Domestic Violence A Cross Cultural View

Wife battering is prevalent and part of the normal family dynamic in India because of rising economic expectations and the problems are acted out at home. Alcohol is widely available, and a good part of wife battering is said to occur because the drinking helps to alleviate the feeling of hopelessness that accompanies poverty.  Additionally, the culture as a whole does not place a great deal of value on women, the role of the woman, and the ability of the women to be a breadwinner. Women are seen as the matriarch of the family and their cultural value seems to be bringing forth as many sons as humanly possible. Because women are not seen as helpful with the stresses of the country’s economic woes, they bear the brunt of the family’s stress—literally.

Industrialization and modernization have led to increased child abuse in India because of an environment conducive to this phenomenon. There is now great competition and upward mobility amongst children, and there is strict discipline in the family. There is less support to raise children and fewer people to share the household tasks as the family moves away from the joint family. It is notable that gender specific child abuse occurs against females. This is because of the strong preference for male children. Girls move away from the family when they marry and cannot contribute to the family upkeep. In India’s culture, boys are more likely to stay within the family household and care for his parents into their elderly years. Girls are not actively killed, they are just neglected so badly they often die from lack of care. Additionally, more abortions occur when the parents discover they are expecting a female.

In Vietnam, men act as kings in the home while women work and are the breadwinners of the household. After working shifts of hard labor, Vietnamese women return home and spend five to six more hours doing housework. This is called “invisible violence”, because while there may not be physical violence within the relationship, intimidation and fear drive the relationship. “Visible violence” is actual physical violence. One study found that 17.5% of deaths in 1992 in Vietnam were caused by family violence.


— Katelyn


Privileges are special rights or immunity granted or available to only one person or a group  of people.Being privileged is having things at your disposal without really suffering or working for it.For example is a privilege to have a mansion whereas to a poor person is not.Privileges usually comes with birth and the type of family you werwe born into and how you were raised.Privileges  are invisible to people in the upper class in society and some middle class people.In the essay for instance the writer talks about electricity.Electricity is very common but is not everyone who can afford it.Whereas people in the upper class like Andrea are privileged to have it,Jewel and her family are not that lucky.

Andrea was uncomfortable at Jewels house for many reasons.First,she was not used to Jewels sort of environment.She was used to big houses and electricity everywhere so going to Jewels house and seeing otherwise was a cultural shock to her and because she was just eight years old she didnt really comprehend what was going on. She was not able to relate to the jokes Jewels family were saying because she wasnt used to that kind of life.To her she felt like they were humoring her and being sarcastic.She was also uncomfortable because she and her mother where the only white people there.Lastly,she found it difficult to use the bathroom in the basement to the extent that her mom had to be there with her before she used it.

In my opinion I think social differences can be overcome but its going to take a very long time because social differences started generations ago and it will not be easy changing peoples perspectives about it.This problem can be overcome if parents teach their children to accept people for who they are and not for what they stand for.In short we all must learn to love each other regardless of who we are.Anytime you are try to judge someone:put yourself in the persons shoes and if you dont like how it feels then dont do it.Instead of using our privileges as yardsticks to judge other people,we should rather be grateful to God for our privileges.

