January 9, 2011

"Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior"

Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal by Amy Chua of Yale Law School on Chinese mothers. She's from the Chinese economic elite of the Philippines, a "market-dominant minority" to use her term in the book World on Fire, which I reviewed for VDARE.com here.

I must confess that while I was reading the article, I thought it was by the author of The Joy Luck Club. But that is not Amy Chua, but Amy Tan. That's because the first story I ever read by Amy Tan was Two Kinds in The Atlantic in 1989, which is about what it's like to have a Chinese mother for a mother. It's well worth reading.

108 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of Chinese, Koreans, and Indians - and I gotta say that the WSJ article is pretty realistic. Pushing the child to study a lot, exercising quite a bit of control, and constant ostracism for non-performance are apart of their cultures. Unhappy children, but good test scores.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a fundamental philosophical difference between the West and the East on children. For Easterners, the child is an extension of the parent. For Westerners, the child is an independent human being who has his own path to pursue.

Ian said...

Relevant: http://highexpectationsasianfather.tumblr.com/

Anonymous said...

Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld are professors at Yale.

While overstated for comic effect, the general attitude present in the article is one most faculty members have towards their children.

What would be really interesting is to figure out some way to put the contradiction between the private lives of faculty members (maximum strictness, fidelity, etc.) and the policies they publicly advocate (in a word, leftism) into sharp relief.

As an example, someone hit upon the genius idea of calling upon students to be "illegal students" at Harvard.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile in South Korea, there's a growing trend towards gaming addiction, as South Koreans spend countless hours playing games like Starcraft 2 at internet cafes...

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1983234,00.html

I wonder how Sailer and his white nationalist readers reconcile East Asians and their passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?

Aaron said...

But what are they getting for all this? It seems almost like they're putting in effort not just slightly greater than Western children. but several entire orders of magnitude greater, yet they are only moderately more successful, on average, than Western children.

The situation is somewhat analogous at the country level. The Asian work ethic is famous, yet Asian countries are rarely even as wealthy as Western countries.

When so much effort is needed to produce a result that is less, or in some ways only slightly better, than that produced by significantly less effort, you have to begin questioning your methods.

It does not seem that this intense effort is an intrinsic feature of Chinese culture, either, as 150 years ago Westerners described Chinese as characteristically lazy and addicted to pleasure.

It seems this energy and activity that we consider typically Asian these days is more a response to the "Western challenge" - Asians feel, quite rightly, the intense need to play "catch up" with the West. As they do in fact "catch up", one can except Asians to become much less industrious and more pleasure seeking, and one can imagine a quite different article being written 150 years from now. Indications are that Japan is already entering this phase.

150 years ago Western civilization was in a stage of ascent, while Chinese civilization had been in steady decline for centuries - hence Westerners were energetic and Chinese were lethargic and pleasure loving. Today, Western civilization feels it can "rest on its laurels" as it were and has little to "prove" anymore, and hence takes its ease and enjoys life, while Chinese civilization feels it has much still to "prove", to itself and to the world, and so displays a furious energy.

Jason Malloy said...

To the extent that parenting matters (which is not much), East Asian parenting is worse for children, on average, than Anglo-American parenting. Asian children do better in Asian households that raise children in a more Anglo (i.e. liberal) manner. Asian children do even better when they are trans-racially adopted into white homes. And Asians raised in Western cultures do better than Asians raised in Asian cultures.

Western culture is more oriented towards risk-taking and creative individualism, which nicely balances out the dutifulness and mental focus of Asians.

Asian culture/parenting is also worse for white children, which is one less mentionable reason why affluent SWPL parents try to get their children away from it (fully mentionable is that the white kids "can't compete"; though all else is not equal. Cultural and genetic capital are independent variables).

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that white parents can push their kids pretty hard in sports, which is why you have the phenomenon of the American soccer mom, for instance.

I think that East Asians and Europeans have different interests and thus East Asian and European parents will tend to push their kids in different areas. With East Asian Americans, the kid might be pushed to excel academically. With Europeans, the kid might be pushed to excel in varsity sports. Steve Sailer has blogged about the phenomenon of white parents paying for their kids to be tutored as football kickers, for instance. Same difference if you ask me. Different strokes for different folks.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Sailer and his white nationalist readers reconcile East Asians and their passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?



A Chinese mother wrote the WSJ article claiming that Chinese are grinds. If you have a problem, take it up with her. Steve didn't write it.

Here's a good quote from the article you posted:

Critics say that by imposing a curfew on computer games, the South Korean government is attacking a symptom, not the root of the problem. They point out that South Koreans work by far the most hours among the 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international body based in Paris that comprises the world's richest countries. Added to that, parents often pressure youngsters to study at intensive "cram schools" late into the night, another factor experts say creates stress and has contributed to the country's video-game-addiction problem.


Asian kids don't like the grinding they are being subject to and the gaming seems to provide a break.

Anonymous said...

Jason, peer groups matter as well. If an adopted Asian kid socializes with a lot of other Asian kids with pushy moms, he still is indirectly impacted by the academic mania very much so.

I would also add that the type of white parents that adopt Asian kids usually tend to be educated, upper middle class SWPLs, as the process for foreign adoption is complicated, lengthy, and expensive. They likely have greater resources and motivation to help the child academically. An adopted Asian child with upper class American parents, and competitive Asian friends, would be getting the best of both worlds.

The NAEP scores you've posted are interesting, but kids don't study or prep for NAEP. So pushy Asian parents might not be specifically helpful with that test, but they could sure be helpful in SAT prep, pushing the kid into AP and honors classes, and pushing the child into college. Let's look at college attainment rates among the aodpted and non-adopted Asians.

Looking at the study your referece, I see that the gaps in delinquency, grades, self esteem, and learning problems aren't nearly as significant as you generally might notice. For example, black adoptees had a B minus average and Asians had an A minus. Not too bad of a gap, which suggests that adoption seems to have narrowed at least something.

As for Okazaki, I believe she that Asian parents volunteer less in school, which (among white parents) correlated with lower attainment among children.

Henry Canaday said...

Are “Chinese Mothers” just an especially intense and longer-lingering case of the old rule that, before women could compete independently in society, they exerted extraordinary influence on their children in the home and obtained vicarious satisfaction from the success of their children?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Obama's mom.

Anonymous said...

Unhappy children, but good test scores

Yeah, no kidding. I went to school with lots of these hard-ridden Chinese/Korean kids. Plenty of nervous breakdowns and even a few suicides among them. There's got to be some happy medium between the slacker white/black parents and the insanely pushy Chinese/Korean parents.

another Aaron said...

Wow, the law professor's piece was a lot better written than the fiction writer's. Tan's story was treacly, boring, and predictable. Chua's article was strong, honest, and riveting.

Anonymous said...

A lot of this type of parenting can explain the ubiquitously overachieving Indians, despite average to below average IQs.

another Aaron said...

The comparison of Chinese mothers to Western mothers was interesting, but some of us are still waiting for the comparison of Chinese mothers to Jewish mothers. Both raise highly achieving children, but the attitude is quite different. Chua's husband Jed (Rubenfeld) expressed the Jewish-mother philosophy, that the parents owe the children, and the children pay the debt by sacrificing for their own children. A Jewish mother's child is always a precious gem, never a bad child or garbage. He has to achieve because that's best for him, not to bring honor to the parents. It'd be interesting to see a comparison between Chinese and Jewish mothers.

eh said...

I wonder how Sailer and his white nationalist readers reconcile East Asians and their passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?

I wonder what any of that has to do with "white nationalism"?

SFG said...

