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Tiger Mom's list of superior culture groups

Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law School, is best known for co-authoring the controversial book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother", with husband, Jed Rubenfeld.

Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, with her two daughters.
Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, with her two daughters.online.wsj.com

In the book (published in 2011), the couple argued that Chinese women are superior mothers because they know that the secret to raising superior children is to have an extremely strict household.

Chua, an American raised in the Midwest, uses her Chinese heritage to illustrate the worst stereotypes of Chinese motherhood: rigid, cold, hostile to their own children, and hard to please. The Wall Street Journal published an extract of the couple's first book where Chua called one of her two daughters “garbage” for being rude. She also threatened to give away one daughter's dollhouse if she didn't master a complicated classical composition, and rejected a handmade birthday card because it wasn't good enough.

While their first book criticized the Western way of parenting as the reason for the eventual downfall of the United States, they are back with even more gusto in their new book, "The Triple Package". The couple now offers a list of superior culture groups.

Below is the list in no specific order. Unsurprisingly, Chua and Rubenfeld (who is of Jewish descent) belong to two of the eight groups they deem exceptional:

  • Jewish
  • Indian
  • Chinese
  • Iranian
  • Lebanese-Americans
  • Nigerians
  • Cuban exiles
  • Mormons

The authors claim that these cultural groups possess the three qualities that guarantee wealth and power: a superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control. Here are the brief summaries of these superior traits according to Maureen Callhan's article from the New York Post:

Superiority Complex: Groups that inherently carry a cultural belief that they are superior to other groups are at an advantage.

Insecurity: Insecurity is a key motivator and critical lever to success.

Impulse Control: The authors claim impulse control is "the ability to resist temptation, especially the temptation to give up in the face of hardship or quit instead of persevering at a difficult task".

In response to the criticism of her first book, Amy Chua amicably responded that "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" was misunderstood by the public — that it was supposed to be funny yet addressed America's fear of China.

If that were the case, one can only wonder what the intended emotional response to "The Triple Package" is supposed to be.

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