By Lynsy



Domestic Violence A Cross Cultural View

“Domestic Violence A Cross Cultural View”
1) Although child abuse has always been a part of the lower class culture in India, in recent years it has escalated into all classes of culture. This increase in child abuse can be attributed to stress associated with becoming an industrial and modern society. As more and more people move from a rural setting into an unfamiliar urban environment the pressure placed upon the parents of these children to succeed is unbearable to the point of taking it out on the children. What is worse is the fact that “corporal” or extreme abuse is on rise. This type of abuse is directed more toward female children than their male counter parts. The reason for this singular attack is the fact that in India, like other parts of the world sees a female child as a burden. A female child in their views is unable to farm the land or send money to support the family; also the family must put up a dowry when the female gets married and if the dowry is not enough the bride may be held for ransom by her husband family until a suitable dowry has been paid. In some extreme circumstances female babies have been “Neonaticide” or killed at birth or they may be left unattended with little or no care to expire in short period of time.
It is sad to think that a country like India, which is on the rise as an economic power house, still turns to such barbaric practices. But in these types of cultures these seem to be the norm it is excepted form of stress release.
2) In Vietnam there is two types of abuse used against women the “invisible violence” and the “visible violence”. The” invisible violence” is not physical and leaves no marks but causes women to fear and be intimidated by their husbands. This type of abuse is found in both urban educated the rural poor women. Woman after working a second shift job are expected to come home and do house work for another five to six hours. Many women who are raised in the Confucian culture are afraid to leave. The “visible violence” in Vietnam is a major reason the divorce rate has risen since 1992, it has affected the percent of deaths related to family violence.
3) The reason men in these societies think it is okay to beat on their wives and abuse their children is it is a norm. They saw their dads abuse their moms and they were probably abused by them also. So in order to change this norm we need to start educating these men that it is not okay to do any harm to your love ones and that abuse in any form is wrong. Period. It will take a lot of work but it can be done they need to break the cycle.




Blog Topic 2





There are three theoretical models that are used to explain and treat eating disorders. It is clear to me that the best theoretical model to explain eating disorders is offered by the feminists. The feminists suggest that eating problems are more existent in woman. Although men may have this problem as well, the majority is women. This model explains that thinness is an enforced requirement for the female body, which may lead them to the eating disorders such as anorexia, nervosa and bulimia. The feminists also discuss key concepts for eating disorders such as racism and class. Whereas the biomedical model ignores many cultural factors and social factors that influence women’s eating patterns. This model focuses on the psychological reasons for the eating disorders, as opposed to social aspects. The biomedical model also adopts many forms of treatment strategies that disempower women.  The last model is psychological. The psychological model explains that eating disorders are  “multidimensional disorders.”  While it gives successful therapeutic ways to treating theses disorders it is much like the biomedical model. Meaning it tends to neglect lesbians, women of color and working class women.

Eating disorders and sexual abuse are linked in many ways. Studies have shown that a majority of women said that sexual abuse was the main cause of their eating disorders. One way the two are linked is with binging. “Binging helped women, (numb out) or anesthetize their feelings.” Meaning they would use food to comfort them when they had anxiety attacks or loneliness.  Other disorders that are linked to sexual abuse are extensive dieting and bulimia. Some women believed that the reason they were sexually abused was because they were chubby. They believed that men liked that aspect of them, and that if they were thin they would not have been sexually abused. This reasoning is an important aspect that led them to anorexia or bulimia.

Racism and class standing are big contributors to eating disorders. “For some of the Latinas and African American women, racism coupled with the stress resulting from class mobility related to the onset of their eating problems.” Many women of different race received mixed messages throughout their childhoods about eating and weight. For example, a black woman named Jocelyn told her story. Jocelyn was continuously picked on by her white grandmother. Her grandmother told her that she was ugly because she was not white or thin. Jocelyn knew there was nothing she could do about not being white but she could control her weight. Which is where her eating disorder began. Jocelyn’s father made her feel that she was fat and that it was her fault their family was not as good as the other white families. Now that they were part of the middle class he felt it was important to have “thin and elegant daughters.” Jocelyn’s story is very similar to other women’s stories. Racism and class standing greatly contribute to eating disorders.

BY Calye

Invisible Privilege

Privilege is defined as a right granted as a benefit to some and not to others.  Often times privileges can be unseen to those receiving the privilege.  In the article “Invisible Privilege,” Paula Rothenberg describes how the right to attend a quality school was given to her daughter Andrea, and taken away from her daughter’s friend Jewel.  The privilege of attending a safe quality school was invisible to Andrea because she was so young and because she didn’t know of any other option.  Jewel on the other hand knew of the privilege because her family struggled to ensure she received that privilege and because she had the privilege taken away from her.  Those that go without certain privileges are more likely to be aware of them because it is something that they strive to achieve.  Those that are graced with privileges are often unaware of them because they don’t know life without them.  Those with privileges can often be ignorant of them too because they can forget about how they struggled to achieve them or because the privilege was given to them making it impossible for them to see the privilege. 

