“Culture Clash” -ivisionTV (

One reason Sultana might have stated that Haitian parents are strict is because of the fear of many immigrant parents that their children will become too Americanized. This fear encompasses fear of the loss of culture and fear concerning their child’s economic future.

A person’s racial and ethnic identity begins at home with the influence of family, specifically with the guidance of parents. They are the first to impart ideas of race and ethnicity to their children, and in doing so will try to pass down their beliefs. Parents, who are first generation immigrants most often identify with their homeland, and many first generation West Indians believe that their culture is superior to that of native blacks. They perceive that West Indians are more hardworking and hold a higher regard for education than American blacks.

These beliefs of cultural superiority are also shared by many whites, and are thus reinforced. As a result, first generation parents speak negatively of native blacks and stress that whites are more receptive of foreign blacks (Waters 194-196).

Dissonant acculturation occurs when children easily accept American culture, while their parents maintain their native cultures. This can introduce a rift within parent-child relationships. The children are more drawn to American black culture because this culture that they have been born and raised into may overpower the Caribbean culture that their parents instill. At times it can be difficult to distinguish the Caribbean second generation from native blacks (Kasinitz 346).

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