I had the privilege of interviewing my partner. I met him in college (orientation to be specific), as Ms. Lynn Hamilton did. We spent about two years together, and dated for year and half. As I have been interacting him on daily basis, it was fascinating to learn what he had deep in his mind, and to learn about how he has been socialized until this day (or before he met me).
When I started interviewing him, he started by talking about his parents, because he is sure that his ideas about marriage and family were heavily influenced by them. He told me that his parents are both working and have their own businesses. He added that, even though they run their own businesses, they like to take time off to enjoy their life and take care of children; however, they did not have such time when they were younger and not as well off. But, rather than struggling to make everything work, they took a different route from the average American households, to employ maids and caregivers. Due to his upbringing, he told me that he is not against employing people outside of the family to take care of the children and the household, and believes that “good parenting” comes from both of the parents. He added that giving physical labor is not the only way to be a good parent. In summary, he grew up in a family of moderately conservative Muslims who paradoxically lived with (gender-wise) unorthodox lifestyle; due to the family influence, he is socialized to show both egalitarian actions and conservative psyche.
Despite the fact that he is remotely Americanized due to his Native Indonesian pride, his view on marriage is “favorable” (Popquiz). He said that the reasons why he want to get married are to have children of his own (earlier the better), and ...
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...e psyche that encompasses gender essentialism: women are to do clerical jobs, not the man. In short, he does not consider opting-out from work, as it is culturally assumed for men to work to support his family. In addition, he tries to fit as much as possible to his class and gender status in regard to the jobs he may have to take.
The interviewee partly follows the cultural gender norm by wanting to start a nuclear family with him as the main breadwinner; however, he simultaneously deviates from the norm by wanting to work less and flexible hours and dedicating most of his time to his family, not work. His future plan is deeply impacted by part-egalitarian and part-conservative parents, and partly by his feminist, career-wanting partner. It is unclear how much he can follow his future plan, but his promises sounds much more structural and fruitful than no promises.
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