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The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Amy Chua , Jed Rubenfeld

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4. Februar 2014
It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others. Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success. Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all.
Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success. The Triple Package is open to anyone. America itself was once a Triple Package culture. It’s been losing that edge for a long time now. Even as headlines proclaim the death of upward mobility in America, the truth is that the oldfashioned American Dream is very much alive—butsome groups have a cultural edge, which enables them to take advantage of opportunity far more than others.
•   Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America’s most successful groups believe (even
if they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen, superior in some way.
•   Americans are taught that self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups,
people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves.
•   America today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control.
But the Triple Package has a dark underside too. Each of its elements carries distinctive pathologies; when taken to an extreme, they can have truly toxic effects. Should people strive for the Triple Package? Should America? Ultimately, the authors conclude that the Triple Package is a ladder that should be climbed and then kicked away, drawing on its power but breaking free from its constraints.

Provocative and profound, The Triple Package will transform the way we think about success and achievement.

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The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America + Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Preis für beide: EUR 18,75

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Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed):
“In their provocative new book, Chua (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) and Rubenfeld (The Interpretation of Murder)—Yale Law professors and spouses—show why certain groups in the U.S. perform better than others. According to the authors, three traits breed success: a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control. Only when this ‘Triple Package’ comes together does it ‘generate drive, grit, and systematic disproportionate group success.’ Supported by statistics and original research….This comprehensive, lucid sociological study balances its findings with a probing look at the downsides of the triple package—the burden of carrying a family’s expectations, and deep insecurities that come at a psychological price.”

Kirkus Reviews:
“Husband and wife professors at Yale Law School explore why some cultural groups in the United States are generally more successful than others. Chua and Rubenfeld argue that each of these groups is endowed with a “triple package” of values that together make for a potent engine driving members to high rates of success….[and] that the U.S. was originally a triple-package nation. However, while Americans still view their country as exceptional, in the last 30 years, the other two parts of the package have gone out the window, replaced by a popular culture that values egalitarianism, self-esteem and instant gratification, creating a vacuum for more motivated groups to fill. On a highly touchy subject, the authors tread carefully, backing their assertions with copious notes. Though coolly and cogently argued, this book is bound to be the spark for many potentially heated discussions.”

