film, Annora’s mother’s side of the family is large, loud, strong-willed, and exuberant whereas her father’s side of the family is smaller and quieter. Overall, Annora is much closer to her mother’s side of the family due to their geographic proximity, cultural fervor, and family traditions. In a sense, Annora’s family is matrilocal, meaning the husband lives near the wife’s family.
When bringing up a child in a one-sided family, it’s interesting to note the reasons for this and to explore any psychological effects it can have on the child. For instance, I was raised by my mother alone and never had any contact with my father until recently. My mother who was born and raised in France raised me in a similar fashion as her parents raised her, with a lot of freedom and the continual support of individual thought. My father grew up in Ukraine (the USSR at the time) and his entire family is Jewish. Though I consider myself to be French and American and know little about my jewish heritage, i still feel a tie to it. I think this is very prevalent in multiracial children who tend to feel the need to be prideful about their individuality. Though the emotional ties may not be present, there exists a...

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