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#1597219 - 01/14/11 09:04 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: RonaldSteinway]  
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Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway

Since you are in the Psychology field, you should do some study and then write a paper on this Chinese way of learning piano phenomena. We know that there have been so many successful results from utilizing this force method of learning piano.


On the other hand, what I heard is that there is a huge uproar within the Chinese-American community in the past week in response to the WSJ article, many of these are first-generation immigrants. Many think that what the article portrays is extreme parenting, and most Chinese moms are not this extreme. I've heard that even mainland China parents are discussing this article, and many of them also think this is Chinese parenting's extreme case.

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#1597222 - 01/14/11 09:07 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Akira]  
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Originally Posted by Akira
Surprising views, coming from an American-born Chinese and also married to a (non-Chinese) American.

I would have imagined her views, in the extreme, would lie somewhere between immigrant Asian and Western (stereotypical) parenting.

It's as if, she is an immigrant herself. She's not.


I know a number of first-generation Asian parents. I know no one who doesn't allow TV, video game, play dates and such. Almost all of their kids do sports. But it is also true that almost all of these kids learn piano and do extra math workbooks. First-generation immigrants come in all types, and there isn't a "first-generation parenting" style that everyone uses.

#1597242 - 01/14/11 09:55 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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I just need to say that I disagree wholeheartedly with Mrs. Chua. Demanding nothing but perfection from kids will lead to unhappinness. They may have perfect report cards and stunning piano recitals, but we are a country full of high-achieving people who are also depressed and suicidal, a record number of whom take prescription medication for anxiety and depression. I am one of those individuals - driven by the need to be perfect and fear of failure is my biggest enemy - all instilled into me by my parents. I had to had perfect grades, never slept over at friend's houses (didn't have friends), never did extracurricular activities (no music either) that wasn't schoolwork related. These are the types of adults Mrs. Chua will raise if she continues to pressure her kids for perfection. I am successful by all account, but I don't feel it! Happiness does NOT follow success as Mrs. Chua proposes.

#1597259 - 01/14/11 10:30 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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I just read a response by Ms. Chua, which rectifies a misperception. The end of the long paragraph which probably shouldn't be quoted alone:
Quote
...But I also know of people raised with “tough love” who are not happy and who resent their parents. There is no easy formula for parenting, no right approach (I don’t believe, by the way, that Chinese parenting is superior—a splashy headline, but I didn’t choose it). The best rule of thumb I can think of is that love, compassion and knowing your child have to come first, whatever culture you’re from. It doesn’t come through in the excerpt, but my actual book is not a how-to guide; it’s a memoir, the story of our family’s journey in two cultures, and my own eventual transformation as a mother. Much of the book is about my decision to retreat from the strict “Chinese” approach, after my younger daughter rebelled at 13...

Amy Chua, response

It seems that her purpose was to get parents to think about what they are doing, and discuss the issue, which she certainly has managed to do!
link - Amy Chua responds.....


Last edited by keystring; 01/14/11 10:35 AM.
#1597290 - 01/14/11 11:25 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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What an excellent way to sell books!

Begin aggressively, which catches lots of attention as it causes so many people to catch their breath. Her WSJ piece is still near the top of the list for being viewed, emailed, and linked.

The furor created by your aggressive in-your-face approach generates thousands of comments, many of which are quite hostile. This allows the newspaper to offer you a second page to explain more fully.

In your explanation you backpedal artfully and move confidently back toward the sensible center. This allows you to sweep in people who are intrigued by your approach and your thoughts, but who were somewhat put off by the initial harsh edge.

It's brilliant marketing.

#1597314 - 01/14/11 12:03 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
It's brilliant marketing.

Ya. Nothing sells like controversy. I wish I had her publicist when marketing my own book. smile


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#1597330 - 01/14/11 12:20 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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#1597355 - 01/14/11 01:01 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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To the posts that claim this type of parenting does not occur, or are extremely rare, it is because of this type of attitude that more people do not speak out. It occurs often enough that there are psychologists who specialize in this immigrant Asian-American issue.

This is one of the best threads I've seen in response to the WSJ article which includes people have enough courage to share their own experiences: http://www.quora.com/Parenting/Is-A...-in-an-op-ed-in-the-Wall-Street-Journal

#1597365 - 01/14/11 01:10 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: RonaldSteinway]  
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Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted by liszt85
Originally Posted by Monica K.

Contrary to popular belief, aggressive tendencies overall are associated with higher levels of self-esteem (see recent reviews by Roy Baumeister).