National Review Online:
“Thinkers like Chua and Rubenfeld do us a service by reaching beyond the limits of what we can quantify.”
J.D. Vance, National Review Online:
“Their book is a sometimes funny, sometimes academic, and always interesting study of the cultural traits that make some groups outperform others in America. . . . the book asks a very important question: why are some of us doing so much better (or worse) than others? . . . I’m not sure that Chua and Rubenfeld have all the right answers. But I do know that by focusing on people—and the cultures that support and affect them—they’re asking the right questions. That’s more than I can say for most of the social policy experts occupying the airwaves today.”
Logan Beirne,
“Filled with surprising statistics and sociological research. . . .From the nation’s start, Washington and the Founders believed that hard work and sacrifice meant success for the future. This was the start of the American dream. ‘Triple Package’ contends that success is driven not by inborn biology, but is instead propelled by qualities that can be cultivated by all Americans. The book serves as an opportunity to discuss what has helped drive America’s triumphs in the past – and how we might harness this knowledge for our future.
“The book meticulously documents that a variety of subgroups—Chinese, Mormons, Jews, Iranians, Indians, and Nigerians, among others—are higher-achieving than the average American; its 182 pages of text come with more than 100 pages of supporting notes. In analyzing how these groups, all of which identify as outsiders in some way, have done so well, the authors suggest that all Americans might profit from emulating these ‘model minorities.’”
David B. Green, Haaretz (Israel):
“Their book is not racist. For one thing, they are drawing a correlation between success and certain psychological attitudes, not congenital characteristics. They also go out of their way to say that the Triple Package, or the material success it can help people attain, is no guarantee of happiness, and they give plenty of examples of the psychological damage it can do. Even more significantly, there’s no doubt that attitudes – and performance – can and do change over time. . . .As a reader, I enjoyed the extensively sourced statistics and anecdotes that provide the basis for Chua and Rubenfeld’s argument, and was not especially troubled by the fact that “The Triple Package” is not an academic book. For me, its main value is found in the final chapter, in which the authors examine where America has gone wrong.
Business Traveller (UK):
“The titles of these forces explain what they are clearly enough, although the detail is intriguing. As you'd expect, it's the individuals who have emerged from these groups that provide the best stories, however. . . .Interestingly, the authors are nuanced on what constitutes "success" and point out that there is a dark underside to the ‘advantages’ that those in these groups ‘enjoy’. . . .It's hard to argue with the quantative and qualitative data amassed here… By and large, successful people are very ambitious, and don't mind you knowing the fact (they also often invite you to celebrate their success). The authors are very good in their descriptions of this sort of ego. It is also an enjoyable read, and one which really should not be criticised for the wrong reasons. I think many will nod in agreement. . . .a dose of common sense, rather like Amy Chua's previous book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”
Kavaree Bamzai, India Today:
“[the book] is implicitly critical of America's instant gratification disorder, and highlights the death of upward mobility among Americans. . . . The Triple Package is both a self-affirming anthem for those who need it as well as an anthropological exercise to understand what is going wrong with post-millenial America.”
Will Pavia, The Times (UK):
The Triple Package is backed up with reams of research and qualifications. They tiptoe mirthlessly over cultural egg shells yet still manage to stir up controversy."
Katie Roiphe, Financial Times (UK):
“Chua and Rubenfeld’s explosive new meditation on success, The Triple Package, has already begun to enrage people, even those who, by their own admission, haven’t read it but have simply heard about how shocking it is.”
The Independent (UK):
“The book is not racist – it is well-written; seductive.”
Matthew Syed, The Times (UK), Book of the Week:
“One of the most controversial books of recent years ... the authors are to be commended for dealing with a controversial subject, and for revealing some deep truths. It deserves a wide audience.”
Emma Brockes, The Guardian (UK):
“A lot to find interesting ... They draw on eye-opening studies of the influence of stereotypes and expectations on various ethnic and cultural groups ... The authors’ willingness to pursue an intellectual inquiry that others wouldn’t is bracing.”
Jenni Russell, Sunday Times (UK):
Provocative ... If you care at all about the social pressures underpinning success and failure, or relish fresh perspectives on how societies really work, you will want to read this.”
Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph (UK):
“The authors have already been accused of racism, mostly by people who haven’t read the book ... Powerful, passionate and very entertaining.”
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld are professors at Yale Law School. Chua, one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, is the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which unleashed a firestorm debate about the cultural value of self-discipline, as well as the bestselling World on Fire. Rubenfeld examined the political dangers of “living in the moment” in Freedom and Time; he is also the author of the international bestseller The Interpretation of Murder.

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting But Overly Simplistic Thesis 15. Februar 2014
Von The Agnostic Apatheist - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
"The Triple Package" is an attempt by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld to explain the economic success of certain ethnic groups. Their thesis is that the economic success of these groups can be adequately explained by three cultural traits (NOT genetic or racial characteristics). These three traits are a superiority complex, a sense of insecurity, and impulse control. The authors focus on the following successful groups: Indian, Iranian, Lebanese, Nigerian, Cuban, Chinese, Mormons, and Jews. They contrast these groups from African Americans, Hispanics, and the general American population.

Claims of Racism:
First, let me begin by stating that "The Triple Package" is NOT a racist book as portrayed by the media. Nor is it a "semi-racist" book as one reviewer put it. At no place in the book do the authors assert that certain racial or ethnic groups are intrinsically superior - although they do claim that successful ethnic groups may view themselves as superior or privileged in some way. Nor do the authors assert that certain racial or ethnic groups are intrinsically inferior to another group. In fact, the authors explicitly claim that key cultural features explain a group's economic success, and that such success is not the result of genetics or any inherent racial or ethnic characteristic. Thus, anyone who states that the authors are making racist claims - i.e. asserting the inherent racial superiority (or inferiority) of one group over another -- has simply not read the book or has severe difficulties with simple reading comprehension.

