Tiger Mom, husband fire back on new book - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tiger Mom, husband fire back on new book

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - The Tiger Mom is back. Author and law school professor Amy Chua whose book 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother' was met with resistance and controversy when it was released in 2011 is out with a new book.

'The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America' has been labeled racist.

Chua's husband, Jed Rubenfeld, is a co-author. And like last time, they're defending their research.

Chua and Rubenfeld fired back Monday on FOX 5's morning program Good Day New York saying the book actually draws attention to some of the most successful groups in the United States today including African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

“All we’re doing is making the point that in this tough economy there is this remarkable fact that some groups are still succeeding. The children of dry cleaners and restaurant workers are rising. It might be uncomfortable but we’re saying let’s look at it,” said Rubenfeld.

"This is very much an immigrant phenomenon. How do we capture that sense of drive and spread it to everyone else? We’re not saying that some groups are better. We are saying that at this point in time some groups are hitting it out of the park,” said Chua.

The three traits outlined by the couple are: 1. A sense of exceptionality; 2. A dash of insecurity and 3.  Impulse control.

“It’s not innate. Asian American kids are doing better in their test scores, doing better in their grades, but with third generation Asian American kids there is no difference in their test scores compared to everyone else,” said Rubenfeld.

“Categorically, the groups that don’t do well are those that have been historically subject to the most discrimination. If you’re discriminated against, there are no jobs, people won’t hire you, of course not. I’ve had a lot of support from the African American community. Once they read the book, they say you get that there are problems in our system to fix the inequality. But we also want to know what we can do in our own families,” said Chua.

An emphasis on the value of education is what propels these groups further.

But clinical psychologist and Haitian-American Dr. Jeff Gardere begs to differ. It's not about one culture versus another.

“There are some that say, Amy, you’re not talking enough about the discrimination. You can have all three of these traits but you have to fight the day to day discrimination.  I don’t think that some cultures emphasize it more than others. I think that it comes down to the individual family. There is that equalizer that there is the generational success that people easily fit into that some cultures don’t have it,” said Dr. Gardere.

Rubenfeld acknowledges there is a down side to doing too much, specifically where the emphasis is placed.

"If you can wait for things, if parents can communicate that to kids—the single most important thing and how to do it—that’s what our book is about," said Rubenfeld.


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