The Forgotten Asian Father – Using TCAI

TCAII was requested by a reader of our blog to write about Asian Fathers. In most situations we usually hear about the Asian mother, how she can be controlling or vicious at times – but the father always seems to be left out. As posted earlier, Asians have a family lifestyle based on many Confucian principles that have been passed generation after generation. A typical Asian parenting system segregates the mother and father into two different roles. The father would work tirelessly to provide all basic needs to the family, while the mother would be in control of all domestic issues of the household. For the families that both parents work, it’s usually a small business that both parents run together. The mother would still feel responsible for raising the children in addition to her working commitments.

Though I have talked about the Asian male using the TCAI model we have developed at AMWF Love, this still applies to the Asian father as well. The breakdown is as follows.

The Technophile Dad

Possible Occupations: Family Physician, Engineer, Systems Analyst, Chemist, Physicist, Programmer, Staff Accountant, Pharmacist, Dentist, etc.

Coupled with the Ambitious Dad, this is probably the most common type of dad you will find. The reason why they are common is the values placed on education in Asia. Good grades do get you jobs, but they are jobs that are highly technical.

Much of their work is very technical and requires a great deal of thinking and careful skill. In most cases these occupations are not harsh on physical labour, but require much mental focus. When it comes to parenting, these types of fathers would fall under the traditional setup of being the provider for household income. The mother would then take full responsibilities of the domestic issues and including the payment of bills. Many issues will default to the mother’s opinion. The father will tend to agree with her, because she knows best. You will usually find this type of father the most aloof.

Default to the mother for issues – dad has no input.

The Comedian Dad

Possible Occupations:  Emergency Medical Technician, Physical Therapist, Pediatrician, Teacher, Education Administrator, Journalist, Actor, Financial Advisor, Financial Manager, Sales Manager, Civil Servant, Computer Support Specialists, Corporate Trainer, Public Relations Specialist, etc.

Being around people invigorates this type of Asian Father. Usually extroverted they use their strong knowledge in popular culture and social skills to gather groups of people together. There are not many of these types because traditionally being introverted and meek was highly treasured in Asia. For the ones who came to North America for post-secondary, their control of English is much stronger than those who have just moved to Canada or the United States. Thus an extroverted comedian type of father is usually fairly open to interracial dating. In this case, the mother plays more of a caring and nurturing role. Fortunately there is rarely a nasty side to her – but she may mother her son too much.

This is a fairly equal split between mom and dad – but they will usually have one unified opinion with situations.

The Ambitious Dad

Possible Occupations: Surgeon, Lawyer, Auditor, Entrepreneur, General Contractor, Politician, Senior Level Executive, Professional Athlete, Business General Manager, Military Leaders, etc.

In addition to the Technophile Father, the Ambitious Dad is someone to be feared yet respected at the same time. This type of Father works tirelessly to provide for his household. He spent years slaving away at school while his friends were partying. Ambitious Fathers believe they have every right to be strict. Hard work and focus led them to success and they expect their children to follow suit. After reaping their fruits of labour, they love hosting parties to indirectly showcase their successes.

The most difficult part dealing with Ambitious Fathers is their lack of emotional nurturing. They want to be proud of their children for their successes, and also want the bragging rights as well. Failure is not an option.

You may end up with a son with strained relations with his father. He will be very disciplined from the constant disappointment of his father – and hardened by his lack of emotional love from the family.

The Individual Dad

Possible Occupations: Architect, Psychologist, Writer, Designer, Artistic Director, Pilot, Consultants, Photographers, Composer, Philanthropist, etc.

These are extremely rare types.  To be an individual requires rejecting a collectivist mindset and truly believing in himself. Beyond the analytical situations with a yes/no, true/false, debit/credit, they embrace the fact that there is a grey area. Interracial dating is not an issue for the Individual Father, but having a son who has no idea about his own heritage is unacceptable. He is very capable of expressing his viewpoint, but often does not enforce it unless it is imperative. Free thinking can get you incarcerated in various Asian countries, and as a result there are such few types of these Individuals.

