Dissertation Title:

The Relationship of Parental Expectations, Biculturalism, and Authenticity in Second-Generation Vietnamese Immigrants


Van Tuong Bui

Date, Time & Place:

March 19, 2022 at 11:00 am


This depth-oriented study explores the unique embodied experiences of parental expectations and biculturalism in second-generation Vietnamese immigrants. The research was conducted using a mixed-methods approach, primarily based on an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology combined with a quantitative survey. Eighty-six people completed the online survey and 11 second-generation Vietnamese individuals were randomly selected for an interview out of the pool of interested candidates. Three main themes emerged in the participants’ narratives: parental expectations, biculturalism, and authenticity. The subthemes associated with each main theme offered insight on participants’ internal subjective reactions, extraverted behaviors to subjective reactions, and results of their psychological development and maturity from having to weave between two cultures to find acceptance in a whole identity. Throughout the interviews, implied views emerged on authenticity between Vietnamese and American cultures. On the one hand, participants viewed being authentic in the Vietnamese culture as having to oblige and conform to the expectations of parents and/or respected elders. On the other hand, there seemed to be a biased idea of authenticity, particularly in American culture, that being authentic involves an inflated sense of self, self-importance, and entitlement by saying, doing, and willing what one wants. This study of Vietnamese Americans revives the concept of authenticity from existential literature and offers insight of developing an acceptance of an authentic identity by having one foot standing in each culture.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with emphasis in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies, ZZ, 2015
  • Chair: Dr. Kesstan Blandin
  • Reader: Dr. Sukey Fontelieu
  • External Reader: Dr. Hannah Nguyen
  • Keywords: Depth Psychology, Parental Expectations, Biculturalism, Authenticity, Identity, Vietnamese Americans