Family of Origin Analysis, Case Study Example
Words: 2615Case Study
Understanding the origin within which a family is established is critical. Families impact the growth and development of individuals across different societies. An evaluation of the family is important within the study of sociology. The research presentation will be guided by analyzing my family’s culture, ethnicity, and development. Migration plays a critical role in the development of families. Through migration, the cultural background can be analyzed. Within the field of healthcare, the behaviors and attitudes of families and their members are important. Behaviors and attitudes are critical factors in determining health-seeking objectives. With that in mind, it is critical to understand how families perceive or approach gender roles. Culture is an important aspect that guides the development of families.
Carr & Kellas (2018) opined that understanding adverse experiences is critical in evaluating the development of resilience in individuals. Moreover, individuals interpret and respond to the aspects of adversity differently. Family factors, marital and individual influences impact the behavior of individuals. Within the context of resilience, individuals coming from a background defined by strong communication, flexibility, and cohesion are likely to show positive resilience. Marital communication plays a critical role in enhancing resilience across the family of origin. Growing up in a family whose previous generations were slaves, resilience was reiterated across different contexts. Parental upbringing touched on acknowledging the challenges facing African Americans within the American society. Furthermore, within the family contexts, the adverse experiences of racism were pronounced. Challenges in seeking opportunities such as employment were common issues.
Burnette et al. (2020) posited that culturally grounded measures in relation to protective processes within Native American families could be contextualized into the Family Resilience Inventory (FRI). FRI aims to assess family resilience by adopting a comparative analysis. The analysis considers the current family context and family of origin. Ethnographic research led to the establishment of the FRI framework used to assess the protective factors within families. Different approaches to resilience characterize different generations. As earlier highlighted, African Americans have undergone challenges such as slavery and laws that led to segregation. Slavery contributed immensely to the development of culture and ethnicity. In mind, ethnographic studies focusing on artifacts, documents, photo albums, interviews, and observations are critical.
Ethnographic studies help researchers to unearth unexpected issues. By evaluating photo albums, the hairstyles of the past generation within the family indicate a distinct approach. From a personal perspective, the afro hairstyle was commonly adopted in the past generations. This approach is similar to that adopted within the African setting. The similarities espouse the linkages between Africans and African Americans. Preservation of the history of African Americans within the context of ethnographic studies indicates a movement towards tracing history. African Americans can be viewed as individuals whose family of origin is the black race of Africa. Furthermore, African American populations identify their race a mixed with Colored, Haitian, Nigerian, and Afro-American Negro being. A critically important point to note is that individuals who are African Americans have distinct cultural differences. Heritage preservation is also a key factor across African Americans.
The history of slavery cannot be ignored within American society. Slavery led to the advancement of white supremacist ideas that became common within American society. Culture plays a critical role within African American society. Language, social order, culture change, and material culture are important in the field of ethnography. Language is intertwined with religion, celebrations, traditional beliefs, and ceremonies. The language spoken by previous generations of African Americans was distinct. However, culture change has seen a shift in the language spoken within the current family. On the other hand, social order focuses on the social structure, social institutions, and family settings that shaped the development of individuals—African American material culture factors in ironwork, architecture, and foodways. Sweetgrass baskets were common within the previous African American generations.
Family of origin and current family structure are distinct in many aspects. However, the social order within the current family structure has similarities with the family of origin. African Americans connote descendants of Africans that were enslaved within America. African Americans are characterized by differences in parenting styles, coping strategies, family formation, marriage, and gender roles. The impact of family of origin is pivotal in understanding the history of African Africans. The differences highlighted need to be critically evaluated within the context of ethnographic studies.
Objectives of the Study
Three main objectives will guide the study:
- To understand the similarities between the family of origin and 21st-century current family structure within African American populations.
- To evaluate the impact of migration on the establishment of family structures within the African American context.
- To assess the impact of the African American culture on the establishment of values within social work career.
Analysis of Issues
The family of origin refers to the unit within which an individual is brought up. Within the context of African American families, the family of origin entails parents and extended families. Grandparents also play a pivotal role in the bringing up of children within African American family contexts. Children spend the majority of their life within their family setting. The challenges experienced by blacks within the American society. The history of slavery cannot be ignored within the American context. Monk et al. (2021) opined that conflict handling within family settings is transmitted across different generations. From a personal perspective, the handling of conflict at times turned violent. The approach towards solving issues was disturbing from a psychological sense. The grandparents within the family context experienced challenges in seeking employment opportunities. Growing up within this setting was quite challenging. As a teenager within the community, approaches towards solving issues were influenced by conditions within the family of origin.