Second, many of the negative reviewers seem to dismiss the empirical information the authors present. That is, it is an empirical fact that many immigrant groups tend to achieve high levels of economic success in America. This is clearly observable in American society. In many cases, success is achieved despite arriving in America with little money, with few or no connections, and even under oppressive conditions. The authors focus on a handful of groups -- Indian, Iranian, Lebanese, Nigerian, Cuban, Chinese, Mormons, and Jews. However, the authors could've also mentioned other ethnic groups, such as the German immigrants of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Japanese, or the South Koreans. In fact, many of the same facts have been expressed by Stanford economist, Thomas Sowell, and George Mason University professor, Walter Williams. Both Sowell and Williams are African American.

Moreover, while the authors of "The Triple Package" are criticized for mentioning that Mexican Americans and African Americans are economically unsuccessful groups, their points were not intended as racist attacks. The authors could've easily mentioned the early Irish immigrants to make the same points. During the early 20th century, it was not uncommon to see help wanted signs stating, "No Irish Need Apply". In fact, many Irish business owners themselves preferred to hire non-Irish whites. It was said the Irish were prone to excessive drinking, fighting on the job, and general unreliability. These behaviors are all examples of poor impulse control. And it was not unusual for employers to prefer a "black man" to an Irish man, according to Sowell in his book, "The Economics and Politics of Race". Not surprisingly, such behaviors held back the Irish for a long time compared to their non-Irish counterparts -- the Germans and the English.

Some criticisms of the book...

1) Correlation is not Causation:
The authors' thesis is really an argument based on correlation; that is, there are three cultural traits correlated with economic success. From this starting point, they jump to the conclusion that these traits are complete and sufficient explanations for the success of certain ethnic groups. However, correlation is not causation. Observing that three traits are correlated with success is not the same as claiming that they are sufficient explanations or causes for the success. The latter requires proof, and I didn't think the authors did a very good job of providing that proof. Ice cream sales and the incidence of drowning are positively correlated, but it would be wrong to conclude that ice cream consumption causes drowning. Rather, more people eat ice cream and more people swim during the summer months.

2) Poor Argumentation:
The authors are careful to state that the absence of these "success" traits is not the cause of poverty. Instead, they point the finger at other factors, such as discrimination and exploitation - African American slavery being the most salient example. But this seems like a planned, politically correct response to avoid offending certain ethnic groups. I don't think the authors actually believe their own statement. For if you accept their thesis, it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that an absence of these so-called "success" traits are the cause of economic poverty.

Here's the problem. Other ethnic groups have also experienced discrimination and exploitation, but have found ways to rise to economic prominence. The Jews and the Chinese come immediately to mind. Have the authors forgotten that 6 million Jews were murdered during World War II? Do they not know that Jewish discrimination in Europe can be traced back to Medieval Times? Or that as many as 20,000 Chinese (by some estimates) were murdered in Malaysia in just a few days due to racial tensions and Malaysian animosity toward the Chinese? Nonetheless, the Jews and the Chinese have achieved phenomenal success wherever they settled. The authors would say that the three "success" traits are present in these groups, which enabled them to overcome discrimination and exploitation. But isn't this the same as saying that the absence of these traits in other groups are the cause for their poverty? After all, according to the authors, if the traits were present then these groups would not be poor.

The authors also claim that all three "success" traits must be present. If just one of these traits is missing, then economic success may not be achievable. Interestingly, I couldn't help but notice that the authors didn't mention non-Chinese Asian groups, such as South Koreans, Filipinos, or Vietnamese. On what foundation would a superiority complex rest for these groups? For most of their history, they were dominated by other nations. There was no great civilization in their past that they can point to or admire, at least nothing comparable to the glory days of the ancient Persian or Chinese empires. And they make no claims to being a "chosen" people like the Jews. Nonetheless, these groups are very successful in American society. How do the authors account for this?