I would look up those reviews if only my graduate program's workload let me. However, being a graduate student in Psychology, I'm wary of such findings that claim "correlations" or "associations". There's always some other variable that people haven't controlled for. There's always a statistical issue at hand, whose philosophical implications if thought through, might show that such analyses are not conclusive in the least. Then of course the issue of individual differences. Most people average data over subjects hoping that all that they haven't controlled for would get "averaged out" as noise (which is obviously false because those uncontrolled variables are not random variables). So I have my reservations about this type of finding, that pervades all(most) of the social psych literature right now.


Since you are in the Psychology field, you should do some study and then write a paper on this Chinese way of learning piano phenomena. We know that there have been so many successful results from utilizing this force method of learning piano.


Didn't you call me a crazy and dumb psychologist via PM? (your exact words). So why this request now unless you're preparing for yet another flame war?


Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
#1597396 - 01/14/11 01:56 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Maybe an overly provocative article to sell books as people say, but I found it interesting as Chinese (and Korean and some other nationalities) parenting is clearly different, but I don't know enough parents of these nationalities to know quite how. I don't feel sorry for the author's children - it sounds like they may have the best of both worlds.

The one place where I think her method of parenting goes wrong is never allowing the kid to fail or make their own mistakes. I think this can have dire consequences for the kids when they are grown.

I didn't read too many of the replies, but I wanted to reply to one of the earliest replies asking "What would she do if she had a disabled kid?" I was just reading an article about autistic kids in China. I guess there are special schools for autistic children, but the schools are for teaching the parents as well as the children, so the parents attend with the children. This is very hard on the family, because the schools are in the city, and it's difficult to afford to live in the city on one income, but of course one parent is always with the child, not bringing in an income. I think Chinese parents are greatly under-appreciated in the west! We just see, "Oh, the parents want the kids to excel so it reflects well on the parents" and not, "These parents will do just about anything to help their children succeed".

Last edited by Soozen; 01/14/11 02:12 PM.
#1597433 - 01/14/11 02:52 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
What an excellent way to sell books!

Begin aggressively, which catches lots of attention as it causes so many people to catch their breath. Her WSJ piece is still near the top of the list for being viewed, emailed, and linked.

The furor created by your aggressive in-your-face approach generates thousands of comments, many of which are quite hostile. This allows the newspaper to offer you a second page to explain more fully.

In your explanation you backpedal artfully and move confidently back toward the sensible center. This allows you to sweep in people who are intrigued by your approach and your thoughts, but who were somewhat put off by the initial harsh edge.

It's brilliant marketing.


I agree this is a brilliant marketing tactic. I read the whole book, the book does not have the kind of flame as what depicted in the WSJ article.
But from here, we can tell that she does everything to perfection, even the way she markets her book.

Who knew Amy Chua a week ago? Nobody....But now, everybody knows about her...

Last edited by RonaldSteinway; 01/14/11 02:54 PM.
#1597457 - 01/14/11 03:28 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Yeah, I should have thought of this in marketing my own book ... smile

#1597528 - 01/14/11 05:51 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Yeah, I should have thought of this in marketing my own book ... smile


"Why PhD Blue Devil Fathers are Superiour to Homo Erectus Fathers"?

An excerpt:

"While the PhD Blue Devil Father will accept nothing less than their son's being picked First Team All American in basketball, even while majoring in Piano Performance, the Homo Erectus father is satisfied watching junior smash fruits and vegetables with various bones from their latest kill. This dichotomy of parenting techniques will inevitably lead to son of the former being drafted in the first round by the NY Knicks while the son of the latter settles for the life of a hunter gatherer".

#1597556 - 01/14/11 06:47 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: miaeih]  
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Originally Posted by miaeih
To the posts that claim this type of parenting does not occur, or are extremely rare, it is because of this type of attitude that more people do not speak out. It occurs often enough that there are psychologists who specialize in this immigrant Asian-American issue.

This is one of the best threads I've seen in response to the WSJ article which includes people have enough courage to share their own experiences: http://www.quora.com/Parenting/Is-A...-in-an-op-ed-in-the-Wall-Street-Journal


If you admit it, ----see, you admitted it! And if you don’t, that’s because you are too ashamed to. Great.

#1597598 - 01/14/11 08:01 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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The latest offspring of Chua's article .....

In Defense of the Guilty, Ambivalent, Preoccupied, Western Mom

#1597602 - 01/14/11 08:04 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Quote
"Why PhD Blue Devil Fathers are Superiour to Homo Erectus Fathers"?


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#1597675 - 01/14/11 09:55 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Somewhere, Lang Lang's father is smiling smile

#1597914 - 01/15/11 09:25 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.

