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Cultural Interview Essay

1712 words - 7 pages

The sixth domain in Purnell’s framework expresses concerns for high-risk behaviors that may be widespread among a specific cultural group (Purnell, 2005). Risky sexual behavior is unacceptable to conservative Chinese-Americans who disagree with the notion of premarital sex or sexual activity with multiple partners according to Ginny. She also states that the use of substances such as alcohol and recreational drugs is uncommon and frowned upon in her culture. Alcohol is consumed at weddings and celebrations, but alcoholism is strongly looked down upon by conservative Chinese-American families. Recreational drugs are considered impractical and dangerous, and Chinese-American children are ...view middle of the document...

Nontraditional foods common to American diets include breads, baked goods, and dairy products.
Individuals of Chinese descent, and many other Asian groups, are considered a lactase-negative group (Swagerty, Walling, & Klein, 2002). Due to a traditional diet lacking in dairy products, over time many Asians lost the enzyme lactase which is needed to break down the sugar lactose in milk and dairy products. Common symptoms of abdominal pain, distention, flatus, and loose, watery stool occur when lactase-negative individuals consume dairy products, although most with lactase-deficiency can consume up to twelve ounces of milk daily without discomfort (Swagerty et al, 2002). Ginny describes how older generations of Chinese-Americans, such as her parents and grandparents, try to avoid dairy products as much as possible. Younger generations of Chinese-Americans, those who grew up in the U.S., enjoy dairy products such as ice cream and cheese in moderation.
Purnell’s eighth domain elicits information regarding cultural views and practices surrounding pregnancy (Purnell, 2005). Pregnancy is presented as a positive event in the Chinese-American culture according to Ginny. Traditional Chinese-Americans believe pregnancy should only occur between and husband and wife, and should not occur out of wedlock. During pregnancy, Chinese-American women are expected to abstain from alcohol and anything that could harm the baby. Children are cherished investments and valued in the culture, therefore good prenatal care and eating healthy during pregnancy are crucial practices. The father’s role in pregnancy and child birth is similar to Western practices of paternal involvement, with the exception that the father is not commonly present for the delivery (Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, & Alden, 2012). Ginny states, the father is there to assist the wife with household tasks and take part in care of the newborn.
In Chinese-American culture family-planning is a valued practice, Ginny states that it is uncommon for couples to have more than two or three children. This practice may stem from limitations on childbearing in China, or from the cultural desire to support children through college, which would be difficult to do for a large family. Contraception for family planning is permissible; however abortions are taboo for many conservative Chinese-Americans. Chinese-Americans have specific practices and customs surrounding birth as well as death.
Death Rituals
Purnell’s ninth domain in the cultural competence model relates to cultural death rituals, burial traditions, and bereavement practices (Purnell, 2005). Ginny explained that death had different meanings in the Chinese-American culture depending on the cause of death. Elders who pass away due to old age are missed, however their death is seen as a natural part of life and family members do not need to feel intense anguish or depression. On the other hand, if the death occurred due to a sudden illness or...

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