"When so much effort is needed to produce a result that is less, or in some ways only slightly better, than that produced by significantly less effort, you have to begin questioning your methods."

True, but Asians make more money than whites on average. Remember, you're comparing Asians to all whites, not just SWPLs. Asians aren't starting from money the way SWPLs are. Sure it pays to focus on sports if Mommy and Daddy can pay for Harvard, but if you have no legacy admissions to buttress you, makes sense to grind it out in engineering where you can at least get a reasonable job.

Sure you can sometimes make more money in sales, but I don't think many Asians have the temperament for that. Though I'm not denying the focus on academics makes them run straight into the barriers the WASPs set up to keep the Jews out eighty years ago, and that the WASPs and Jews are now using to keep them out. In fifty years we'll probably be looking at WASPs, Jews, and Asians scheming how to keep brainy Scotch-Irish in their place while they sell our country out to the Chinese.

Matt said...

Taking a cue from Robin Hanson's ideas, Western people (who have relaxed attitudes as a result of having high per capita incomes for a long time, with divergence on this pre-dating the Industrial Revolution) have a morality focused on happiness, while the Chinese people (and other people less relaxed from hand-to-mouth hard scrabble traditional "farmer" values) have a morality focused on accomplishment. This is more of a contrast in "near" mode than "far" mode where the distorting filter of politics starts to play its part.

Conservatives (who score higher on conscientiousness and have higher achievement relative to their IQ) care more about accomplishment than Liberals (who score higher on openness to experience and have higher IQ relative to their accomplishment, and higher IQ overall). Think about how Conservatives prize people who have accomplished and prize achievement and excellence and how people with these qualities "deserve" their money, while people who have not accomplished don't deserve any help, which is the key driver of Left vs Right politics.

But this is not a huge cultural difference within Western culture in "near" mode (White Conservatives just don't place near as much emphasis on "near" accomplishment as Asian purported Liberals), but is exaggerated in "far" mode as a result of how it gets pushed through feedback loops involving group identity.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how Sailer and his white nationalist readers reconcile East Asians and their passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?

Even grinders have time for things outside study, and will increasingly relax in that direction the richer they get? Even with all I seriously doubt East Asian kids spend less waking time on videogames + other play and leisure than White kids do.

Plus, grinding at getting good at Starcraft (even if it is technically play), is, uh, a bit more grindy than watching TV, talking to girls and shooting the shit with your mates, so I'm not sure that this evidence that you think is on your side is actually on your side.

Asians don't have to be absolute grinds, just relative grinds compared to Euro+Ashekenazi peoples, since the argument is not that they literally spend all their time doing this, just that they do so relatively and it produces an advantage relative to their IQ, compared to Whites and Blacks and Hispanics.

Anonymous said...

"Asian children do better in Asian households that raise children in a more Anglo (i.e. liberal) manner. Asian children do even better when they are trans-racially adopted into white homes. And Asians raised in Western cultures do better than Asians raised in Asian cultures."

I think it's quite possible that Asian grinding is a tendency inherent in the "Asian personality" (see Asian grinding at videogames - no one's forcing them to do it, but they still do it and get good by doing it) and that the behaviour of the parents is mainly the result of authoritarian desires for power status (or has some weird mirror relationship whereby its a form of social signalling).

Maciano said...

Maybe Chua is forgetting what life is all about. I think her attitude to raising children is bordering on child abuse. 3 hours of violin lesson per day, I mean WTF! It could make an iota of sense if you're some sort virtuose piano prodigy, but how many children are talented like that? For all those who aren't, 3 hours/ day practice is wasted time (imo). Chua ought to be lucky not have had boys. I doubt they would have put with her shit. Poor girls who had to!

No sleep-overs? What's bad about having a sleep-over for young girls so they can have a bit of fun and talk about teen life issues. It's gone before you know it, but no, Chua's kids had to stay home, playing the violin.

I don't know Chinese Americans -- can't judge about them -- but I do know Chinese people in my country and they don't treat their children like this at all. They're humans after all and moved here to offer their offspring a better life, not some never-ending achievement bootcamp.

And all this for good test scores? Sheesh, they must really despise the other half of the bell curve who have problems solving simple equations. Chua ought to wise up for Christ sake. There's more to life than test scores. Her Jewish/ East-Asian girls would have had enough genetic endowments to succeed anyway -- especially if they're raised in an upper-middle class background. I sure hope these girls meet some normal people when they're in college.

Awful, simply awful.

Jeff said...

I am married to half white, half Asian woman. My wife's Asian mother is a slave-driving, soul destroying machine. I have two step children. My primary job has been to prevent my wife's instincts from emotionally killing our kids. My mother in law, and to a lesser extent, my wife greatly suffer from a need to save face. This cultural, or genetic, disposition greatly reduces their effectiveness in promoting the individual attributes of children. I have no doubt that whites are not the most athletic, nor the most intelligent, but white societies are easily the best. The world is quickly becoming a worse place as Westernism dies.

Anonymous said...

As an ex-Berkeley student, this rings many bells for me. Lots of East Asian kids come to Berkeley myopically focused on academics. Which may help them later in life––I'm not sure if it does or not––but most of them are boring.

I've no idea if white or asian graduates do better. If I made an armchair guess, I would say that asians do better, since they tend to focus on more profitable majors like business, and the entrance standards for (some) asians are higher than for whites. However, whites have some strengths, which are often conflated with "white privilege" in that atmosphere.

When I went there, the second question out of everyone's mouth (after "what's your major?") was "So, what are you gonna do with that?" Somehow I don't think that would have been the second question if it wasn't a plurality-asian university.

I would love to see a study of race relations at Cal that is not tainted by postmodern jargon and far-left sermonizing. Cal is an object lesson in diversity's incredible ability to weaken social ties between people. Unfortunately no one will study this because it makes them feel uncomfortable. Sigh...

Le Sigh said...

My wife's Asian mother is a slave-driving, soul destroying machine.

I smiled.

Mitch said...

Well, this is what I've been talking about. The process is something white folks would call child abuse.

Notice that this woman is married to a Jewish man, and they are both in professions demanding high cognitive skills. So her declaration that hard work and her nagging is why her kids succeed is arrant nonsense. The kids do well because they are already smart.

What if the kids are just average smart, or uninterested?

Well, sadly, they cheat--on tests, on homework, on papers, you name it. The Asian propensity for cheating is well-established, although here in the US we yammer about cultural influences.

The pressure is also cultural, so it goes both ways. But the kids cheat. Check the Duke fuss from a while back; the students were disproportionately Asian. But there's a book called School of Dreams, about Whitney High (best high school in the US) and cheating is rampant.

KingTaco said...

Mmmm...for all the fireworks in the article, isn't this just the stereotypical 'Jewish Parent' method minus the social subtlety? To be fair, with a little standard Asian chauvinism tossed in.

Asian societies, especially the Chinese, seem to place a great deal of importance on credentialism. What's missed in Ms. Chua's worldview is what progressives missed with the 'Everybody goes to College!' social experiment. When everybody does 'X', how great a standard is 'X' anymore?

We're struck as a society by straight A's and young kids playing the piano or violin because it's unusual relative to most kids. And while it takes admirable hard work and concentration to achieve those goals, which are of course non-trivial positive skills for the future, true analytical intelligence isn't needed for either. Practice and memorization, and lot's of it, will do. Because things like straight A's and teens knocking out Schubert on the piano are kind of unusual, these will usually get you into a pretty good school. Higher education also bestows credentials based on the same skill-set of practice, routine, and memorization, so it's a formula that can certainly lead to success. However, 'success' and outstanding 'intelligence' aren't the same thing. Of course, most parents will tell you if there kid is a Doctor making a million bucks a year, who cares if he/she doesn't sit around the dinner table debating what Leszek Kolakowski's best book was.

