Book Authors Highlight Jews as Only Immigrant Group Whose Success Exceeds Three Generations (VIDEO)
Co-authors Amy Chua, of Tiger Mother fame, and her husband Jed Rubenfeld discussed their controversial new book in a recent interview, highlighting their assertion that Jews are the only cultural group in America that have demonstrated a higher ratio of success beyond the third generation.
“[Jews] are the only group we look at where you don’t see decline, or you haven’t seen decline yet, set in in that third generation,” Chua said during an appearance with Rubenfeld on The Jewish Channel’s UP Close. “Every other immigrant group you have this pattern: you get a little bit comfortable, you’re two generations away from the immigration population and… standards go down, success goes down. But the Jews have not demonstrated this pattern.”
Filled with their own research and a trove of statistics, Chua and Rubenfeld’s The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America addresses why various ethnic groups are successful in the U.S. and the question of whether specific cultural traits lead to prosperity.
The book argues that certain cultures assign higher importance to traits that are conducive to success. Chua and Rubenfeld’s research alleges that the traits are not inborn or transferable to future generations.
Rubenfeld recounted two theories as to why Jews succeed in America and “defy the rule” that sees a drop in success rates past the third generation. One idea is the genetic theory, or IQ theory, which he said is somewhat supported by IQ tests done on Jews of central and northern European descent, also known as Ashkenazi Jews.
The second theory is based on a cultural difference Rubenfeld and Chua describe in Triple Package. Rubenfeld explained it as “Jewish insecurity” that remains strong generation after generation, and helps Jews thrive.
“Jews know that when they begin to get prosperous in a country — for other groups that makes them less insecure — for Jews, there’s this feeling that when we begin to get prosperous, that’s when trouble starts. That’s when they start coming after us,” he said. “So you have a maintaining of insecurity in the Jewish community and don’t forget, there’s the Holocaust that happened and all kinds of things that happened that affects the Jews in the United States. That maintains that insecurity even as they’re doing better in the course of the 20th century.”
Rubenfeld added that the question now remains open ended: have Jews finally become more secure as Americans succeeding in the land of opportunity?
Watch Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld’s interview with The Jewish Channel’s UP Close in the video below: