Monday, September 3, 2012

Culture Shock and My Research Question

Every study begins with a question, often called the research question. My research question was born out of the clash between my Irish Catholic Mary worshipping culture and the dominant U.S. culture.

In my Irish Catholic World all were welcome in our home. Hobos,as they were called during the depression, who came for a handout, were brought into the kitchen for a meal.  Hospitality was the predominant value of the Immaculate Heart Community of nuns who enveloped our family in angel wings. The dominant value was " Treat all with kindness whether stranger or family."
Mary the Mother of God was the Mother of us all and I was her handmaiden, deeply concerned with the suffering of all God's people yet separated from the ways of the world.

All men and women are children of God and should not be hurt. Sex is never to be talked about. It doesn’t exist in the world of an Irish Catholic child who never questions or challenges this worldview.
I experienced traumatic culture shock when I first discovered the dominant worldview prevailing in America in the 1960s. I became part of the counterculture; I saw in it some of the qualities of my own culture. It is safe to say that I was in no way prepared to be a woman negotiating within the American Cultural Domain. As the journey continues, the clash of cultures will be made clear.

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