A family’s history includes triumphs, success, tragedies, and hard work(Morgenthau,2019). My family history traces to a couple of centuries back, consisting of my African background. It has given me everything I have desired. I come from New Orleans Lousianna from a family of 5, that is two parents and three siblings, including my brother and sister. Even though I was born in America, I am technically wholly Nigerian. My parents were born and raised in Nigeria, and later on, my father came to the states in 1990, and my mother followed him three years before I was born. Even though they did not know this nation, they still navigated and now earn a living from their respective jobs. As a firstborn, I have always been an independent child in everything that I do be it in learning something new or paying my bills separately. I learned to be this way from my parents. There have been so many times that they would have given up, but they did not. They continued fighting and working hard for better days. Nigerian families are very patriarchal, where the extended members of the family have a lot of say as compared to the setups of other families in the western world.
Even though children are essential in Nigerian families for the parents to believe that it is them who will take care and provide for them in their old age, the relationships in the family are guided by a stern system of seniority and egoistic values that are male tended. There as always been an emphasis on male members of the family a lot whole more than the females due to their rights to family inheritance as well as the extension of the family name and lineage. Social norms are embedded in the family system passed down from a generation to the next. The majority of these societal norms go across the nation regardless of age, education, or social status. Family is significant in Nigeria, and even though it is not an example of a knit that is indestructible, there is a powerful family bond(Bohren et al.,2016).
There has always been a lot of emphasis on males, especially in the family system. This is because the Nigerian families are patrilineal, the males are vied as continuity of the lineage and family name and are therefore supposed to be dominant with women being subjected to them. The males are depicted as [perfect, reliable, authoritative, and self-sufficient. Unlike men, women are viewed by their family responsibilities, sex, and beauty. I am a firm believer inequality, and family responsibilities should be equally shared and not gender-based.However, with adherence to norms firmly, the woman be it as a sister or daughter has a lot of authority and value, and in some instances, they do have a right to inheritance. When she gets married is when she is treated as a possession that as no rights and as limited freedom without her own identity, she as to take up her husband’s name. This has been in my family for generations, but my family does not resonate with it anymore. My parents, due to exposure, now believe that everyone is equal and should be treated as such( Okenwa-Emegwa et al.,2016).
Families in Nigeria can not be referred to as being westernized as compared to families in first world nations despite the education extent in the country. Incorporated in the societal norms of the country is the family lifestyle where generally it might sem te same among tribes but is different across the nation. A usual pattern of a family in all the tribes s te use of prases, including brother, sister, father, or mother. Men and women are addressed like tat depending on age or their level of closeness to the person sending them. This is so because, unlike the westernized nations, the child training task or general care is a lot more of community work instead of the responsibility of an individual or family(Enato, 2018). Children are something that my family views differently according to our history. The love for children is a piece of common knowledge in Nigeria. Families go to any extent to get children that include visiting shrines and divines as well as practicing polygamy. This happens to be it one is educated or not. As much as it is widely accepted, polygamy doesn’t quite right sit with my family. This is so because they are formally educated. Also, we do believe that children are a blessing, and for we believe in God instead of visiting shrines, we trust in the Lord’s own time(Walthall,2017).
Whether we are aware or not, we all have multiple social identities. And in each category, we do have a hierarchy that is a social status with both the dominant as well as dominant groups. With race, the dominant embers tend to give benefits to people tey depict as healthy and limit the opportunities to the people that are in other categories. A person belonging to a non-dominant group can face oppression in many forms, including disadvantages and disapprovals. They might even go through abuse from cultural practices or individuals. Abuse of black privilege dates back to the context of the pre-African American experience. Te kings in Africa, for example, quite often abused their privilege through the manipulation of tribe members and selling them to European slave traders that were opportunistic(Williams, 2018).
The black privilege includes possessing the space manipulation power regardless of the degree among the black society. The privilege can also be used in the wite space in the progression of black privilege. This phenomenon is authoritative for it persuades one to the possibility of more and tat more is located in the whIn the continuum between oppression and privilege, looking at my family’s history I would say we have been very privileged. This is so because, when my parents came here with no knowledge, they got to get jobs, and my mother was even lucky to go back to school and study nursing. I, on the other hand, has never lacked anything and have been privileged enough to study in the best schools, something that I do not take for granted. Most black Americans are oppressed due to their ethnicity and color, but by far, we ave never been in such a situation. We live in a friendly neighborhood where everyone is treated equally(Williams,2018).
However, before we moved to our current neighborhood, our former we did face oppression from our previous landlord. He refused to rent us because of my father’s then low credit score. This clearly shows how the percentage of very wealthy people controls society. Wealthy individuals deny poor people opportunities. The poor people work for little to no wages at al struggling to achieve the basic standard of living for humans, which is food and shelter. I also still believe that it might have been because of the skin color that we were not accommodated. The poor are well controlled by the oppressors preventing them from resisting the wealthy’s will. In American society, oppression systems, as well as their effects on individuals, ave a long history. Withal, the society and nation at large can change. As te country keeps evolving, one can acknowledge the problems and make sure we work in making changes for the better. We can all come together in resisting the status quo as well as the systematic barriers that are in existence to create some new systems of fairness, comparison, and justice for everyone(Walker & Smith 2018).
As per my family’s background, the cultural group that I do not know well about are the Native Americans., Asians-Americans as well as Latino Americans. The cultural groups that I do resonate with are the African-Americans and Muslims because of my lineage, which most were Islamic. Living In a society where racism is evident, people are a bit uncomfortable in speaking out. I can be comfortable in serving clients from everywhere regardless of their cultural groups because I do believe that we are all equal. However, I do appreciate and respect other people’s opinions for everyone as their way of viewing things. My family background and my social work practice allow me to look at things from a different perspective to avoid conflicts. I pay attention to other people’s stories and respect their opinions, for they do matter. With this, I can widen my scope of knowledge and understanding of other people’s backgrounds. Tere is a unique story in everyone if only we just but listen.
Bohren, M. A., Vogel, J. P., Tunçalp, Ö., Fawole, B., Titiloye, M. A., Olutayo, A. O., … & Idris, H. A. (2016). “By slapping their laps, the patient will know that you truly care for her”: a qualitative study on social norms and acceptability of the mistreatment of women during childbirth in Abuja, Nigeria. SSM-population health, 2, 640-655.
Enato, L. S. E. (2018). African Value System and the Impact of Westernization: A Critical Evaluation of Esan Society in Edo State, Nigeria. AFRICAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY, 3, 10-26.
Morgenthau III, H. (2019). Mostly Morgenthaus: a family history. Plunkett Lake Press.
Okenwa-Emegwa, L., Lawoko, S., & Jansson, B. (2016). Attitudes toward physical intimate partner violence against women in Nigeria. Sage Open, 6(4), 2158244016667993.
Walthall, A. (2017). For the Love of Children: Practice, Affect, and Subjectivities in Hirata Atsutane’s Household.
Walker, A. D., & Smith, L. (2018). Social class oppression as social exclusion: A relational perspective. The Oxford handbook of social psychology and social justice, 245.
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