Depending on what the father feels is appropriate, he will help guide his son to excellence.

Dealing with His Father

Depending on the situation, you may love or have great difficulty dealing with his dad. Definitely the toughest one to please is the Ambitious Father who places such high standards on success. As a White Female, you may have to acknowledge that he is always number one. Success in Asian culture is strongly based on material wealth (which a high paying job provides). Even the Emperor had concubines – it was a sign of respect in the Old World because a man had to support every single wife. As a female, you may have to literally jump through hoops to prove that it is truly love.

A Technophile Father will just be happy to see is son dating. He remembers how daunting the dating experience was for him. Showing love and dedication to his family will win their hearts.

The Comedian Father never runs out of stories to tell. He’s also a complete sucker for beautiful women. Perhaps he is both proud and jealous his son managed to date a White Female.

Finally the Individual type of Father will virtually have no gripes at all. His perceptive nature allows him to truly tell if it’s love or not. While the Technophile and Ambitious types tend to be more conservative, the Comedians and Individuals are much more liberal and open to change. Although my dad has elements of each of the four types of TCAI, I would peg my father to actually be closest to a comedian. He does do some crazy things, but he brings a smile to everyone’s face. My siblings ended up as the Ambitious type, but somehow I found myself to be an Individual. Anything can happen.

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9 Responses to The Forgotten Asian Father – Using TCAI

  1. AMWF Love says:

    My own personal experience with an Asian dad was with he Comedians and Individual type. Lucky for me I guess. He is the type that yes is hard working and perhaps expects excellence, but is also very liberal and understanding about most things. He understands the importance of tradition, but also knows that he and his family live in a westernized world, and that not all traditions are practical and necessary. He although still is the head of his house hold when it comes to money, fixing things around the home,politics, and etc…, and mom is in charge of domestic affairs. She usually follows his advice and suggestions and usually defaults to his perspective in the end.

    It is interesting to see how he is a model for his sons behavior, as all fathers usually are. I notice that in my AMWF relationship, my husband is mostly westernized, but I do see that he still wants to follow that old way of thinking where women are in charge of inside home and also work a full time job. I on the other hand tell him that he will have to take on the duties inside of the home as well. It should be 50/50 in my mind… we both work full time, we both take care of the home.There is a weak resistance to my 50/50 job/home idea, but I think that its just getting used to that idea of complete equality.Perhaps a very modern westernized idea.
    -Laura

  2. Alex says:

    Thank u Brian and Laura
    Before finding your articles I have read so much shit online regarding this subject and there was no real exchange or anything to learn from really.U guys are doing a great job. It is nice to see there is intellegent people out there who take time to write about this specific subject.I will ask u guys about more stuff  as soon as I get more time to write 🙂

    • AMWF Love says:

      Thanks Alex,

      The more I decided to write on the subject I found so many exceptions and contradictions. Thus, using TCAI probably made most sense to me. In most cases I have found Asian fathers to be the Technophile or Ambitious type – which makes sense to the general advice you will find on other websites or published media. Usually you would get the vicious overbearing father (Ambitious) trying to light a fire under the belly of his son, or the whipped Technophile husband who lets his son overinduldge in video games.

      I also have one Asian friend whose father is a Comedian type. He ended up being a nurse, and followed his father being a Comedian type as well. Definate ladies man there, and yes he is straight.

      Individual type for Asian Men are very few, but those are the fathers I associate with some of my friends who are of mixed Asian (AMWF Parents). There was probably a lot more racism to deal with back then, so hats off to them.

      Laura and I at AMWF Love do our best to raise society, cultural, and social issues of AMWF with our blog. We both bring our own unique perspectives, and hope to bring awareness to everyone who wants to read AMWF Love. Once again, I appreciate you for your comments, hope to write more for you! Just ask, and you will probably receive!

      – Brian

  3. Alex says:

    No I get it doesnt apply perfectly to everyone.Still your modell is a good way of explaining it and I can see that u have put some thinking in to it.How about third generation Asian, do u think some of it still applies to them as well?The guys I have met in US seem pretty much super Americanised to me :)Im from Europe originaly but I just moved to LA and the third generation Asian is quite new to me 🙂

    • AMWF Love says:

      Depends how you define Third Generation.