Your thoughts?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...13528698754.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read


I read that article last Saturday evening, a week ago. It's taken me this long to settle down about it.

I felt angry.
I felt sad.
I felt insecure.

I teach mostly Chinese students and I love my families. So this was particularly offensive since I knew it would drum up jealousy and anger and envy of the Chinese and their perceived success and perceived flaws.

So that explains the anger and sadness.

But I also had to think about my own values. The article brought questions to mind:

1. What matters in the big picture? After all, we all get put six feet under in time. So what makes life worthwhile during the short time we've got?

2. Have I set my standards high enough?

I decided I'd slacked off too much regarding piano for my son. I talked to my son and had one brief battle. His piano practice requirement has now been restored to 30 minutes of daily practice. And he's not fighting me over it. Each day this week he has practiced 30 minutes. (Not an aggressive approach, but suitable for him and his level of interest.)

Yes, I allow way too much XBox Live time. Yet he is an only child and can talk (using his headset) to friends and a cousin...socializing and having online battles where they are on the same team working together. Not saying it's a good thing...but has some positives.

I've thought A's and a few B's were good enough. So I felt insecure over not requiring A's. And with exquisite timing my son's report card came home and for once during his middle school years there he was with straight A's. laugh

I have a new 3rd grade student (had 2 lessons) and as she waited for her lesson to begin I saw she was reading book 4 of the Potter series. I commented and mother explained she is competing to have the most AR points at her school. That there is one child ahead of her. And if she wins she will be allowed to have a cat.

I would never have thought to try to get the most points. Why would you do that? What is the point? Now if a child said "I want to win" and goes for it, I can understand going along with that. But here was again evidence that people have different values from me. Not saying good or bad. Different.

This same 3rd grader came to her 2nd lesson and admitted she had not practiced and said "But my sister didn't practice either" (five year old sister). What I'm hoping to do is to turn some of the competitive spirit regarding reading toward practicing piano. We'll see. Her first lesson she kind of had an "Oh, brother, this is baby stuff" attitude (unspoken of course). She seemed to have the attitude of an older child and not an 8 year old. After that I checked her birthday and sure enough she IS older (she's 10 but small for her age...not sure why only in 3rd grade unless there were language issues when they moved here).

We covered a lot more ground 2nd lesson and at a faster pace. I'm excited to see what will develop. And see if an interest in piano takes hold for her.


OK. I've covered a lot of ground. I've resisted posting since I didn't want to give this author attention. But here I am posting anyway.

#1597937 - 01/15/11 10:14 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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I find all this "Chinese" mother stuff rather amusing. Having high standards isn't Chinese. Loving your children isn't Chinese either. All I can determine from this hyperbolic essay is that the "Chinese-ness" is just the almost pathological extremes to which she takes things. Since I don't think those characteristics actually ARE Chinese, I find the essay essentially a good example of effective huxterism.

Evidence? Her book is currently ranked #5 at Amazon. Well done, Amy.


#1597989 - 01/15/11 12:01 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: childofparadise2002]  
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[/quote]
But the other, non-white, kids who got to the winners recitals might also be having fun! [/quote]


Yes. That's exactly what I meant. They all seem to be having fun and and there is a lot of pride in their performances!

#1598053 - 01/15/11 01:59 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Mary Williams]  
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Originally Posted by Mary Williams


But the other, non-white, kids who got to the winners recitals might also be having fun! [/quote]


Yes. That's exactly what I meant. They all seem to be having fun and and there is a lot of pride in their performances! [/quote]

Yes, sorry that I misunderstood you.

That’s a point that many Asian parents and kids worry about, though. Because of the already strong stereotype, it is quite easy to attribute Asian kids’ performance to parental pressure and see them as little learning machines who don’t have fun. Even though this is true for some Asian kids (and non-Asian kids), many kids excel at certain areas because they are internally driven and are willing to put in the effort, and they really are having fun. Some Asian parents actually think that Chua’s article will have a long-lasting damaging effect on Asian kids. It’s easy to reinforce a stereotype, but extremely difficult to get rid of one.

#1598067 - 01/15/11 02:23 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Quote
It’s easy to reinforce a stereotype, but extremely difficult to get rid of one.


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#1598096 - 01/15/11 03:07 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Overexposed]  
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Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
I have a new 3rd grade student (had 2 lessons) and as she waited for her lesson to begin I saw she was reading book 4 of the Potter series. I commented and mother explained she is competing to have the most AR points at her school. That there is one child ahead of her. And if she wins she will be allowed to have a cat.

I would never have thought to try to get the most points. Why would you do that? What is the point?