So the thing is, if Ms. Chua succeed in getting all us poor, inferior gwailo to follow the wondrous parenting ways of the Middle Kingdom...wouldn't all that do is devalue the stat sheet of folks like her daughters? When straight A's and playing the violin and piano become close to a norm, doesn't that ruin their value as a 'signal'? Either society would start to emphasize actual intelligence (application of knowledge), or more likely simply devise ever-more rigorous 'signaling' hurdles for the upper echelons. Heck, in the East/West coast money corridors that's already occurring with waiting lists for $20,000 kindergartens. Money is just the replacement for 'grinding' in Ms. Chau's equation.

The big sum secret that Ms. Chua is bragging about is that if you pick a couple 'signal' markers for career placement and employ a massive forced-grinding strategy to make your kids meet them, you're kids will have career success. Stop the presses! Again, this is what Jewish parents have long (stereotypically)done, except they've been smart enough to realize that if everybody does it, it ain't special no more.

Ms. Chua is clever, but perhaps not as clever as she is braggadocios/arrogant.

ben tillman said...

I wonder how Sailer and his white nationalist readers reconcile East Asians and their passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?

We don't. It's irrelevant.

Hail said...

Anonymous wrote:
Meanwhile in South Korea, there's a growing trend towards gaming addiction, as South Koreans spend countless hours playing games like Starcraft 2 at internet cafes...

To be fair, these kids are most often playing with friends or even in groups. It is social bonding, and beats sitting at home watching TV.

Mel Torme said...

This is off-topic, Steve, but you must not have seen this article: http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/in-2012-obama-may-need-a-new-coalition-20110105?page=1

Otherwise, I feel sure you would have already started or finished writing about it. The article is 5 pages about the "Sailer Strategy", though the writer doesn't seem to pleased with the way it worked out in 2010 (i.e., he's on the wrong side).

Check it out, then you can get back to this Joy Ruck Crub bidness.

dearieme said...

"3 hours of violin lesson per day": why, that's a thousand hours a year. If, after 10 years of that, a child in not Mozart then Malcom Gladwell is wrong.

Simon in London said...

SFG:
"In fifty years we'll probably be looking at WASPs, Jews, and Asians scheming how to keep brainy Scotch-Irish in their place while they sell our country out to the Chinese."

Funny, I thought that was happening right now.

Wade Nichols said...

I eagerly await her next article in the WSJ where she compares Chinese parenting techniques to Afrocentric and Latino methods!

That should make its appearance somewhere around 2027, buried amongst the articles about corporate earnings.

Kylie said...

"What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it."

Makes me wonder what she told her kids about sex.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

Well like I said, my own parents insisted on me making a 1.5-2 hour commute to an elite admissions magnet high school when there was a perfectly good high school 10 minutes away.

SFG said...

""In fifty years we'll probably be looking at WASPs, Jews, and Asians scheming how to keep brainy Scotch-Irish in their place while they sell our country out to the Chinese."

Funny, I thought that was happening right now."

That was the point: meet the new boss, same as the old boss. But now in white AND yellow!

Jeff said...

--"What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it."

Makes me wonder what she told her kids about sex.--

Too funny, the second I read that idiotic assertion from Chua, I thought the same thing! I also wondered why, if Asian mothers are so committed to having successful kids, they can't at least have their daughters practice a bit of driving. :-)

Hail said...

Aaron wrote:
As they do in fact "catch up", one can except Asians to become much less industrious and more pleasure seeking, and one can imagine a quite different article being written 150 years from now. Indications are that Japan is already entering this phase.

Aaron makes a good point. The children born in Japan and all the "Tiger Economies" in the past, say, 20 years are already like that. The Chinese coastal cities are not far behind.

adsfasdfasdf said...

"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do."

Gosh, I must have hung around the wrong Chinese-Americans since most of them are workers at Chinese carryouts. They make good Mongolian Beef.

asdfasdfasdf said...

Btw, Jewish mothers must be superduperior.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile in South Korea, there's a growing trend towards gaming addiction, as South Koreans spend countless hours playing games like Starcraft 2 at internet cafes...

They have professional video gaming there and the players are celebrities with fans:

http://www.cracked.com/article_18763_5-insane-true-facts-about-starcraft-professional-sport.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P39gP4QnXxE

Anonymous said...

In the academic job market for economics (which requires math, creativity and "intuition"), Asians are severly discriminated. They are superior in math and hard work. Yet they are much less likely to produce novel research.

PS. Asians earn the same average income as non-hispanic whites, according to census data.

This despite working more, living in high-cost of living coasts, and being selected (some selected elite groups such as India and China do earn more, but again no more than elite whites such as jews and episcos)

JSM said...

"I wonder how Sailer and his white nationalist readers reconcile East Asians and their passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?"

Uhhhhh....maybe whatever they decide to do, whether it's computer gaming or academic grinding, they grind it with single-minded doggedness?

JSM said...

"What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it."

Makes me wonder what she told her kids about sex."

'kay, that was funny.

Seriously, to say nothing is fun til you're good at it is patently false. A toddler throwing a ball is not "good at it," but he's obviously enjoying himself immensely.

adsfasdfdsf said...

Is this article supposed to be funny or serious? Chinese humor me no get.

I'll say this. If the world was full of nothing but Chinese mother superiors, there would be no progress since children would only listen to what their parents(and then teachers and other figures of authority)say and then fill the same authoritarian shoes.

But she is right about the stupidity of modern Western parenting. It wasn't always like this. In the past, there was emphasis on work ethic, personal responsibility, achievement, duty, etc. American farming communities in the 19th century were made of tough stuff. Kids were given lots of chores. And if kids out of line even in teh 40s or 50s, they would get belted, like the Buchanan kids(according to Right From the Beginning). Americans had the best of both worlds: greater freedom/individuality AND toughness/true grit.

But then three things happened.

1. Too much affluence too fast, which made too many whites take it easy.

2. Rise of therapeutism and whole massive industry around it. PC is, in some way, a kind of police state version of therapeutism. If liberal politicians want people to be dependent on the state, the therapeutic industry wants people to addicted/dependent on 'expert advice', social monitoring, ideological indoctrination(personal is political as it's all about power, and power must be equally distributed), and lots of drugs. As this mindset became the hip and trendy norm among the successful and 'popular' people, every parent felt obligated to show(and even show off)how oh-so-sensitive he or she is to his/her peers. It even happened to Christopher Buckley that twerp.

3. 60s. Great decade to be sure, but all that good times, endless youth conceit and culture, search for meaning(which went from New Age spiritual to orgasmic sensual), and anti-50s-ism led to the rise of boomer "I feel your pain" mentality.

adfadfsafasfd said...

Of course, there are plenty of white Americans who still take a no-nonsense approach to child-rearing. I see them all around, but it's not held up as the norm by mass media. According to mass media, a 'gay family' is more normal than a traditional kind of family.

Among the lower classes--black underclass, poor whites, and Mexicans--, there's a lot of toughness but parents tend to lack focus. They'll curse out and whup their kids but without any specific goal or agenda. It's just a case of "what you say bitch? I'll fuck you up" like on Jerry Springer. In other words, if you're gonna use force or pressure, have a point.

