The article is a social historical examination of the American Chinese families. According to the author the Americans Chinese families fall into three categories. These categories include the split families, dual wage families and small producer families. The split families were common in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These families were mainly characterized by Chinese male immigrate to the USA in search of employment and leave their wives in china. Chinese immigrants were not allowed to immigrate with their wives in order to discourage the Chinese’s from settling permanently in the USA.
The immigration laws in the period also largely favored immigrants with close kin in the USA. As such, Chinese American families have closer family ties. This is among the reasons that are cited as being responsible for lower divorce rates among the Chinese Americans. After the immigration laws were changed in the early 1920s to allow immigrants to bring their wives to the United States, the structure of Chinese families changed. Dual wage families and small producers’ families emerged to replace the split family systems. The dual wage families comprises of both husband and wives working to earn wages. The small producers families are characterized by family run small business such as laundries. These types of families live in the same premises as their small business and work for long hours per day. This means that the entire families including the children work together their small family businesses.
The author argues that small producer families structures play major roles in maintain very cohesive families among the Chinese American families. This cohesion is also seen as responsible for the lower divorce rates among the American Chinese. The article analyses the Chinese American families systems to examine the factors see as responsible for strong Chinese American families.