3) Alternative Considerations:
Common sense and experience might get you to accept that impulse control is good and that insecurity can motivate a person to excel (to prove oneself), but the authors do not seem to consider other more direct explanations for a group's success. For example, nearly all of these successful groups rose to economic prominence by one of two routes - higher education or self-employment. Perhaps it was the value these groups placed on education or the chosen path of entrepreneurship that explains their success. This is what economist Thomas Sowell claims in his book, "The Economics and Politics of Race." It's true that impulse control plays an important role when pursuing a higher education or trying to launch a business; however, it is less clear that a superiority complex or a sense of insecurity is a requirement for success.

Perhaps these successful groups came to America with existing human capital, which they used to their advantage and imparted to their children. By human capital, I mean the collective set of individual attributes, personality traits, knowledge, skills, and competencies that produce economic value. This certainly seems to be the case with the Cuban Exiles versus the New Cuban immigrants. There is little doubt that people from different socioeconomic groups have different traits, knowledge, and skill sets (on the whole) -- in other words, human capital. The former had human capital of economic value, coming from the higher echelons of Cuban society. The latter lacked human capital, having come from poorer Cuban social classes. As a result is it really surprising that the former was successful in America, while the latter are not much better than other Hispanic groups? Can the authors really assert that they have narrowed down the entirety of such success to just three traits or factors?

4) Poorly Structured References:
The book makes a lot of claims and quotes from various sources, but there are no footnotes or easily traceable end notes (at least not in the e-book version). End notes do exist but it is not in a traditional format, thus, I found it more cumbersome to locate information. Moreover, many of their claims were taken from tertiary sources, rather than from original published articles. And in a few cases, I found the claims a bit exaggerated from what was stated in the original articles.

5) Writing Style:
As far as writing style, the book is a very easy read. It was relatively free of spelling errors and grammar mistakes, and there was no ambiguity in the content. Nothing made me question what the authors meant by a particular term, phrase, or sentence. However, I felt the book was intended for someone with no more than an 8th grade reading level. I realize that an 8th grade reading level will reach the widest audience (according to some studies); nonetheless, I felt this limitation made the writing style wearisome and irritating at times (at least for me).

In summary, the book's thesis is provocative. The authors are bold to tackle this topic, given the predictable back lash and misrepresentation in the media. However, I think their argumentation leaves much to be desired. The book is okay, but there are far superior books that tackle this idea of culture and economic success. I would recommend reading Thomas Sowell's book, "The Economics and Politics of Race" and Theodore Dalrymple's "Life at the Bottom". These books are better written and more convincingly argued. And unlike Chua and Rubenfeld, these authors only make the general claim that culture is a significant contributing factor in a group's economic success. They do not try to assert that a specific number of traits or a particular set of traits is sufficient to explain it all.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Addresses the 'Elephant in the Room' 4. Februar 2014
Von Loyd E. Eskildson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Why do some rise from humble beginnings to great achievements, while many others don't? Finally, we get someone with credibility to expose the elephant in the room - the fact that some cultures are far more successful in fostering academic achievement than others. Granted, academic achievement is far from being the sole determinant of success, no matter how you might define that term, but it certainly is key ingredient to STEM success, as well as having the opportunity and ability to launch a Silicon Valley startup - talents we're sorely lacking vs. many of our Asian competitors. Obvious 'more successful' cultures - those of Chinese/Japanese/South Korean (Confucianism followers) origin, as well as others with significant Jewish heritage - plain as day to all of us high-school students decades ago. Authors Chua/Rubenfeld also add several other groups, including Indian-Americans. Indian-American pupils have won the Scripps National Spelling Bee 11 out of the last 15 years, including the last six years straight.