Towards the end of her article “Invisible Privilege,” Paula Rothenberg describes how uncomfortable her eight year old daughter Andrea was when they attended Jewel’s birthday party in an underprivileged neighborhood.  She explains how Andrea and she were the only white people at the party and how they were the only ones that came from a wealthier neighborhood.  The other adults at the party understood the reasons for Paula and her daughter’s presence at the party, and were aware of the social awkwardness; but being adults they all knew how to deal with it.  Andrea on the other hand was experiencing life without all of the privileges that she was use to for the first time.  Up until that day she hadn’t really understood just how privileged she was.  Due to the shock and awkwardness Andrea ended her friendship with Jewel.

It is certainly possible to overcome the social differences that Andrea and Jewel faced.  The problem for Andrea was that she was just thrown into an awkward situation where she had to overcome social differences right away.  Jewel on the other hand had attended a school filled with privileged students and understood that she was not as privileged in her current situation.  Having seen both sides of the coin Jewel was aware of the social differences that Andrea and she faced, so it was easier for her to overcome.




Privileges are invisible to most people like upper class and much of middle class because we live with there privileges everyday. Most of the time they take it for granted. Take electricity, it is a normal thing for most people to have electricity but people in the lower class aren’t always that lucky. They KNOW that to be a privilege because there may be that day where they don’t have it and have to learn to live without. Like when they describe Jewel’s home in the reading. They said it was dark and only had one light. That may be because the parents know that they need to use it sparingly. Cause they can’t afford to light up the whole house like Andreas home. So they are conserving energy. But with the way the economy is today I believe that most people are feeling the fear of losing these “invisible” privileges.

I believe that Andrea was so uncomfortable in Jewel’s home is because it was a culture shock for her. You take a little girl who is used to one way of living and put her into a totally different situation. Where she and her mother where the only white people there and her home is dark and falling apart. She was so scared and didn’t want to be there again. Which unfortunately ended their friendship.

In a perfect world I would love to believe that people can over come this social difference. But the truth of the matter is there is such a cultural difference between class’s. Such as, much of the upper class enjoy things like operas, fancy restaurants and expensive things cause they can afford it. But then you have the lower class that can’t afford the same pleasures. So they have to find other non expensive things to do. Which can really put a gap in friendships because you are doing different things, hangout with different people that share the same things. When you take the two girls in the reading they enjoyed do the same things together but there home life was so different. Andrea was so scared she ended their friendship probable in fear that she might have to go back to her home again.


Blog Topic 3 – Privilege

In Paula S. Rothenberg’s Article “Invisible Privilege”, she describes the friendship between her daughter, Andrea, and her daughters’ African American best friend, Jewel. While in a school environment, the girls don’t realize the differences in their day-to-day lives, but when they start seeing each other outside of school, they realize how different they truly are.
When the two finally have their first play date at Andrea’s house, Jewel is shocked when taking a tour of the house because Andrea’s family has two bathrooms. That could be classified as an invisible privilege to most middle class white Americans. We take for granted the fact that the houses that we can afford come with three-plus bedrooms and two, sometimes two and a half to even three bathrooms. Andrea has no idea why Jewel is so shocked because she has grown up with luxuries such as this, but Rothenberg understands because with her life experience she can see the class differences between the two girls. Privilege, I feel, is invisible to only the middle class because they see themselves as the norm and is visible to the lower and upper classes because they can see what they are missing out on or how much extra they have, respectively.
Andrea’s reaction to Jewel’s home at the time of Jewel’s birthday party, though, is much the opposite. She is terrified of the ‘second bathroom’ in the basement and cannot, in fact, even go to the bathroom without her mother being with her, while Jewel takes pride in it. She feels out of place from all of Jewels family members and is uncomfortable because her mother and herself are the only white people in attendance.
In this situation, I do believe people can overcome this type of social difference. In the instance of Jewel and Andrea, I think they were too young and too naïve to actually realize why they couldn’t essentially work things out, but their mothers understood. In a better circumstance, the parties involved would be able to get past the race/class barrier and grow to understand the other party’s side.