Growing up within African American family contexts, friends were limited. Conversations about sexuality were influenced by conversations about male and female family structures. A family was viewed as having a male-dominated figurehead. The concept of lesbianism was highly discouraged within the family setting. Growing up, it was quite challenging in the context of how my family viewed relationships. This factor impacted a great deal of my childhood upbringing. Familial settings were characterized by social settings where emotion played a limited role. Strict adherence to respect of elderly family members was a common theme within the family setting.
Familial attitudes and perceptions impacted expressions of feelings and attitudes towards different things. Growing up, it was difficult to express feelings due to strict discipline approaches adopted within the family context. Interaction with law enforcement authorities was affected by traditional perceptions of racial prejudice within the criminal justice system. In some instances, as a family, we experienced racial injustice as police officers entered our house without considering the frameworks of the law. Speaking from a personal perspective, living within the American society as black is quite challenging. The experiences are common across individuals from African American families.
Growing up in a fatherless home was quite challenging. Each person wants to grow up in a male-dominated family that guides children on coping with the challenges of life. Coming from a single parenthood background, the values I impact on my children are different. Teaching the importance of resilience that defined the African American society is valuable. Coping strategies are also valuable within any family context. It is critical to assess the relationship between coping strategies in the past and the current approaches to conflict resolution in African American societies within the current study evaluations.
Traditionally, African-American families are characterized by a married couple having several children. Two thousand nineteen (2019) census data indicates that about 10 million African American families are within the United States. Single parenthood and extended families within blacks in American continue to be common within the 21st century. Most of the siblings in the family are single mothers belonging to the low-income bracket of American society. Racial and ethnic differences within the family structure are common within America. A comparative analysis of a family of origin and current family structures is pivotal. Slavery contributed significantly to the disorientation of black families. Children were separated from their parents, who were required across different states. The closeness of family bonds that characterized African natives was impacted by slavery. However, the extended family structure that defines a family of origin within African American families provides a framework for coping with single parenthood and poverty.
Strong religious beliefs ingrained within the family context contributed to the siblings being accommodative to other cultures. Coming from an environment whose previous generations were characterized by slavery, the need to acknowledge cultural diversity was reiterated throughout family discussions. Racial prejudice is common within the American judicial system. The family discussion touched on accepting the systemic racism that defines American society. With that in mind, conversations on abiding by the law. Throughout school, most of the siblings experienced forms of racism. Growing up, the siblings through different schools. The importance of education was stressed within the family setting. Education was viewed as a way out of poverty.
Growing within an African American family, the siblings were given to aunts and uncles. Poverty was a common factor reason that contributed to decision-making. Kinship ties within black families are stronger compared to white families. Religion was reiterated within the family of origin setting. The siblings were required to attend all religious functions. In the political context, inequality has been exacerbated by racism within practices, policies, and laws. Moreover, racial institutions continue to be common within American society. Bailey et al. (2017) opined that health inequities and structural racism are common within the USA. Social factors have a significant impact on health outcomes. Social factors impact attitudes towards illness and death. Due to poverty, access to quality healthcare is difficult for African American families. When one of the siblings in the family became ill, prayers were the first consideration undertaken. The attitudes towards seeking medical care within the family of origin were affected by cultural beliefs. For example, my grandmother would use herbs for treatment. This approach was carried out throughout generations within the family lineage.
Migration patterns cannot be ignored in understanding an individual’s family of origin. About 6 million African Americans moved from the Southern United States to the West, Midwest, and Northeast. Poor economic conditions contributed significantly to the migration. Disorganization of the traditional African American families occurred. The unity established between African Americans within the cities they migrated to was pivotal in developing new family structures. From a personal perspective, the close ties within the family have been passed down throughout generations. The family albums indicate the close relationship between members of the extended family. This practice continues to take place within the family of origin context.