There are plenty of Jewish parents who are tough, at least when I was growing up in the 80s. Jewish kids were free to express themselves as far as I could tell but there was a whole lot of things they couldn't do--like spend too much money on dumb shit, watch too much TV, etc--and whole lot of things they had to do--get good grades. And Jewish parents could be very pushy tough. In fact, I'll bet a lot of Jews who urge mushy cushy therapeutism on the rest of us are privately Dr. Laura/Judge Judy pushy parents in their private lives. Also, due to their wit, Jews can exert greater psychological power over their kids with subtle verbal skills, which can far more effective and devastating than hair pulling tantrums. The most obsessive straight A students I've known were Jewish. Oddly enough, most Asian students I've known took things relatively easily and their parents seemed to be okay with that(especially Filipinos who are hooked to MTV celeb culture 24/7). Also, Asians are more eager to fit into mainstream society/culture, and so in some cases, I think many Asian parents want their kids to become 'American', which means being 'wild and free'. Look at the dumb Korean rappers. It could be that Chinese are somewhat different from other Asians because of the Middle Kingdom mindset/pride. If Laotians, Koreans, Viets, Filipinos, etc are used to seeing themselves as 'little people' in 'little nations' revolving around(and seeking approval from) the BIG COUNTRY--historically China--, Chinese are used to seeing themselves as the center of the universe who kowtow to no one. So, it could be that a Filipino or Vietnamese may shift his focus of respect from BIG CHINA to BIG AMERICA, but a Chinese continues to see himself/herself as part of Middle Kingdom(of the mind) and as such, feels less compunction to belong to something larger than himself. To a Chinese, there is nothing larger than China. Similarly, Jews might maintain a strong Jewishness cuz of an history where their God was the only and greatest God. Chinese and Jews, by their historical mentality, cannot really bow down to another culture.

adfasdfasdf said...

"I wonder how Sailer and his white nationalist readers reconcile East Asians and their passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?"

I think this is nothing new. Japanese are pachinko crazy and Chinese had a long history of vices. Chinese are among the biggest gambling addicted loonies on Earth.
Maybe Asian addiction to such singleminded escapism is related to their work ethic culture. Even in play, they are absolutely obsessed. Even play is a kind of win, win, win mania.
Also, there is little opportunity for open rebellion in Asian culture, so one finds solace from social stress through videogames, pachinko, or gambling. Asians ESCAPE than REBEL. Some flee to the West but other flee inwards. I heard bullied Japanese kids stay home and just play videogames. And opium was very big in China at one time. (Paul Johnson wondered why Hindus didn't take to opium like the Chinese did. It could have been because Hindus never had any grasp of reality to begin with--what with their strange everything is surreal holy religion--, so why look for escapism? Hinduism itself was a kind of escapism. In contrast, Confucian Chinese were very much IN THIS WORLD, and may have sought escapism from its stresses.)

adsfasdfasdf said...

"Both raise highly achieving children, but the attitude is quite different. Chua's husband Jed (Rubenfeld) expressed the Jewish-mother philosophy, that the parents owe the children, and the children pay the debt by sacrificing for their own children. A Jewish mother's child is always a precious gem, never a bad child or garbage."

I think this is a maybe a MODERN Jewish attitude. There's a whole bunch of Jewish literature about Jewish sons being resentful of their mothers' guilt-baiting them.
And 'Bread Givers' tells a very differnt story than we get from today's Jews.

Another thing. Chua's CHINESE MOTHER is a hybrid of Asian & Western values/influences. By old Chinese standards, it's probably scandalous, especially as Chinese culture favored boys over girls.

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Chua really believed that Chinese are superior, why didn't she marry a Chinese guy?

Svigor said...

Another string of comments containing the presumption that Jews aren't white.

I'm going to hold my breath waiting for the protests from Jews and Co...

Anonymous said...

Before there is too much praise for this type of parenting, know that the suicide rate for young Asian girls in the US is the highest

http://articles.cnn.com/2007-05-16/health/asian.suicides_1_asian-american-families-asian-women-asian-american-parents?_s=PM:HEALTH

helene edwards said...

Asian parents do a notably poor job of inculcating the hip-hop attitude in their charges. From my standpoint in the belly of the beast, the SF Richmond district, these kids have a lamentable absence of crotch-hoisting swagger, let alone English-slaughtering neologisms aimed at baffling the cops. Hell, I've been riding the Muni for 5 yrs. now and haven't seen a single Asian kid assault anyone. I happened to mention this fairly obvious disrespect for black norms to Willie Brown as we were discussing amendments to the Education Code, and he seemed mystified too.

Svigor said...

We don't. It's irrelevant.

Indeed. Maybe I should put a warning label on posts I consider ethnopatriotic philosophy, to distinguish them from those that are just me shooting the breeze or discussing HBD. LOL.

As if I'm constructing my worldview based on assessing who has the biggest brains...it is to laff.

Oh wait, I know, people are loyal to their families because they know them. *Snicker* Cognitively elite protip: Cognitive elitists should find a way to evaluate their children at birth; then they can trade them in for smarter kids before they get to know their biological children and spoil everything.

Anonymous said...

Chinese chauvinism is annoying.

M Schwartz said...

***passion for computer gaming with the purported East Asian reputation for academic grinding?***

The two aren't mutually exclusive. Also, you would expect a group with a higher level of introversion to be into gaming.

not a hacker said...

@Berkeley grad re diversity:

I'm a Cal grad too, and an arch conservative, and I'm baffled by your reference to "race relations" re asians. I mean, take the asian kids from Lowell. They have hardly any whites to mix with there. So how does the political atmosphere at university make any difference?

Whiskey said...

The older kid has played at Carnegie Hall, so the piano lessons paid off. Interestingly enough, piano and violin seem now to be the province of not Jewish guys in their fifties or older but young Asian women. Often playing on their looks.

Astute observers at the WSJ comments pages have noted the older kid has a Facebook page. So the no internet thing is probably just the mother's dream, not a reality. Girl very likely has a (secret) boyfriend, all things considered. The no dating thing being just another barrier for a kid to get around, easier for a girl of course than a boy.

Anonymous said...

Amy Chua is a hyper domineering status obsessed lunatic. A type of mother not unique to the Chinese but relatively more abundant than the general population of say Whites or Blacks.

Amy Chua is also subconsciously compensating for the fact that she has betrayed the genetic and cultural legacy of her ancestors by marrying a Jew, thereby insuring her descendants will be Jews and not Chinese. This is a trait singularly found among Asian women wed to non co-ethnics.

Note that while she extols the virtues of the Chinese mother, she says nothing about the Chinese father. This is no accident. Part of the reason is because of contemporary feminist indoctrination at denying the authority and role of the Patriarch in rearing children. The other part is that Chinese fathers have generally abdicated their duties in raising their children. While they have not been as irresponsible as absentee black fathers. Chinese fathers have allowed their hypergamous, materialistic, and mercenary wives sole dominion in the rearing of their offspring, with disastrous results for the continuation of their cultural and racial legacies.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Next up on the MSM Network: an article about why white moms are superior to black and Hispanic moms.

Nah, just kidding. White kids only do better thanks to racism.

Anonymous said...

The NAEP scores you've posted are interesting, but kids don't study or prep for NAEP. So pushy Asian parents might not be specifically helpful with that test, but they could sure be helpful in SAT prep, pushing the kid into AP and honors classes, and pushing the child into college. Let's look at college attainment rates among the aodpted and non-adopted Asians.

Looking at the study your referece, I see that the gaps in delinquency, grades, self esteem, and learning problems aren't nearly as significant as you generally might notice. For example, black adoptees had a B minus average and Asians had an A minus. Not too bad of a gap, which suggests that adoption seems to have narrowed at least something.



Sorry, I misread your original post, Jason. I'll retract this section of my comments..... but.....