Actually, the point is to get kids to read books. The whole AR program has been somewhat successful in many school districts by encouraging students to read books and quantifying how "much" they've read. If reading books becomes a competition, I'll just live with it.

Last edited by AZNpiano; 01/15/11 03:08 PM.

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#1598120 - 01/15/11 04:16 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Soozen]  
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Originally Posted by Soozen
Maybe an overly provocative article to sell books as people say, but I found it interesting as Chinese (and Korean and some other nationalities) parenting is clearly different, but I don't know enough parents of these nationalities to know quite how. I don't feel sorry for the author's children - it sounds like they may have the best of both worlds.

The one place where I think her method of parenting goes wrong is never allowing the kid to fail or make their own mistakes. I think this can have dire consequences for the kids when they are grown.

I didn't read too many of the replies, but I wanted to reply to one of the earliest replies asking "What would she do if she had a disabled kid?" I was just reading an article about autistic kids in China. I guess there are special schools for autistic children, but the schools are for teaching the parents as well as the children, so the parents attend with the children. This is very hard on the family, because the schools are in the city, and it's difficult to afford to live in the city on one income, but of course one parent is always with the child, not bringing in an income. I think Chinese parents are greatly under-appreciated in the west! We just see, "Oh, the parents want the kids to excel so it reflects well on the parents" and not, "These parents will do just about anything to help their children succeed".

I wasn't thinking so much about "chinese mothers" in general or severely disabled children when I made that remark as I was the reaction by the author personally when her daughter wasn't living up to her expectations of excellence with the little donkey song. I wondered if she would react the same to her daughter for not memorizing her spelling list to Mom's satisfaction? And if so, what if it turned out she had a learning disability like dyslexia that hadn't been diagnosed yet? How many trips would Mom have made to the salvation army before she questioned the possibility that maybe her daughter wasn't lazy?



I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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#1598196 - 01/15/11 06:27 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Bleh.
I'm tired of this mom.

My book could be called: If I'm not the worst mom that ever was, I may be the most boring, but I'd never make it into the Amazon top 100.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#1598266 - 01/15/11 08:28 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
I have a new 3rd grade student (had 2 lessons) and as she waited for her lesson to begin I saw she was reading book 4 of the Potter series. I commented and mother explained she is competing to have the most AR points at her school. That there is one child ahead of her. And if she wins she will be allowed to have a cat.

I would never have thought to try to get the most points. Why would you do that? What is the point?

Actually, the point is to get kids to read books. The whole AR program has been somewhat successful in many school districts by encouraging students to read books and quantifying how "much" they've read. If reading books becomes a competition, I'll just live with it.


Yeah. It's no big deal if someone works really hard to win a contest. It's all good. I'm sorry if I inadvertently contributed to the stereotype that the author promotes.

#1598501 - 01/16/11 09:09 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Actually, don't get me started on the AR program.

[OT warning on]

The AR program (accelerated reader) is badly named. It is NOT designed as an "accelerated" program for gifted and/or avid readers. Its expressed purpose is to encourage marginal or struggling students to develop a reading habit. Parents of advanced students often confuse it for a truly "accelerated" program. This also goes for hyper-competitive parents who want their children to shine above their peers.

[OT warning off]

#1598549 - 01/16/11 11:31 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad

Evidence? Her book is currently ranked #5 at Amazon. Well done, Amy.



Here I sheepishly admit that I was intrigued enough by the WSJ article and subsequent uproar that I helped propel it to that #5 ranking by ordering it. whome

Though I will also confess to feeling some unattractive envy after reading that she received an advance in the "high six figures" !!!! for the book, which she reportedly wrote in a mere 8 weeks.

*sigh*



Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#1598598 - 01/16/11 12:34 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,205
Canada
The author had an effective publicist, or whatever the title is within the mechanism of publishing companies, who knew what to do to get sales. It was the cynical exploitation of the baser side of human nature: jealousy, anger, outrage, stereotyping etc. It may also have cost the author, because she is now seen by many as having views that she doesn't actually have. In fact, they are the opposite of what she intended when she wrote the book. I'm not sure that I would want to pay that price for the sake of sales.

#1598715 - 01/16/11 03:25 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: keystring]  
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ten left thumbs Offline
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Scotland
Originally Posted by keystring
The author had an effective publicist, or whatever the title is within the mechanism of publishing companies, who knew what to do to get sales.


I'm finding the title disturbing, as it keeps rumbling on in discussion here.

Think which of these titles would be acceptable:

Why Chinese Mothers are Inferior to Western Mothers
Why Western Mothers are Superior to Chinese Mothers
Why White Mothers are Superior to Black Mothers

???

Uugh - makes me shudder.

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