The Filipinos were among the first Asian groups to enter the U.S. Unlike other groups, they had a unique colonial history, and thereby their acculturating experiences were not the first encounter with discrimination they faced. Though they were considered nationals, they weren't citizens and therefore were subject to prejudice and heinous Catholicism being the dominant religion of practice. Today the Filipinos are the largest Asian American immigrant group to the U.S. (Chan, 116) In light of this, the following research explores whether or not the Filipinos' unique colonial history affects their acculturation experiences in the U.S.; whether these are negative or positive; and finally whether the experiences differ among generational cohorts.
[...] In general do you think that had your parents instilled cultural and ethnic pride in your early socialization that you would feel a stronger tie to your Filipino heritage? The first question seemed to be a good discussion opener because all of my informants gave immediate and eager responses. Whereas, myself had never even considered the notion that some Filipinos may identify themselves as white until watching My America, all of my informants had many experiences that communicated the same message to share with me. [...]
[...] David and Sumie Okazaki who collaborated on a project called Colonial Mental Scale for Filipino Americans. They investigated the incidence and psychological implications of what they call “internalized colonial mentality” using surveys (David and Okazaki, 2). Though much focus is centered on mental health implications, this is not what I avail my research to. Instead, I draw data from their Colonial Mentality Theory as well as personal, individual stories, both of which center more on culture than psychology. The Colonial Mentality Theory both reinstates and supplements the Facon Theory. [...]
[...] Therefore, while the colonial mentality filters onto the children in some cases, in other cases (especially in the half Filipino informants), their identity as Filipinos is a curious one. In general while there was a certain degree of apprehension about being Filipino, my informants questioned why their parents didn't instill cultural and ethnic pride in their socialization. Therefore whereas 1.5 generation Filipinos adopt American culture because they are raised in America and are in fact to a certain degree American, the 1st generation Filipinos generally do internalize a colonial mentality and adopt and pass the American culture because they believe it to be superior. [...]
[...] It also considers practice and examines ways in which Colonial Mentality is exhibited in everyday life. David and Okazaki speculate CM as a “form of internalized oppression” (David and Okazaki, that is a derivative of the Filipino mind-set of ethnic and cultural inferiority under enduring Spanish and American colonialism. They believe it entails a denunciation of Filipino norms and an equally blind and eager inclination to adopt American norms as their own. The survey measures a scale in which this occurs in individuals which implies that the degree to which people internalize this feeling varies. [...]
[...] She said, I don't think I have [the Colonial Mentality] because I am proud of my Filipino side but that's because I am white too. I look at it as something that makes me unique not something that I would fly a pride flag over. If I were full Filipino, I would probably be ashamed too. Alessandra, my other half Filipino informant who I interviewed together with Annie added I agree with Annie. The difference between how my sister and I embrace the culture probably says something too. [...]
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