Even with GPA, peer groups do matter and it helps to have upper middle class parents. An Asian-American adopted kid, with affluent white parents and lots of Asian friends, probably benefits from the best of both worlds. He receives a high quality wealthy SWPL home environment that encourages creativity and risk taking, but then he has the dutifulness/focus characteristic of Asians and also lots of highly competitive Asian friends.

It'd be interesting to see how whites would turn out when adopted by Asians.

I used to know a Korean guy that was adopted by white parents. He did reasonably well in school, but sort of found his own way to college, instead of being pushed in immediately after HS. He also was pretty laid back.

Bob said...

Wow, the article was bracing in tone compared to the normal WSJ article.

A bit of existentialism:
Chua probably had to work 25% more to become a Yale law prof compared to a more middling law school prof (U Texas, UCLA, etc.).

Is she 25% happier as a result? Or even 5% happier? Or less happy given the dreary northeastern weather?

Bob said...

I am surprised SS didn't remember her name given her work on market-dominant minorities.

Anonymous said...

And yet Chinese society has been, for thousands of years, one collectivist tyranny after another. And in spite of their much-vaunted intelligence, when the 19th century rolled around, China was still living in the 16th century by European standards. They haven't really caught up yet and the wouldn't be as far along as they are without those traitors, the Clintons.

Anonymous said...

However, studies focused specifically on students attending the University of California,
Berkeley, have reported lower college GPAs for Asian Americans compared to Whites (Thomson, 1998; Ying et al., 2001). Ying et al. reports for all students enrolled in spring 1995,

Whites had higher mean GPAs (3.18) than Asian Americans (3.05) who had higher GPAs than Hispanics (2.86) and African Americans (2.71).

Additional studies have also reported lower college GPAs for Asian Americans than Whites or non-Asians (Toupin & Son, 1991; Tseng, 2000). A study by Toupin and Son of
all Asian American students who attended a small, private, highly selective university in the Northeast in 1984, 1985, and 1986 in the College of Arts and Science found that Asian Americans had lower GPAs than non-Asians (matched on socio-economic background and SAT scores). They also were more likely to be placed on academic probation, and less likely to appear on the Dean’s List at least one time. A report by Tseng (2000), based on a sub-sample of 1,200 entering students at New York University in 1996 and 1998, also found that Whites had
higher college GPAs than Asian Americans.

Tseng (2000) points out that these lower college GPAs among Asian Americans may be due to their being disproportionately enrolled in math and science courses, where on average, students receive lower grades than in other courses. Studies do find that a greater proportion of Asian American students are math/science majors or enroll in math and science courses than
other ethnic groups (Ahn Toupin & Son, 1991; Tan, 1994; Tseng, 2000; Xie & Goyette, 2003).

However, Tseng found that differences in GPAs between Asian and White students remained
when controlling for course of study. Thus, the lower GPAs of Asian students at NYU were not
due to their course of study. Tseng found that differences in GPA were somewhat explained by
their experiences with prejudice and discrimination.


Either prejudice and discrimination, or parents that are pushing their kids beyond their capabilities. I think we can agree that lower mean IQ and laziness are not factors, as neither trait characterizes Asians.

Anonymous said...

When looking at the slightly higher GPAs for adopted Asians, I wonder to what extent they benefit from having English-speaking parents and whether adopted Asians are as likely to take AP/Honors classes.

asdfadsfdasf said...

"Amy Chua is also subconsciously compensating for the fact that she has betrayed the genetic and cultural legacy of her ancestors by marrying a Jew, thereby insuring her descendants will be Jews and not Chinese. This is a trait singularly found among Asian women wed to non co-ethnics."

Will 'chewish' ever take off?

nooffensebut said...

When whites complain about the way that East Asians raise their children, they sound to me like blacks. The bitter irony is that Asians have to compete at a higher level because whites created admissions racial discrimination policies that are 80% anti-Asian and 20% anti-white. White people made it necessary to constantly transport children to scheduled activities to prove “well-roundedness.” Raising children to play sports is child abuse because sports are violent and stupid. I can’t tell you how many morbidly obese white patients whom I have met with high-school football injury excuses. Having a social life with whites is nearly impossible without alcohol, unless you’re Mormon. White culture is undermining the futures of intelligent children. I blame Catholicism and democracy for making our smart ones celibate and enforcing the lowest common denominator as the word of God.

asdfasdfasf said...

"However, Tseng found that differences in GPAs between Asian and White students remained
when controlling for course of study. Thus, the lower GPAs of Asian students at NYU were not
due to their course of study. Tseng found that differences in GPA were somewhat explained by
their experiences with prejudice and discrimination."

I don't know about Berkeley but many whites at NYU are surely Jewish, and Jews beat all.

Anyway, I never got the impression that Asians are generally smarter than whites. Maybe more likely to do the homework in highschool but naturally smarter? Nah.

And I really think Amy Chaus are not all that common among Asian-Americans. There's maybe more of them among Asians than among other groups, but I'd say maybe 10% or even less of Chinese-American moms are that obsessed.

asdfasfasdf said...

"Maybe Chua is forgetting what life is all about. I think her attitude to raising children is bordering on child abuse. 3 hours of violin lesson per day, I mean WTF! It could make an iota of sense if you're some sort virtuose piano prodigy, but how many children are talented like that? For all those who aren't, 3 hours/ day practice is wasted time (imo). Chua ought to be lucky not have had boys. I doubt they would have put with her shit. Poor girls who had to!"

If you wanna be good at violin, 3 hrs a day may not be enough.

One thing I noticed among my friends. When they were young, they complained about how their parents didn't give them enough freedom. Much later, they complain they were given too much freedom, spoiled rotten,and provided with everything. Looking back, they wished their parents had forced them to study harder and be more responsible, done more to build their character, been a real parent than a 'friend'.

I think with PC parenting, and both parents working--and high divorce rates and single mother families(formerly known as broken homes)--, there is a kind of nostalgia for a mother or father who, though perhaps a bit tyrannical, does CARE ENOUGH to fret and devote so much time for their kids.
Since many parents are so busy, they often compensate by showering their kids with money, gifts, goods, favors, etc. Parenting too has been consumerized, with kid-as-customer as king. Fun but lacking in that kind of love you see among the Corleones. Vito Corleone was strong for the family. God bless him. And Pat Buchanan's father may have belted his kids sometimes, but he was a real man.

Anonymous said...

Jewish kids might've been pushed hard back in the day, but there's always been a lot of rebellion. A huge proportion of the 1960s/1970s radicals, like the Weathermen and SDS types, were Jewish. Instead of becoming a doctor or lawyer, these kids spent their time in political activism and sometimes went to jail.

Jewish-American Weatherman terrorist Mark Rudd once said that his mom was furious at him for all his antics. He also said that almost all the radicals he knew were from Jewish families.

Jews aren't characterized as rebels because their rebellion tends to be of the more activist/intellectual nature, such as Karl Marx inventing Communism or anti-war protests or the Freud theories. People generally associate rebellion with getting into fights, quitting school, being a delinquent, substance abuse, etc.

Asians tend to be very non-rebellious in every respect imaginable. They don't get involved with the activism/intellectual stuff, but they don't act like James Deans or wild party animals. Indians seem to be sort of like this too, but maybe to a lesser extent. Look at how much more sedate Berkely has become as it has gone from a white/Jewish institution to predominately Asian. I would guess that, as a parent, it'd be awesome to have a Chinese or Indian child, as they do what you want and don't fight back much.

Low-testosterone and docility are two traits that make a child a pleasure to raise.

