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Joy Luck Club Sociological Analysis

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Sociological Analysis for the Joy Luck Club
Nathan Lannholm, Race & Ethnicity SOC-2630-002, 7-13-10
The Joy Luck Club shows life in American society from the point of view of
Chinese immigrants and their American born children. We are shown the perspective of
a dual minority group by ethnicity and gender. The 4 mothers and 4 daughters are
living in America as a dual minority group representing female Asian Americans. We
are shown the subordination of the female, how a group becomes the minority through
immigration to a new land, the struggle ethnic children have between two cultures, the
life and family of ethnically mixed couples all mixing into American society.
The four mothers in China show us the subordination of the female and how she
has little power over herself being subordinate with almost total control by her man. The
Chinese husband is portrayed in a stereotypical way of the controller of the wife’s
destiny, deciding the happiness or suffering of his wife. Examples of this are: We see
part of Chinese culture when Lindo is entered in an arranged marriage since four years
old and married off at age 15. Her 15 year old husband makes her sleep on the floor
because he can make her do anything he wants. Lindo is only wanted by her mother in
law to give grand babies, and slapped around. Ying Ying marries a womanizer who is
gone 3 days, comes back and she watches him go to bed w/ another woman, showing
his power over her. An Mei mom is raped, her family disowns her and she becomes the
fourth wife of the rich man who raped her. These are all examples of the lowly status
women have in Chinese society who are not of much use than for sex and bearing
children.

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The subordinate Chinese woman is contrasted by their children in America.
Lena is married to Harold both Asian Americans who try being equal in their spending.
It’s symbolic for extreme sexual equality but portrays that it’s not really possible to have
complete sexual equality and male and female should recognize, accept and respect
each other’s differences and work together in harmony. We see this gender equality
and then a slip back to feminine subservience with Ted and Rose. Ted falls in love w/
Rose because she is an opinionated woman at first. When they get married she slips
into the role of subservient Chinese wife only trying to please her husband and not
being as opinionated as she was before. Ted wants Rose to be opinionated like before
they married and their marriage falls apart and heads for divorce. Rose ends up acting
as Ted’s equal and their marriage is saved.
The 4 mothers already a subordinate group to male dominated Chinese society
become a minority group when they emigrate from China becoming Asian American
immigrants. June’s mother Suyuan is seen leaving China w/ her two twin girls along w/
a hoard of other Chinese all escaping the city in what looks like some sort of Expulsion
during time of war, somehow she ends up in America. Suyuan portrays the
stereotypical immigrant w/ the American dream full of hope and optimism for her
American born daughter to have a better life.
We are shown some things about Chinese and Asian American culture. We see
group solidarity and the strong Chinese culture by how they stick together in America.
They eat Chinese food together w/ their family and friends who are like family. They
live in a community primarily w/ other Asian Americans. We also are shown the
superstitious religious beliefs the Chinese have around dead ancestors. The moms

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Sociological Analysis for the Joy Luck Club Nathan Lannholm, Race & Ethnicity SOC-2630-002, 7-13-10 The Joy Luck Club shows life in American society from the point of view of Chinese immigrants and their American born children. We are shown the perspective of a dual minority group by ethnicity and gender. The 4 mothers and 4 daughters are living in America as a dual minority group representing female Asian Americans. We are shown the subordination of the female, how a group becomes the minority through immigration to a new land, the struggle ethnic children have between two cultures, the life and family of ethnically mixed couples all mixing into American society. The four mothers in China show us the subordination of the female and how she has little power over herself being subordinate with almost total control by her man. The Chinese husband is portrayed in a stereotypical way of the controller of the wife’s destiny, deciding the happiness or suffering of his wife. Examples of this are: We see part of Chinese culture when Lindo is entered in an arranged marriage since four years old and married off at age 15. Her 15 year old husband makes her sleep on the floor because he can make her do anything he wants. Lindo is only wanted by her mother in law to give grand babies, and slapped around. Ying Ying marries a womanizer who is gone 3 days, comes back and she watches him go to bed w/ another woman, showing his power over her. An Mei mom is raped, her family disowns her and ...
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