By Mellissa

Invisible Privilege

Invisible Privilege

Privilege is often invisible by you don’t know how privilege somebody is by talking to them. Being privileged and having the necessity to live be two different things. Somebody who is privileged drives a BMW, where a less privileged person would drive an Elantra. Privileged or less privileged comes from where and how you are raised, if you were raised in higher class or a lower class.


Blacks, Hispanic, and lower class are more likely to be aware of privilege. Unlike the higher class, lower class knows what it is like to struggle for things that they need.


Andrea felt uncomfortable in Jewel’s Newark house because she was not use to the way Jewel’s family lived. Andrea grew up in a different way that Jewel did. She had things that other families like Jewel’s family didn’t have. Andrea was more uncomfortable because she didn’t understand that not everyone is as privileged as she is.


I think that people can overcome social differences if they choose to. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t care how much someone has then, I think you can overcome social differences. On the other hand if you do care what somebody drives, what class they are or how much money they have then I think you will never be able to overcome any social differences.

Invisible Privilege

  Privilege is often invisible because it was set into motion long before the day we were born. Your race and sex are predetermined before you breathe your first breath, and you will be brought up in the class from which your family belongs. These quotients are out of a person’s control and are often overlooked as most people are the center of their very own universe.

No “category” of people are more or less likely to be aware of privilege. Some would argue that the lower class is more aware in that they see all the things that the upper class has and they do not. The upper class could then argue that they pay higher taxes and support the lower class and that wealth and opportunity is then shared. People of different races may say they were or were not afforded opportunities because of their race. Take the long standing argument about affirmative action into consideration. And similarly, people of different sexes or even sexual preferences could have the same awareness of opportunities given and passed by them based upon privilege. In any given situation, no one is right or wrong, and no one category of people are more or less likely to be aware of privilege.

  Andrea was uncomfortable in Jewel’s Newark home for several reasons. She was eight years old and not yet socially advanced to be able to manage this change in environment and culture. She was not able to process the humor that Jewel’s family was sharing with her. Andrea had great difficulty utilizing the water room in the basement as a bathroom. She was suffering from social difference stimuli overload. These social differences certainly can be overcome. I think that these differences are important for people to understand, especially children. These differences ultimately promote tolerance and understanding and a more well-rounded knowledge base. Had these children lived closer to eachother,  remained at the same school, or been older when the separation took place, it would have been easier to build a long and withstanding friendship regardless of social differences.

  I can identify some elements of privilege in my own life. I have been afforded certain opportunities, job and otherwise through the social ties I have maintained over the years. Most of my professional growth is due to the privilege allowed to me because of who I was friends with, who I had worked for, or who my family was. This is not to say I do not deserve to be where I am today, just that it would have taken me much longer to get there without a little help from my friends. At times, these privleges have caused problems. There are many people who will never believe that you work hard or deserve your position. At times age plays a role as some people do not like to take constructive criticism from a younger person in a management role. These strains subside as staff get to know you and see that you really are the stellar performer everyone said you were. It seems that everyone is afforded or affected by privilege, just not everyone is aware of it.

BY Kate

Eating disorders

An estimated 5-10 million people in the US are affected by some kind of eating disorder. There are officially 12 types of eating disorders including the common anorexia and bulimia, but each is rooted in 3 common causes; biological, environmental and psychological. The causes for the eating disorders usually start from biology but can also arise from psychological and or environmental causes alone.

A lot of eating disorders arise first from a biological pre-disposition to developing an eating disorder and then are usually triggered by a psychological or environmental event or series of events. A common perception is that “Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger.” Some disorders though do not arise through genetics but instead sever trauma such as sexual abuse, especially as a child. The disorder arises, is this case as a coping mechanism. The abused seek comfort or control through food either as over eating, in the case of comfort or a strict diet in the case of control.

Racism and class standing can also contribute to eating disorders. Maybe not directly but because of the huge amount of stress accompanying the persons situation. I personally don’t see how racism and class standing can cause eating disorders except from the stress it can cause. Maybe if you lived in a part of the world were your race determined how much / what kind of food you get or that being poor may limit your diet but these are more social problems and not a disorder of the person.

BY David