Sleep Position, Learning, and Memory said...

This is an interesting blog. I think this woman is 100% on point when she says Western Moms saying "learning should be fun" is not something Chinese Moms do and thus not a good thing. I love learning but I agree with her. In fact I think that whole idea of "learning is fun" is in many ways demeaning to a child's natural curiosity. I think by having high standards for their kids Chinese Moms also tell them subconsciously "I believe in you, I think you can do it" which is very empowering. Western Moms by taking it easier on their kids send the subconscious message "You're not capable. You can do it without help" which is very disempowering.

Anonymous said...

Also, there is little opportunity for open rebellion in Asian culture, so one finds solace from social stress through videogames, pachinko, or gambling. Asians ESCAPE than REBEL.

I agree. I think a lot of the escapism is related the immense stress that's brought on them to work long hours, conform, submit themselves, and maintain certain behavior. Everybody needs an outlet to escape sometimes and Asians, being that much more stressed, need more of it.

Even in play, they are absolutely obsessed. Even play is a kind of win, win, win mania.


It's not so much that they want to win. It's more that they are scared of losing, which brings shame and social ostracism. Fear of failure and shame is much more of a driver than a desire to be on the top. Which is why entrapranuership (high risk, high reward if you win) has traditionally not been viewed very favorably among the educated classes of the east, even if the winners get really rich.

Asians probably have a mean IQ similar to Westerners, but they're much more single-mindedly diligent and dutiful/obediant. That's good in a way, but maybe not so good in other ways. As with many things, I think a midway compromise would be ideal.

I know a lot of 3rd generation Japanese-American kids. They're not under too much pressure and have quite a bit of freedom/independence, but their work habits are good and they stay out of trouble. They, to me, represent a pretty good model to follow.

Anonymous said...

On the PISA, the Japanese had far fewer kids scoring in the highly proficient category than other East Asian countries. They even performed worse than more than a few Western countries in the highly proficient category. However, their overall mean score was decent, though a bit lower than some of the other Asian nations.

Are the Japanese dumber than other East Asians? Unlikely, as Japan is the top dog of the east even today. Its nominal per capita GDP is pretty high and it has a lot of world class, highly innovative companies.

The Japanese are just as smart, but they're getting a little bit soft and more youths are opting out of the grind-until-you-drop educational system. So that hurts them. On the positive side, the Japanese are really innovative, so maybe I should bet on Tokyo over Shanghai.

Anonymous said...

When you are overly submissive and don't fight for yourself, people walk over you. Coming from a culture where most people are pretty docile, Chinese probably assume that their kids can pushed around to the max, without any negative ramifications. The result is kids that study hard, overwhelmingly pursue a middle class lifestyle, and stay out of trouble.

Anonymous said...

E-gaming requires patience, an ability to focus for a long duration of time, not get frustrated by setbacks in the game, enjoy introverted fun, and enough intelligence to craft a good strategy on the fly. It's also a practical and quick escape for a kid that's typing up some type of report or doing online research. It's the perfect East Asian activity.

mansizedtarget said...

I think this is why Chinese people make good students and decent engineers, but usually end up working for white people: It takes independence, individuality, and American alpha male balls that this kind of upbringing largely destroys.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Canada. In a company of fifteen people, seven are Chinese. They will never progress beyond a certain level because they are incapable on independent thought. They memorize stuff in school and get excellent grades but they can't apply what they have learned to the real world. Anything outside a set of rigid parameters is a problem.

Anonymous said...

Chinese are Asian, but Asian aren't Chinese.

David said...

SFG said

>In fifty years we'll probably be looking at WASPs, Jews, and Asians scheming how to keep brainy Scotch-Irish in their place while they sell our country out to the Chinese.<

Did you write that in 1961?

David said...

>piano and violin seem now to be the province of not Jewish guys in their fifties or older but young Asian women. Often playing on their looks.<

You're jealous of Yuja. I see the whole story now.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I live in a very multicultural American city on the eastern seaboard. The East Asians I see fall into three categories:

1. Childless, single EA women rabidly devoted to their careers.
2. EA women paired with white men.
3. Low-testosterone EA men. Of the few that are paired with EA women, the women are walking five paces away; culture schmulture--they don't like their men.

In sum, I don't think global dominance is in east Asia's future. The global balance-of-payments can be whatever it is but I just don't see Asians cracking heads over it. When the time comes the West will just default and the East will just withdraw, not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

This kind of parenting in any race creates enormous insecurities in children (too many unrealistic expectations from their parents), which causes the children to cheat, and, as they grow older, to become corrupt. This in turn makes trust more difficult throughout society, as everyone knows how greedy everyone else is.

Chua got her result, but would it have killed her to wait a year or so before it materialized, while raising more well-rounded and psychologically healthy children at the same time?

Somewhat relatedly, I recall reading Chua's book "World on Fire". In it she explains that what got her thinking about the issue of market dominant minorities was the murder of her own aunt (also of Chinese descent) by her Philipino servant (in the Philipines). Chua wrote that on the police report, the motive was "revenge". Revenge for income inequality, apparently (Steve take note).

How can mulitculturalism and diversity ever be made to work when they create such inequalities? Maybe the answer is that people need to confront the reality of human biodiversity and incorporate the idea into their worldviews as an explanatory concept for the racial disparities with which they are daily confronted. Allow people of different backgrounds to form their own communities within which they can create their own economies - on a small scale - and compete amongst themselves.

- Rudy

Anonymous said...

The Asian personality type tends to feature more diligent, focused work and study habits. It also has a higher degree of dutifulness. That by itself is pretty important when in the success of the ultra rigorous East Asian academic system.

I'd guess the mean IQ has to be at least close to the Western average, for the East Asians to be topping international exams and building high tech manufacturing economies. I'm just not convinced it's higher, given how much harder Asian kids are working.

Asian overperformance (in test scores, grades, professional degrees, avoiding deliquency), compared to their IQ-predicted achievement, is something that Flynn long ago noted in one of his books. He put the Asian mean at roughly the Western mean.

It's often said that Westerners are lower in work ethic, but higher in creativity. This is more controversial to say and has not been objectively demonstrated, but it wouldn't surprise me if the rigid and authoritarian East Asian social system discourages people from taking risks and thinking outside the box. Or perhaps there's a combination of nature and nurture, which would be my guess.

IQ is useful variable for predicting performance within a relatively homogenous population, but there are other variables that must be accounted for when comparing individuals of different populations.

Anonymous said...

Sleep Position, Learning, and Memory: I believe in you, I think you can do it" which is very empowering. Western Moms by taking it easier on their kids send the subconscious message "You're not capable. You can do it without help" which is very disempowering.

1) I think you meant to say, "can't do it without help".

2) Thanks for the sleep links. Please keep posting at iSteve.

Anonymous said...

Low testosterone probably has a lot to do with why East Asians are more docile and tenacious. If they had more T, there'd be more delinquency and crap going on in their societies, but at least things would be more interesting.

Kai Carver said...

Turns out the WSJ title was a troll, and it worked! Amy Chua's mommy book is much more ambivalent. And funny:

She says she tried to apply Chinese parenting to the family's two dogs before accepting that the only thing they were good at was expressing affection. "Although it is true that some dogs are on bomb squads or drug-sniffing teams," she concluded, "it is perfectly fine for most dogs not to have a profession, or even any special skills."
Washington Post book review

Also this discussion among Asian-American digerati on Quora is pretty good:
Is Amy Chua right?

dores said...

"Low testosterone probably has a lot to do with why East Asians are more docile and tenacious. If they had more T, there'd be more delinquency and crap going on in their societies, but at least things would be more interesting."

