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Member of different generations and exposed to different cultural and socialization experiences my mother and I have different conceptions of the ideal mate Born and raised in the Philippines in the 1950s my mothers idea of the perfect mate is quite reflective of her social environment this differs from my experiences as a child of the eighties raised in Canada Although we are both women the social construction of womanhood as well as the cultural reality we have both respectively encountered represents dramatic contrasts In this paper I will be examining and demonstrating the differences in our respective processes of acculturation and socialization by looking at the perceptions we have regarding the ideal mate Offering important insights into the process of socialization the social constructivist theory proves useful in analysing how both my mother and I are products of our social environment and how this shaped our conception or depiction of the perfect mate While this comparison is one that demonstrates considerable contrasts there are also some meaningful similarities between these ideals Social Constructivism The social constructivist perspective is one that seeks to understand how our experience is constructed through our interaction with culture and society According to Ambert 2006 various phenomena that are taken for granted and seem natural are actually culturally defined or socially constructed p 18 In terms of the social construction of a womans ideal mate there are social economic political aesthetic and interpersonal influences that construct this ideal in our minds Certainly my mother grew up in a period that represents a different culture than the one I have experienced Even today though we inhabit the same society she is a member of an aging adult culture known as the Baby Boomers while I am a member of a culture that has been referred to as Generation X An effective definition of culture is provided by Barber 2003 in her own study of gender and family constructions in Cape Breton
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