"Tiger Mom" Amy Chua, a Yale professor who raised eyebrows in 2011 with claims that Chinese moms have more successful kids and are better parents, is back with a controversial new book that explains why she believes some religions and races are more successful in America than their fellow cohorts.
In "The Triple Package," Chua and her co-author Jed Rubenfeld, her husband, argue that "some groups in America do better than others," basing the results on income, test scores and other metrics.
Of those groups, the duo cites two religious groups: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jewish faith. Chua and Rubenfeld apparently found these groups to be superior to Protestants, Catholics, atheists, Buddhists and Muslims, The New York Post reported.
US author Amy Chua gestures as she reads an excerpt from her book 'Tiger Mothers' during Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) in Jaipur on January 21, 2012. (Credit: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
On the race front, they argue that Indians, Chinese, Iranians, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians and Cuban exiles have also achieved a higher level of success in America. Chua, who is Chinese, and Rubenfeld, who is Jewish, belong to two of the eight most successful groups, the Post noted.
So why do some groups rise according to them?
Chua and Rubenfeld argue that some groups simply "have a cultural edge" that better allows them to take advantage of opportunities. Breaking down the "triple package" (hence the name of the book), the authors move point by point in explaining how Mormons, Jews and the aforementioned race groups differ from the general American culture.
"A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control -- these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success," reads a description of the book. "The Triple Package is open to anyone. America itself was once a Triple Package culture. It’s been losing that edge for a long time now."
First and foremost, Chua and Rubenfeld believe that Americans are taught that no group is superior to another and that everyone is equal. In contrast, they say, the most successful religious and race groups see themselves as exceptional -- or even chosen.
This, of course, is the "superiority" factor and it apparently goes a long way toward success in life.
Author Amy Chua attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2011 in New York City. (Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for TIME)
Then there's "insecurity." The authors contend that in the most successful religious and racial groups "people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves." This can purportedly drive members of these groups to seek success.
And last, there's "impulse control," or the ability to profoundly exert control over oneself. While the authors believe that America touts immediate gratification, the most successful groups have what they say is a higher level of self-discipline and control.
"Impulse control refers to the ability to resist temptation, especially the temptation to give up in the face of hardship or quit instead of persevering at a difficult task," the authors write in "The Triple Package."
Based on excerpts published by The Daily Mail, Chua and Rubenfeld note that the three elements presented run counter to contemporary American culture, which is why the groups that they deem the most successful are generally cultural outsiders.
"Paradoxically, in modern America, a group has an edge if it doesn’t buy into -- or hasn’t yet bought into -- mainstream, post-1960s, liberal American principles," they continue.
While these elements are purportedly the recipe for success, according to the book's description, there are also some negatives that accompany each of the three -- elements that the authors claim can have "toxic effects."
These theories are all very controversial, of course, which is something that Chua and Rubenfeld readily admit.
"That certain groups do much better in America than others -- as measured by income, occupational status, test scores and so on -- is difficult to talk about," they note in the book. "In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged."
The book is already sparking controversy from critics who believe it encourages racism.
A phone call and email to Chua to further discuss the book have not been returned.
(H/T: Daily Mail)