More hothouse HBD imaginings with little knowledge of history being evident in the comment.
There was (and is) plenty of violence in Asian countries.
The Cultural Revolution of the late 60s, with its tens of millions dead, including ritual cannibalism -- doesn't that qualify s "interesting?"
(http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,160807,00.html).
Then we have the polite, low-T Kamikaze Japanese who would rather crash themselves in their planes before surrender; they also did some very high-T atrocities in China, though I don't believe everything I've read about that. Still--the evidence is, they were bad-ass. You should read about it, if you find this sort of thing "interesting." Then there was Pol Pot of Cambodia who handily eliminated about one quarter of his country's citizens, most of them among the most educated,urban, and presumably "Low-T" -- hmmm. Maybe that's why he hated them?

Sometimes people here think reality begins and ends with MTV rap videos contrasted with latte-drinkers-at-the-Mall. btw, everybody now drinks lattes.
Probably the biggest difference between the violent events in Eurpean and Asian cultures is that among westerners and maybe Asians, the worst violence is organized, planned, episodic, and followed by organized clean-up. Nations could war, clean up, and then get on with inventing more culture and technology. A nation that had no such achievements to start with will war and then war some more, fall apart, and then fall apart some more. Even if they come together again they don't achieve much because there was no base for it. But maybe they are more "interesting" because you never know when the next machete will fall.

Florida resident said...

I am waiting impatiently for Derbyshire's reaction to “culturist” article in question by Amy Chua ”Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” in NYT.

Sure, Chinese traditions play important role.

But noting is mentioned about the genes:
genes of Chinese grandfather - Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCLA,
genes of Amy Chua herself: Professor of Law at Yale,
genes of Ashkenazi father: Yale Law School Professor Jed Rubenfeld.

Suppose somebody wrote “Why XXX Mothers Are Superior to YYY”, with the same degree or factual basis ?
They would be immediately condemned as “XXX supremacists”.
What is going on ?

Anonymous said...

why doesn't anyone use oriental anymore? How did it become offensive? bahh. even on isteve :(

Anonymous said...

Very off topic now, but interestingly, it seems like a lot (or at least some) geeky teenage White (and Asian and some Black) women seem to be into Korean and Japanese men, in the form of their boy bands and the like.

I think Asian men probably do alright, maybe as well as White men, maybe even better when it comes to being unthreatening "handsome" teen girl idol types (http://springfieldfiles.com/albums/books/0070.JPG - for the trope skewered in sly Simpsons style) , but have trouble appealing as more virile older men (lots of Asian guys can - Ken Watanabe, Toshiro Mifune, Huang Jue - just seems less frequently or intensely). Perhaps this may be biological result of a bias towards early mating or partnering off in East Asian populations, even if child birth was relatively delayed? If East Asian populations are low mating effort, high parental investment, this wouldn't be so surprising.

DAJ said...

Amy Chua’s article confirms my general opposition to Affirmative Action programs designed to boost enrollment of non-Asian minorities at elite colleges. Think about it. Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, Berkeley, and Duke are filled to the brim with such Soldier Students as Amy Chua’s. These children have undergone grindingly regimented academic preparation and cultural enrichment via advanced courses, private schooling, personal tutoring, classical music lessons, and the like. They have scored 1400 to 1600 on SATs (math/verbal), graduated at the top of premier high schools, and played Mozart at Carnegie Hall. They typically hail from the highest cognitive echelons of society.

Do the American people truly believe that black students with 1100 SATs from mediocre family backgrounds and school districts can genuinely compete with Amy Chua’s daughters? For instance, Princeton University accepted Michelle Robinson (Obama) in spite of her admittedly unimpressive scholastic achievements. On campus, she assuredly encountered these selfsame Jewish, WASP, and Chinese Soldier Students who learned Chopin by age ten and geometric proofs at twelve.

Young Michelle must have been utterly outdone by her classmates as indicated by her choice to study sociology with a concentration in African American Studies. That is, the girl from Chicago’s South Side insulated herself from Amy Chua’s daughters by hiding in black studies classes.

How does this situation differ from feeding a lamb to a pack of hungry wolves? Why are we setting up NAMs for failure?

Disclaimer: In Michelle’s defense, she did manage to make the system work for her and become a wealthy, internationally popular First Lady. Are other Affirmative Action beneficiaries as fortunate?

JW Ogden said...

And imagine that communism made China poor.

James Kabala said...

Some of the cultural assumptions in the article puzzle me. I think Western parents would regard musical and dramatic talent as roughly equivalent, but Chua regards the former as essential and the latter as deplorable without ever explaining why.

Truth said...

"Disclaimer: In Michelle’s defense, she did manage to make the system work for her and become a wealthy, internationally popular First Lady."

You knew that I was reding the site today, somehow, didn't you Sport?

I had some really, really really vicious snar-chasm all ready for you by the middle of reading your post! Darn, you ruined it.

Anonymous said...

Chua regards the former as essential and the latter as deplorable without ever explaining why.

When watching the show The World's Greatest Musical Prodigies earlier this year, the explanation the Chinese music teachers gave for the respect for musical ability is that the Chinese have a cultural tradition of powerful respect for anything that involves quick and precise ability with the hands. I'm not sure how deep this goes - I know Confucius stresses the value of music (along with rituals), but I'm not aware that composers or musicians in pre-20th century China experienced any particularly high social status comparable to their European counterparts - perhaps traditional Chinese music was not conducive to this?

Plus music (particularly non-improvisational music) contrasted to drama, has relatively formal, explicit and technical levels of achievement, so I would guess technocrats generally would admire musical skill more than dramatic skill. Drama by contrast is really built, at least in theory, on the ability to understand and empathise with other human beings well enough to portray their experiences, or at least to fake it and where attempts to create objective and formal ranking systems for acting skill seem not to have too much success.

adfasdasdf said...

"More hothouse HBD imaginings with little knowledge of history being evident in the comment.
There was (and is) plenty of violence in Asian countries."

All people are potentially violent, so the issue is not aggressive non-Asians vs non-aggressive Asians. The Mongols settled that issue for all time. The issue is more aggression vs less aggression. It's safe to say blacks are more aggressive than Asians, for example.
Also, we need to differentiate between individual aggression and group aggression. On an individual level, blacks are more aggressive. In some ways, massive group aggression among Asians is the result of lesser individual aggression. Instead of asserting one's own self or worth, one loses oneself in the crowd. Thus, even a timid Japanese back at home could be a rapist murderer in Nanking because 'everyone's was doing it under special orders from military commanders'. Even a conformist commie in Mao's China or North Korea could become a ruthless killer. Cultural Revolution didn't happen out of the blue. It was ordered from the top by Mao who put up the signs BOMBARD THE HEADQUARTERS.
In some ways, because Asians are more timid and less aggressive, their rage gets pent-up more and more and can REALLY EXPLODE, as with that V-tech killer.
People who lack individual assertiveness can be MORE violent or LESS violent than people with individuality. If social superiors or social norm forbids certain things, people lacking in individuality will comply. If superiors order massive violence, people lacking individuality will act as mindless killer robots--as with Nazis. Germans under Hitler could have been the most peaceful or most violent people on Earth. If Hitler told them to shake hands with Russians, that was that. If Hitler told them to wipe out Russians, that was that too. People with individuality may disobey social norms and cause trouble, but in other cases, they may disobey or resist unjust rule or crazy tyrants telling people to do crazy things. Great Leap Forward was violent as hell but it couldn't have happened if 100s of millions of Chinese were so slavishly devoted to Mao.

