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Honors Thesis Archive

Author Maryam Rezayat
Title Conflict Management by Fathers and Sons: A Qualitative Analysis of Korean Americans
Department Communication
Advisor Matthew Smith
Year 2010
Honors University Honors
Full Text View Thesis (314 KB)
Abstract Though research has been performed in the realms of family communication and cultural communication as separate entities, little has been done to merge these two fields together. This paper, in analyzing the conflict styles of fathers and sons who have been raised in two different cultures with dissimilar values, attempts to bridge that gap. With the purpose in mind of generating underlying meaning in this topic area, I made use of ethnographic tools. Through interviewing three Korean father/son dyads and one Korean son who are all currently living in the United States, I have been able to shed light on which styles of conflict fathers make use of, whether or not their sons adopt those conflict styles, and, ultimately, whether the likelihood of the sons adopting the conflict styles of their fathers changes if those styles differ from those characterized as used most frequently by males in the United States. Though I found varying results, in that the conflict styles of some of the sons resemble their fathers' other-oriented approaches, while others do not, it seems as though a shift towards more individualistic, competitive values may be occurring in this younger generation. The implications of this finding remain to be seen as the sons become older and get a more definitive grasp on their identities.

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