More specifics: Of the 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars in 2012, 48 were Asian Americans (52 in 2011) - mostly Chinese and Indian. Asian-American SAT scores average 143 points of the U.S. average - including 63 points over whites, and that gap is increasing. While just 5% of the population, they comprise 19% of the undergraduates at Harvard, 16% at Yale, 19% at Princeton, 19% at Stanford, and many suspect there's a 'glass ceiling' that limits their admissions below what they would be based on National Merit Scholarships and SAT scores. Intel Science Talent Searches over the last five years have picked 23 Asian-Americans (mostly Indian and Chinese) of the top 50. Asians and Asian-Americans represent 30-50% of enrollees in leading U.S. music programs, while all four Americans first-prize winners at the quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Competition (likely the world's most prestigious) were Asian-Americans. Indian-Americans have the highest median household income of any Census-tracked ethnic group in the U.S. Taiwanese and Chinese households are close behind. Since 1965, Indian-Americans have won 3 Nobel prizes and Chinese-Americans 6.

Pepsi, Sun Microsystems, MasterCard, United Airlines, Motorola, Adobe Systems, Citigroup, Citibank, HSBC North America, McKinsey, U.S. Airways, and now Microsoft have current or recent American-Indian CEOs. American-Indian immigrants such as Vinod Khosla have founded more Silicon Valley startups than the next four immigrant groups combined (Britain, Taiwan, China, Japan). Bobby Jihdal and Nikki Haley are governors, Fareed Zakaria, Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Sanjay Gupta are well-known leaders in the media and medicine.

Then there's the Jewish-American population, 1.7% of the total. Four of the top-ten paid 2011 CEOs were Jewish Americans, four of the top-ten hedge-fund managers, and 20 of the top 50 on the Forbes 2009 list of wealthiest Americans. They also comprise 51% of Pulitzer-prize winners for non-fiction and 13% for fiction, 37% of Academy Award winners for best director, 13% of M.D.s, three of the nine Supreme Court judges, and 36% of U.S. Nobel-winners. World-wide, Jews comprise only 0.2% of the population, while being awarded 20% of the Nobel prizes.

Stuyvesant, one of the best U.S. high schools, new students in 2013 included 9 blacks, 24 Latinos, 177 whites, 640 Asians. Bronx Science, another NC super high-school, has a student body made up of 64% Asian-Americans - yet, most Chinese immigrants are not admitted via skill or education criteria. NYC offers free tutoring for poor families - 43% of recipients, yet they only make up 14% of the total student population.

The 'secret' of all these successful cultures is no secret - hard work, backed up by parental support. Indian-Americans have formed self-help groups in their communities that help their children in academics and science/computer/electronic ventures; a weekend trip to my local university library invariably shows it largely filled with Asian students, despite their comprising only a small fraction of total enrollees. And I still remember my Jewish high-school peers - all good students, and committed to learning. (Unfortunately, I was neither.)

'Triple Threat' digs into this subject deeper than most, showing that the superior results of some cultures aren't simply an artifact of eg. immigrants being rich. Another interesting finding - Nigerians comprise < 1% of the U.S. black population, yet number over a quarter of the black students at Harvard Business School. (And yes, I can almost unerringly identify Nigerian blacks - they're the ones that usually demonstrate a much better work ethic than my own. Embarrassing.)

Three traits, when combined, propel these more successful cultures, per Chua/Rubenfeld: 1)A superiority complex, 2)Insecurity - a sense that they haven't done good enough, and 3)Impulse control - the ability to defer immediate gratification to instead build a better personal future. I'm skeptical of the 'superiority aspect' they cite - I can't ever recall anyone from those groups acting superior, except possibly out of frustration that others don't exert comparable efforts and then complain they're 'picked on' or 'discriminated against.' The inadequacy aspect - that's been repeatedly demonstrated by others such as the late Professor Stevenson at the University of Michigan who compared parental attitudes, pupil effort, and pupil achievement between the U.S., Taiwan, China, and Japan. (American parents were satisfied with their pupils' progress and our students relatively dumb but happy - completely the opposite in Asia. Impulse control has been linked to higher lifetime achievement previously.