So, Asians can be brutal, vicious, sadistic, cruel, and aggressive as a group, but as individuals they are less assertive. Though there are surely many exceptions. I've know quiet withdrawn blacks and pretty wild/crazy Asians.

adsfasdfasf said...

"why doesn't anyone use oriental anymore? How did it become offensive? bahh. even on isteve :("

Edward Said.

adfasdfasf said...

Didn't Asia Carrera say she went crazy and turned to porn because both her Japanese and German parents were control freaks?

Rotfl.

adsfasdfasdf said...

"Meanwhile in South Korea, there's a growing trend towards gaming addiction, as South Koreans spend countless hours playing games like Starcraft 2 at internet cafes..."

Too much shaming leads to too much gaming.

Btw, I wonder how much Asian parents know what their kids are up to these days?
Prior to globalism and hightech stuff, even ignorant/uneducated parents knew studying meant books and doing homework with pencil and paper, so they knew when their kids were studying and when they weren't.
But how would any parent know if some kid on the internet is really studying or putzing around?
In the world of pencil and paper, kids hoped to escape homework by going outside or watching TV. Any parent could tell when the kid was NOT doing homework--the kid was sitting in front of the idiot box or playing baseball. But now, the kid can escape into fun with the very gadgets designed to help him do homework. A kid can act like he's going online to do research while chatting with friends and going on facebook etc.

dsafasdfasdf said...

Amy Chua has one thing right. To be good at something, there is the 'no pain, no gain' rule. Even so, there's a difference between struggling to succeed for approval and struggling to succeed for knowledge/truth/meaning/greatness(aka fulfilmment).

There's a difference between accepting 'no pain no gain' because one really wants to be a doctor and accepting it because one is expected to become a doctor to please by one's parents.
And Chua's culture-mania ignores the fact of biology. Some people are naturally gifted at certain things while being totally talentless at others. If some kid with natural ability to paint is forced to play violin 3 hrs a day though he has no natural affinity for music, it'd be a huge waste of effort, time, and talent. Suppose Picasso had been forced into piano playing than painting. And it's one thing to pressure smart kids to get straight A's, which is what they should get. But it would be cruel to pressure dumb kids to get straight A's or make it to Harvard. They'll just go batshit crazy. Lucky for Chua, her kids are chewish with high IQs.

So, 'no pain, no gain' is good, but people should want to succeed at something because they feel it in their hearts than because they feel pressure to please others. If someone wants to make it to Harvard Law School and gives it his best but fails, he can still tell himself that he gave his best; and his parents may be there for him. But if someone tried to make it to Harvard Law SChool because his parents told him, 'you're worthless otherwise', that's some bad shit. If he fails, he can't even show his face at home. And even if he succeeds, there will be a lurking feeling that he did it all just to please others.
This is like an academic equivalent of arranged marriage. Arranged marriages may work but where's the real love?

There's an interesting Chinese movie about parent-child tensions called SUNFLOWER:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWQ4O9xvUGY

Anonymous said...

"I live in a very multicultural American city on the eastern seaboard. The East Asians I see fall into three categories:

1. Childless, single EA women rabidly devoted to their careers.
2. EA women paired with white men.
3. Low-testosterone EA men. Of the few that are paired with EA women, the women are walking five paces away; culture schmulture--they don't like their men."

Haha you wish buddy. You sound like a white guy equivalent of a black guy bragging about how white women love them.

The Wobbly Guy said...

I think as a general parenting method, Amy's set is simply too harsh for most children to endure. Also, what sort of children, based on intelligence, ethnicity, and culture, are suitable for this sort of upbringing? We all want the next generation to fulfil their potential. How - the gazillion dollar question.

Fundamentally, she did make some very strong points. Learning is often not fun. True self-esteem comes not from praise, but from achievement. Modern education has veered too far away from these two precepts.

Anonymous said...

I think MansizedTarget is right in that Wasp-men seem to me to have solved the problem of efficient domination through some jock/nerd intrapopulation loose coordination, which is very helpful to organizations.

Chinese mothers may be the best population at encouraging a certain type of conscientiousness performance out of their children, beyond what genetic iq or talent would predict.

But nothing seems to beat anglo-grounded organizations. Part of that, I think, is that a subset of waspy men are the best at first winning internal organization battles for dominance efficiently, and then protecting that organization from either being dominated by other organizations, or too-wastefully resisting that situational dominance by an organization lead by another waspy male.

An article could be titled "Why Wasp Male Organizational Leaders Are Superior" (using Wasp Male as loosely as Prof. Chau uses "Chinese Mothers").

They've probably provided the best solution to the human primate expense of valuing and calculating male social dominance.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

Anonymous said...

Chinese/Asian parenting only works with Asians kids. Other races would probably rebel at some point, which more docile/low-T/obediant Asian kids usually don't.

Anonymous said...

"And imagine that communism made China poor."

Svigor will tell you that the eeeeevil JOOOOOZ invented communism to hold back otherwise intelligent societies like China. But then there is no form of human pathology that cannot be traced back to the Eternal Jew in his worldview.

adfasasdfasfd said...

"Chinese/Asian parenting only works with Asians kids. Other races would probably rebel at some point, which more docile/low-T/obediant Asian kids usually don't."

I think many do rebel, at least in the US. But fewer may rebel in Asia because of larger social context. If you're an Asian or Muslim who talks shit to your parents in America, you have a support group among peers and even adults and the larger culture. If you do the same in Asia or Middle East, the whole community might shun, mock, or tear you down.

Also, whether a kid rebels or not is really a matter of respect. If the child respects his parents and sees them as good people, he or she will understand and accept the pressures. (Also, the parents have to be consistent. They can't be permissive buddy buddy one day and then tough cookie the next.)
I've known many Jewish kids with very tough parents but they never rebelled because they respected their parents.

One difference between Jews and Asians is perhaps this. Jewish parents/adults allow and even encourage a discourse between themselvese and their kids as long as it's intelligent and civil. Jewish parents want their kids, at some point, to be able to think on their own and not just follow orders and 'try to fit in'. (Traditional)Asian approach, OTOH, tends to be 'just do and think as I say.'
Jews raise their kids to make them think like lawyers. Asians raise their kids to think like clerks(no matter how high they climb).

I think Talmudic scholars initially pressured their students to learn, learn, and learn; but after awhile, the scholars expected the students to think of the Torah on their own and come up with their own brilliant interpretations. The emphasis wasn't just on learning but on learning-to-think-on-your-own-one-day. I get the impression that Confucian style of learning was just-memorize-what-the-old-sages-said-and-don't-ask-too-many-questions.
Also, Jews, though they had various rituals and rites, were essentially a people of thought and feeling. Chinese, in contrast, developed a whole culture where virtue was expressed through forms and practices. So, it wasn't enough that one wrote a good essay to pass the exam. One had to have excellent calligraphy. One's form, manners, and expression(rather than just the content)were understood to be proof of one's virtue. Virtue was more than a thought or feeling; it was proper expression. Japanese essentialized some of this in combination with their indigenous culture, creating stuff like tea ceremony where how one prepares and drinks the tea is as important as tea itself. Of course, manners are important in any high culture, but Chinese maybe took it too far, sometimes preferring the form of virtue than real virtue itself. Of course, the other extreme is bad too. Cultural Revolution sought to smash everything old and bogus about Chinese culture and unleashed barbarism.

Florida resident said...

Charles Murray weighs in:
http://blog.american.com/?p=24765
(info from John Derbyshire.)

lesley said...

"Vito Corleone was strong for the family. God bless him."

...that's the example of fatherly fortitude that first sprang to mind?
oh dear.