With so many individuals, couples, and families now living in the United States from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, there are various communication styles among the different ethnic groups that play a key role in determining the success and failure of today's marriages and family relationships.
Throughout the years of personal struggles as a formal political refugee from Southeast Asia, the author survived many levels of challenges, such as escaping from Laos to Thailand to be freed from political persecution, surviving in a refugee camp from sicknesses and hunger, coming to America with zero English skill, in order to become a language instructor, marriage and family counselor, and Mien language and cultural consultant.
The combined years of his research and personal experiences in working with individuals, couples, and families from different cultural, social, and educational settings, he has the honor and privilege to write this book, with practical implications for individuals, couples, parents, pastors, community leaders, counselors, educators, and researchers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book should appeal to marriage counselors and to all scholars of South East Asian studies. But more than that it should be very helpful to anyone who is a parent, a spouse, or a child. That is because it gives so much helpful instruction toward improving communication and relationships within marriages and families. It is unique in that it compares the problems and solutions of western family situations with those of the cultures of S.E. Asia and especially with those of the Mien peoples. The author is himself a Mien. He came with his parents and siblings to USA as a refugee after the Vietnam War. The Iu-Mien people number nearly 1,500,000 in S.E. Asia and over 30,000 in North America. Dr. Chao has made a strong effort to give a balanced comparison of family life among S.E. Asians (both in Asia and in the west) with the norms in the west. This approach helps us to compare our own situations with those of peoples of a much different culture. It is thus of value to family counselors and to other scholars. It will be especially beneficial to all Mien, whether young or old, both in Asia and in the west. Mien couples can improve their marriages! Mien parents can learn how to improve their relationships with their children! And Mien children can learn how to understand and get along better with their parents and grandparents! Many of the older generation of Mien in the west are still adhering to the cultural mores of life in isolated mountain villages in Laos. But younger Mien in western countries, with all of their smartphones and designer jeans, are living in a completely different world. The "cultural gap" is often wider than the "generation gap" about which we of the west so often grieve. Thus this book is appropriately titled, "Intercultural Communication." The subtitle also is fitting. It says, "Impacts on Marriage and Family Relationships." I pray that it will indeed have a powerful IMPACT for the better in Mien homes and communities. For those of us who strive to use our English language according to what is currently considered to be "proper," I would like to add this word. We should remember when we see an occasional deviation from how we would normally write that this author did not learn English nor did he have opportunities for any formal education until he was well along in years. And those differences attest to the fact that this volume is indeed the work of a scholar from SE Asia.