Bottom-Line: 'Triple Threat' is provocative and brings at least a temporary roll-back of PC blindness. It is not the first to do so. Hopefully, us 'happy Americans' will not toss it off as offensive and racist. Fat chance - too many knee-jerk 'thought leaders' will see it as 'radioactive' and try to boost their ratings by dissing it.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Read the entire book before you judge 5. Februar 2014
Von Admiral Wen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
People love to paint arguments that they don't like as racist or culturally supremacist. I challenge those who are skeptical to read the entire book and judge it based on what's within its pages, rather than what the media is portraying the author to be. Chua certainly could have put her argument more tactfully, and I believe she should have. But her underlying points are sound. I'll try to explain.

No doubt many critics will attack Chua and Rubenfeld for a narrow definition of success. While it's true that "success" is defined in different ways by different people, that's not the point of this book. Chua and Rubenfeld readily acknowledge that academic achievement and high income don't automatically indicate success, that a fulfilling life has many more aspects than a prestigious school or career. The authors are sparking a much-needed conversation about culture and education, about child raising, and yes, about how the differences in these things across ethic divides can have profound effects on future generations and on this country as a whole.

Chua says the three traits are "superiority", "insecurity", and "impulse control". Her choice of words here can no doubt be better, but once again it's the underlying premise that we should be considering. In a way, Chua is saying that we should check our self-esteem with modesty, continuously seek to learn and improve, and balance daily gratification with long-term investment. The "Triple Package", whether you believe in the term or not, are traits that can be attained by all people for their own individual definitions of success, not just to pursue academic success.

It's simply not fair to say that the authors failed to address all possible definitions of success, or to brandish them as racists, especially when they specifically reject the notion that certain races or religions have a genetic or even a cultural edge. That said, negative responses are understandable given the controversial tone and word choice. Perhaps the diction was purposely selected to sound controversial in order to sell copies, a choice that readers dislike but authors practice nonetheless.

In short, I agree with the fundamental premise of Chua's argument, but I dislike her delivery.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Review:Title: “profoundly empathetic – contrary to reviews by readers who obviously never read the book” 18. Februar 2014
Von Inna - Veröffentlicht auf
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I just finished reading this book, and was extremely moved by authors’ empathetic description of the various immigrants’ experiences. Chua and Rubenfeld delve deep into the immigrants’ experiences of being an “outsider” and their feelings of humiliation when faced with discrimination and negative stereotypes. I found the description of the Cuban Exiles who fled Cuba between 1959 and 1973 – to be particularly insightful. Many of these exiles lost all their wealth when fleeing Castro, and ended up working as waiters in Miami. The authors describe how this loss of their previous status (“status-collapse”) not only created strong insecurity, but the type of insecurity that would serve as a powerful motivational drive to succeed.

Some critics of the book have questioned whether the real reason for the Cuban Exiles’ success story in the U.S. has to do with the fact that many of them came from economically privileged backgrounds in their home countries. These critics miss the authors’ more subtle point: “Scorn, contempt, and above all resentment: These levers of motivation, so well-known in literature, are wholly uncaptured by the useful but bland terms “human capital” and “social capital.” Chua and Rubenfeld then provide a much deeper, more nuanced account for what drove the Cuban Americans to spectacular success. They describe how the Cuban Exiles’ plummet in status was itself an additional blow and extra goad to succeed. They discuss how having capital and wealth alone is never enough for success in a capitalist society: you also need drive, and resentment fuels drive. Chua and Rubenfeld go on to describe how for many immigrant groups the sudden traumatic experience of loss of status, disrespect and scorn served as powerful motivators.