Nutrition was given less consideration within the family of origin. During meal times, foods were prepared for the whole family. All members of the family gather together for the meals. Chicken and meat are prepared on most occasions. Little consideration is given to nutrition in terms of a balanced diet. Grandparents adopted traditional recipes throughout the preparation of meals. Breakfast is valuable within African American family context. Living in the south, our family preferred pork sausage, fried apples, and grits. While these meals are not necessarily healthy, they are preferred by most African American families. Palmer and Toth (2020) opined that Hispanics and African Americans are significantly impacted by obesity. Moreover, all members were required to be present during meal times. The approach to meals was inherited from previous generations.
Cultural Identity and Social Work
A myriad of factors shapes cultural identity. These factors are common across different families in the USA. Attitudes towards racial injustice, for example, are shaped by historical injustices during the slavery period. Careers of individuals are influenced by values that have been imparted throughout their lives. Biases, values, personal assumptions, and stereotypes inform the practices of social workers. Within the field of psychology, cultural competence plays an important role. Personal biases may negatively affect the professional competence of social workers. More importantly, cultural competence is important within the field of social work. Social work requires working with individuals from different cultural backgrounds.
Identity in individuals is developed over a long period. For social workers, a growing need to acknowledge the meaning of people’s experiences is critical. The impact of identity cannot be ignored in individuals. The way people respond to differences and similarities in others transforms their identity. Furthermore, identity is not static as continuous ideas and knowledge are imparted in individuals through experiences. Fultz and Kondrat (2019) reiterated the importance of understanding the construction and reconstruction of privilege. Social work education should be critically evaluated to develop a just society that accepts cultural diversity.
Cultural humility within the field of social work is important. Commitment towards cultural sensitivity and self-awareness are important aspects of effective social work practice. As earlier reiterated, cultural identity leads to the development of assumptions, values, and beliefs. The relationship between cultural identity and social work cannot be ignored. Social workers are required to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Being an African American, the perception of white privilege is impacted by racism within American society. Cultural competence requires social workers to understand the differences of culture that define Americans. Furthermore, most African Americans live within low-income neighborhoods. With that in mind, social workers from African American communities are likely to serve individuals within their social settings. Working with individuals from similar racial backgrounds is much easier.
Social workers are required to work with individuals across different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Challenges may arise as a result of differences in ethnic and racial populations. The establishment of the African American identity occurred during the period of slavery. The slavery period led to the formation of a dynamic culture within the African American community. The importance of cultural competence is critical in developing interventions aimed at serving populations. Most African Americans are highly religious and operate within either conscious or unconscious group reality concepts. Both racial and ethnic identity impacts psychological processes. For social workers, their family of origin shapes their attitudes towards social work.
Different histories shape family structures within any society. The research evaluated the family of origin by focusing on the similarities between different African Americans. Slavery was highlighted in the research analysis to establish a dynamic culture for blacks in America. From the analysis of the family structure, a common factor is vivid. Close relationships among their members define African American families. Discipline and education are considered pivotal in surviving within the larger American society. The African American family setting has similarities with African families. As presented in the research analysis, cultural identity is formed by the social settings within which individuals exist. By understanding the establishment of cultural identity, individuals can develop into professionals in any field.
Bailey, Z. D., Krieger, N., Agenor, M., Graves, J., Linos, N., & Bassett, M. T. (2017). Structural Racism and Health Inequities in the USA: Evidence and Interventions. The Lancet 389, 1453 – 1463.
Burnette, C. E., Boel-Studt, S., Renner, L. M., Figley, C. R., Theall, K. P., Scarnato, J. M., et al. (2020). The Family Resilience Inventory: A Culturally Grounded Measure of Current and Family-Of-Origin Protective Processes in Native Families. Family Process, 695 – 708.
Carr, K., & Kellas, J. K. (2018). The Role of Family and Marital Communication in Developing Resilience to Family-Of-Origin Adversity. Journal of Family Communication, 68 – 84.
Fultz, A. J., & Kondrat, D. C. (2019). Privilege, White Identity, and Motivation: A Call to Action in Social Work. Journal of Progressive Human Sciences, 260 – 277.
Monk, J. K., Ogolsky, B. G., Rice, T. M., Dennison, R. P., & Ogan, M. (2021). The Role of Family-Of-Origin Environment and Discrepancy in Conflict Behavior on Newlywed Marital Quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 124 – 147.
Palmer, M. K., & Toth, P. P. (2020). African Americans and Hispanics Are Disproportionately Impacted by Obesity: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2003 – 2018. Circulation 142.
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