      If you define First Generation as the ones who first immigrate to America/Canada then second generation are the offspring born in North America. Third generation would entail that the second generation have offspring and they would be defined as the third.

      That would mean, grandparents would have moved to North America, had kids naturalized, and their kids had kids (third generation). This would roughly mean they would have been in the United States around 1940-1970. My parents arrived to Canada from Hong Kong in the 70’s for post secondary education – so that makes me second generation.

      I have heard from friends that Asians in the United States are very Americanized – perhaps I should visit in the future. In a sense it does help with the language barrier, but valuing a more extroverted personality tends to result in a Comedian or Ambitious type. It’s all about personal tastes and preferences. As for the TCAI model it as a general model to be used on Asian Men, regardless of their generation. It is not age specific, but the proportions of across each generation will be uniquely different. Asians used to be strongly associated as Technophiles, or possibly Ambitious – now there is the emergence of the Comedian and possibly the Individual.

      Hope that helps,

      – Brian

  4. Alex says:

    I have another request :)I trust u can write about it without making it tacky.Was wondering what Asian guys feel about women having Asian fetish.Now u go online there is plenty they have to say about white guys haveing that but not so much what they feel about girls haveing same sort of fetish.My ex didnt seem to mind what so ever,but then he was adopted and we both are raised in Sweden.So maybe the issues about race are much stronger in US and we dont have a bad history in a same way like UK and US.Obviously I do get there is guys who are gonna say yeah good for me,but usually I like guys who think with other part of they body then well u know :)So what do decent men feel about this?Is there any aspects of it part from beeing objectified,that can be degrading for Asian men as well? 

    • AMWF Love says:

      Let me see what I can do about that topic. I think the main issue is a white girl being in love with someone Asian guys are not. Exposure for White Females usually come from the internet – through Television/Anime/Dramas. There are those who also travel overseas to experience firsthand what it is like. Television is not always a true representation of society, but it is entertainment after all. Asian guys have no problems with White Females liking Asian guys (they really do like it), but they get scared when Caucasian women start to fall in love with a fantasy of Asian men.

      I’ll elaborate on it later for you, Alex.

  5. Sarah says:

    hi i think your post is very interesting but threes a big section of workers that you didn’t include what about your ordinary run of the mill worker or someone from the construction industry or a chef? what category would you classify them under?

    • AMWF Love says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Of course I cannot include every single occupation, I just wanted to have some typical ones. Every occupation has different personalities – they are there for different reasons.

      A Technophile is associated with technology, but can be generalized to specialized skill. These people are good at what they do – and they often do it quietly. It takes a great deal of focus to accomplish. You could call these people the craftsmen. Very technically sound.

      The Comedian is a more extroverted type who values social skills. They can be the funny guy, the one people gravitate to because they make everyone happy. They are much better in managerial positions, making sure the human resources are at its best, on a daily basis.

      As for the Ambitious, the lines between the Ambitious and Comedians can be blurred, but you can tell they have big goals in life. They get things done because that’s how they became successful. They worked hard, and sacraficed so much for a good life. Their strength comes in numbers, when people obey them and fall in line. If done correctly, they can be the shakers and movers of society – otherwise they seem to be rude, obnoxious, and selfish.

      I would say an Individual is more artistically inclined. There’s a need for a sense of expression through some sort of media channel. The difference between the Individual and the Technophile is that Individuals have an artistic merit that reach channels beyond just basic senses. Both are solid on their skill set, but it’s like comparing and engineer or architect to build your house. One will build you a cost effective option that is energy efficient, and the other will build you something that defines your existence.

      As long as you understand the meaning of these categories, then you can make it work. Understand that everyone is a mix of all four traits. Just some are predominately more one than another. If you examine that two dimensional diagram, you will understand that it is easier to become the two adjacent archetypes over the one diagonal to it. I hope that helps.

      – Brian

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