As a Russian immigrant, I believe that Chua and Rubenfeld’s focus on “status collapse” captures exactly what I myself experienced; and how this traumatic loss of status explains much more profoundly my own drive to succeed in the US (much more, say, than the mere fact that we possessed “human capital” – terms used by the usual run-of-the-mill sociologists.) I personally arrived as a refugee with no money or papers. I ended up graduating from University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude and ultimately obtained a Harvard PhD. Most of my drive came directly from the psychological feeling of insecurity and "status collapse" I experienced - feelings that were traumatizing at the time, but which also formed the basis of my drive to succeed.

Also, I cannot understand how critics could possibly mischaracterize the authors for somehow “promoting” some cultures over others. In fact, the book does the very opposite. It focuses on not so much the intrinsic “culture” of the immigrant groups (be they Nigerian or Cuban or Indian), but on the fact that these communities managed to CREATE POWERFUL NARRATIVES OF PRIDE, and in this sense reversed the degrading experience of negative stereotypes that prevailed against their groups. If anything, the book is optimistic and uplifting for ALL groups, for it talks about how any individual can defy the existing cultural narratives about their own groups, and instead “write their own scripts.” One of my favorite lines in the book is: “Families and whole communities can create narratives of pride that reject the master narratives of their society, or turn those narratives around, reversing their meaning.”

Overall, a much more deep and insightful book than your usual “sociological” treatise on immigrants.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Controversial book.... but why?? 1. März 2014
Von Paul E. Hanna - Veröffentlicht auf
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I must say right off that for the life of me I can't understand why this book has provoked such controversy and been under attack so much.
Amy Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, both professors of Law at Yale Law school have done a very competent job of documenting their thesis that certain groups ie... Mormons, Jews, Chinese, Cuban Americans, Indian Americans, Iranians Lebanese-Americans, and Nigerians who have migrated to the United States tend to do much better academically and economically than other ethnic racial and cultural groups...Their "Triple Package" is individuals in these groups who have three common traits: a sense of superiority or exceptionality, a feeling of inferiority, and impulse control. The first two traits would appear to be in contradiction, but Chua and Rubenfeld point out that these 2 traits ironically lead to the success of these groups... A common theme in their research findings is the fact that immigrants to this country such as Chinese, Iranians, Indians, Cubans, and Nigerians have a very strong work ethic that encourages them to succeed both in school and in the workplace. And, they point out, unfortunately many members of ethnic and cultural groups who have been in this country for generations lack these three traits that are largely responsible for the academic and economic success of those who have come here in recent decades.
They note how some of the policies of the federal and state governments since the 1960's have actually hampered many in the underperforming groups to do better.
Their solution for the decline in educational standards and performance in our nation is actually quite simple: a return to a strong work ethic among our young people which can be strongly encouraged by a great deal of parental involvement. This will encourage our young people to do better in school... They call for the raising not lowering of academic expectations in our schools if we are to regain a position of leadership in the world like we had in the first half of the 20th century.
Not to be over confident their study has shown that 3rd generation students in the above groups in many cases begin to do less well in school... They cite the beginning of less parental involvement as a major reason for this.
The authors cite over and over again the current American ethos of living and enjoying the present and a lack of concern and interest in the future as a major reason for our decline. The United States today is not a "Triple Package" Culture" as they put it; instead the stress is put on instant gratification which has sapped the educational vitality of our people... Of course we still have outstanding students who to go Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and the like... but unfortunately they are vastly outnumbered by those who barely finish high school. At present 20 % of high school students drop out.
Rather than this book being critical of any cultural, racial or ethnic group it is rather a clarion call for a return to the work and study ethic of previous generations... They conclude the book with these words: "the real promise of a Triple Package America is the promise of a day when there are no longer any successful groups in the United States.............only successful individuals"
This book is a great thought provoker.. The reader will probably conclude like I did that the causes of educational and economic success is really quite simple: it is a return to a strong work ethic, study ethic, and the willingness to control one's impulses today so that one may have a much brighter future.. socially, economically, hopefully with a sense of happiness which, of course, academic and economic success cannot guarantee, but may assist.
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