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I am a man of consequences

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I am a man of consequences

  1. 1. Subject: Mr. C Presenter: Rebecca Rothstein SWK 542-033 Adelphi University School of Social Work Professor Abu-Rass 12/17/09 “I am a Man of Consequences”
  2. 2. Background  Mr. C is 46 years old and identifies as a Puerto-Rican male.  He is the oldest of four brothers that were all born in Queens, N.Y.  Both of his parents came to the United States from Puerto Rico during the 1960s when there was an increase in migration.  The focus of our interview was on race and gender related issues
  3. 3. Racial issues  Nuyorican vs. Puerto-Rican  Nuyorican- Second or third generation Puerto-Ricans that live in the New York area and are raised in American culture (Johnson, 2009).  Puerto-Rican- A person who has Puerto-Rican lineage (Johnson, 2009).  Mr. C was given the label of Nuyorican by family members which can have pejoritive undertones VS
  4. 4.  Mr. C was physically disciplined by his father at the age of eight for not fighting back when bullies accused him of being gay  He described himself as a shy kid, not as outgoing or aggressive as his brothers  Mr. C was told by his dad to “stop acting like a fag and be a man”.  He took care of his accusers the next day Gender issues at home
  5. 5. Gender issues in professional life  Mr. C is working as a dispatcher while going to school for nursing  Professors have openly discouraged him and female classmates have questioned his sincerity  Family members have told him that nursing is a “woman’s job” and he feels that they question his manhood
  6. 6. research  literature I reviewed covered gender role expectations in Puerto-Rican culture, evolving history of term nuyorican, and brief history of Puerto-Rico  Important term for social workers to know regarding gender role: Machismo- “Interaction of social, cultural, and behavioral components forming male gender-role identity in the sociopolitical context of the Latino Society” (Torres, 1998). x Generally associated with aggression and dominance which is also how Mr. C was raised to be a man. Torres argues though, there are positive aspects such as empowerment.
  7. 7. Research continued  Research on evolution of term Nuyorican  Johnson (2009) argues it was once a pejoritive  Now there is a Nuyorican Poets Café and famous celebrities such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor are proud to give themselves that label.  Final piece research on the history of Puerto-Rico. Early colonization remains polarizing issue for PR who debate independence (Bonilla-Santiago, 2004).
  8. 8.  Mr. C was oppressed based on gender, race, and ethnicity  He struggled with cultural expectations of gender roles during childhood and now during adult life as he pursues a career in nursing. Faced oppression and discrimination from family and classmates.  Regarding race/ethnicity, oppressed by family for being nuyorican. Also faced prejudice/stereotyping during High School.
  9. 9. Stereotypes, advantages/disadvantages x Common stereotypes about PR: all on drugs, in a gang, like to get girls pregnant at young ages, lazy, good in bed, poor, feisty, not willing to learn English, prideful, feed off the government. x Advantages to being PR Male: head of the family, culture of respect (respeto) and pride. x Disadvantages: Heavy responsibility placed on males, supposed to be strong and not show emotions.
  10. 10. It all comes together  Oppression/Discrimination is enforced and maintained by our society’s institutions on down to our individual families’ cultural values.  Mr. C’s family are practicing Catholics whose religious institution reinforced their traditional gender beliefs  Mr.C’s experiences with oppression have resulted in feelings of stigmatization/powerlessness which is often the case with oppressed groups  This interview allowed me to get to get to know my client better and I believe as a result I will be a better advocate for him
  11. 11. references  Bonilla-Santiago, Gloria. (2004) Social Work Practice with Puerto-Ricans (pp.571-591). In Morales, A. & Sheafor, B. (Ed.). (2004) Social Work: A Profession of Many Faces (10th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.  Johnson, Reed. (2009, May 30). Nuyoricans bask in the spotlight. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com  Pharr, S. (2007) Homophobia as a weapon of sexism. (pp. 168-177). In Rothenberg, P.S. (Ed.). (2007) Race, class, and gender in the United States: An Integrated Study (6th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.

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