How my Father and my Brother Influenced my Life

In this paper I explored the lives of two male influences in my life, my dad and my brother. Being that one was born and raised in Brazil and one was born and raised in America, I was interested to learn about their childhood, journey into adulthood, as well as compare their stories to one another. In this interview I will dissect their infancy, their adolescence in reference to relationships, and their adulthood employment and expectations.

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The Dahlgren-Whitehead rainbow model is a framework for human interaction with the environment, it shows us how people are affected by different institution in their lives such as friends, families, and religious groups. According to Andersen chapter 2, institutions include specific participants who share expectations and act in specific roles with rights and duties attached to them. Jader Junior was born July 28th, 1968 in Maceio Alagoas, Brazil. He is one of ten children. He was born and raised in the country side with both his parents and his siblings, 5 girls and 4 boys. Jader’s institutions are exceptionally impacted by Brazilian culture. Culture is a major influence on the organization of social relations, it defines what is appropriate and expected behavior for men and women in society.

Anderson chapter 6, talks about how families often develop kin networks that work as systems of social and economic exchange. Hispanic clans have a major reliance on extended kin such as grandparents. This was the case in Jader Juniors life, both set of grandparents played a crucial role in his upbringing as a child. Andersen also said the family ideal is an ideology; a belief system suggesting that all people should live in nuclear families, that women should have husbands to support them, and that motherhood is women’s major role. Family roles are diverse and often change throughout time, but men and women often experience families in different ways. For Jader Jr., when asked about his roles/responsibilities as a child around the house he said nothing, and neither did his brothers. However, his five sisters needed to help his mother with chorus around the house, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. His father was the financial provider of the house, his mother was a house wife/mom who took care of the home and all who lived there, and the children’s responsibility was to go to school and be good students. This is an example of “separation of spheres”, where women were in charge of the private sphere, home life, and men were in charge of the public sphere, work life.

During Jader Jr’s adolescence, dating systems became centered around hooking up. Andersen chapter 4 refers to “hooking up” as sexual behaviors that includes no ongoing commitment to the other person. In the “Is hooking up bad for young women” reading, the text talked about how hooking up hasn’t replaced committed relationships however, gave dating a new name. In the text, hooking up means” kissing; for others, it means sexual-genital play but not intercourse; and for still others, it means sexual intercourse” (Andersen ch 4). Between the ages of 18-23 Jader Jr took part in this hookup culture. However, it confirms it did not replace serious relationships because at 23 years old, when he met Alessandra, their relationship was defined as serious in hopes of marriage. Both Jader Jr and Alessandra were of the same class system and worked the same job at the mall. This is an example of what the text refers to in chapter 4 as sociological dimension; “all forms of relationships are situated within relationships of power, social institutional structures, and systems of inequality based on the intersections of race, gender, and class.”

In adulthood there was a major shift in events that affected Jader Jr’s life, he moved to The United States of America. The reason for the move was a search for better employment opportunity and better education systems for his newborn child. According to Jader Jr, it was very difficult moving to a new country he didn’t speak the language without any family support. However, he says his expectations were met. He was able to find employment in construction, which was challenging and labor intensive. He would work very early to very late hours. However, it provided him with enough to provide for his family and establish a foundation in this new country. Through gender socialization, different behaviors and attitudes are encouraged and discouraged in men and women. According to the New York Times: Work Culture’s Toll on Families and Gender Equality, men are expected to be devoted to their work “men are required by the culture to be these superheroes, to fulfill this devotion and single -minded commitment to work.”

Jader Neto was born March 2nd, 2004 in Miami Beach, FL. He is one of two children, but the first born US citizen. He was raised in the suburbs/city with both his parents and his sister. Unlike Jader Junior, Jader Neto did not have any extended family in America, like grandparents, while growing up. Some institutions that influence Jader Neto’s life are his family members, school friends, and the music industry (he is a musician). However, he is also impacted by Brazilian culture since his parents raise him as such. Anderson chapter 2 states “gender expectations in a culture are routinely expressed subtly in social interaction”. When Jader Neto was asked about his role/responsibilities around the house as a child, like Jader Jr, he claimed to not have any, except go to school and get good grades. His childhood upbringing can be explained though the social construct of gender; which refers to the many different processes by which the expectations associated with being a boy/man or girl/woman are passed on through society.

Currently in Jader Neto’s adolescence, when asked about the dating system his response was “Dating means going out on dates, such as dinner and movies, with someone you like. You date in order to get to know someone better to see how suited you both are for marriage”. Although he is not yet dating, he sees marriage as the function for dating. When asked how he would select the right person to date he claimed to look for similar interest and physical attraction. “Hooking up and dating are two sides of a coin” reading states “sexual attraction was reported most often as the reason for both hookups and dates”. Jader Neto also shared that socio-economic standing would not influence his attraction for a mate however, if he was dating someone of a higher standing than him he would act more appropriate around them.

Although Jader Neto is not yet of age, we spoke about his expectations for adulthood. When it comes to future responsibilities Jader Neto believes he will assume all financial responsibility over the family as well as help be a part of his children’s upbringing, by playing with them and teaching them musical instruments. As far as keeping the balance between home and work life, Jader Neto said he would not let work come between the family, “If a job required me to move away for a long period I would turn them down”.

In conclusion, I was able to see how culture is a major influence on institutions that shape an individual’s life. I also noticed a major lack of growth regarding the social construct of gender in Brazilian culture. Both Jader Jr and Jader Neto had similar childhood experiences, neither had responsibilities in the house. Both had parents who reinforced the importance of an education however, never instilled a sense of domestic responsibility. Both interviewees also claimed financial responsibility over the family and established breadwinner roles. It could be that Hispanic culture till this day still instills and passes on stigmas from the patriarchy. Overall, it appears that cultural expectations associated with gender heavily impact the experiences of an individual in society.

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How my Father and my Brother Influenced my Life. (2019, Feb 15). Retrieved January 23, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/how-my-father-and-my-brother-influenced-my-life/

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