Race, Class and Gender through Family

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In society everyone is categorized under a race; this is what divides individuals according to their physical characteristics which are inherited such as skin color, eye color, and hair color. Many people are easily confused between race and ethnicity, the difference is that ethnicity relates to cultural factors such as nationality, language, and beliefs. In the story “ Life as the Maid’s Daughter” by Mary Romero we explore the boundaries, Teresa one of the main characters has to deal with everyday based on her race, gender and class. We see that living with boundaries creates frustration and confusion within Teresa’s early stage of life. Teresa is both bilingual and bicultural meaning she can speak two languages and abides by two cultures. Teresa, however, struggles to maintain her Mexican identity due to her mother’s job and her way of life. These struggles that are faced makes Teresa capture the social stratification in the United States at a young age. Teresa was known as the “maid’s daughter” and in preschool she learned about her mother’s social position. Teresa was dragged around with her mother to each employer’s house; it was difficult for her to enter each house because she would have to abide by certain rules in each house. Teresa was socialized by the employers and their children; this is due to the fact Carmen, Teresa’s mother worked for families that would “emphasize [] conformity and change”. This made Teresa act out and run away, the families made no attempt to create an environment where Teresa was able to express her racial background in the way the other children could. “She [Teresa] was clearly different from the other children, “a novelty,” and was bound by rules regulating her use of social space and lingu... ... middle of paper ... ..., “Women are the worst off partly because inequality during their working life is reflected in the lower pensions. In the U.S. for example the eight million women who are over the age of 65 make up by far one of the poorest groups in America with almost half of them living below the poverty line”(Kapoor 1985). Along with this high economical issue that Teresa went through with her mother’s low income job, she also lacked emotional support. Teresa would become upset and run off when her mother was working in a family’s house. This showed Teresa did not know how to show her emotions and when she did running away was her only cooping strategy. Carmen, Teresa’s mom was busy and had to work so he could support herself but this issue of poor women in the U.S shows that it also affects family live in the way that Teresa was left with little support from her own mother.
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