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Hispanic American Diversity

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Autor:  anton  23 April 2011
Tags:  Hispanic,  American,  Diversity
Words: 2230   |   Pages: 9
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In identifying the linguistic, political, social, economic, religious,

and familial conventions and/or statuses of four Hispanic groups living

in the United States; the following four groups have been chosen,

Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and El Salvadorians. Each

group has a rich cultural identity but has been placed in the same

category, Hispanic Americans, on the basis of language. All these

groups share the Spanish language, though each has a different

dialect and some words spelled and pronounced the same have

different meanings. For example, sopa means soup in some countries,

but in others it means soap.

Mexican Americans

Mexican Americans language is made up of a mix of their national

language Spanish and English, sometimes referred to as Spanglish.

Politically Mexican Americans were very active in the Mexican American

Civil Rights movement spearheaded by Mendoza, V. "В…Reies Lopez

Tijerina and the land grant movement, is picked up by Rodolfo "Corky"

Gonzales in Denver who defines the meaning of Chicano through his

epic poem I am Joaquin, embraces Cesar Chavez and the farm

workersВ…"(2000). The movement as defined by Mendoza, V. "The

Mexican American Civil Rights MovementВ…" "В…encompassed a broad

cross section of issuesВ—from restoration of land grants, to farm

workers rights, to enhanced education, to voting and political rightsВ…"

Socially Mexican Americans seem to want what all immigrants who

come to this country seeking; the American Dream. (Alba, R. 2006).

Educationally, Mexican Americans, no matter the generation rarely go

past high school; according to the reading, Alba, R. "Huntington

presents data that appear to show very low levels of Mexican-

American educational advancement beyond high school, regardless of

generation."

"Thus, he cites numbers reported from the National

Latino Political Survey, conducted at the end of the

1980s, to show that no more than 10 percent of

Mexican Americans of any generation earn a

credential beyond high school and only 4 percent of

the fourth generation attains the baccalaureate; 40

percent of this generation fails to obtain the high

school diploma." (2006)

Throughout the immigration of Mexicans to America it seems that

little progress is made for Mexican Americans to move up from

immigrant status to mainstream social status. Due in part to the

amount of discrimination and poor educational systems that were

provided to them, Mexican Americans have not truly assimilated

themselves into the American mainstream culture. (Alba, R. 2006)

Economically, Mexican Americans are pushing for fair pay. This

plays out most predominately in the Mexican American Civil Rights

movement as discussed earlier with Cesar Chavez. (Mendoza, V.

2000). Fair pay, benefits and adequate wages are still an issue for

Mexican Americans.

Family for Mexican American seems to focus on the Grandparents,

especially the Grandmothers, they appear to be the staple of the

family according to Gonzalez-Clements, A. in Mexican American

traditions in Nebraska, "Grandmothers, those special women who held

them and fed them and healed them, grandmothers who knew the

remedies, the stories, the crafts, the foods, and the language that

some of us have forgotten." American Christmas traditions have been

adopted, in place of their traditions such as Gonzalez-Clements, A.

"The traditional Mexican posada, a house-to-house celebration of song

and food that replicates Joseph and Mary's search for shelter on

Christmas EveВ…"

Puerto Ricans

The Puerto Ricans language is Spanish. According to Tara- Ivette,

O. in his essay on Puerto Rican Migration and the Puerto Rican

Political Experience in the United States; Puerto Ricans began in what

was known as Class Politics, where no matter what ethnicity people in

the same working classes banded together. Eventually this lead to a

movement called the socialism movement, Tara-Ivette, O. "The early

immigrants who settled in the United States were influenced by radical

political ideas like nationalism, internationalism, and socialism." Still

though many Puerto Ricans stayed out of politics and did not vote

even though they wished to improve their circumstances in the United

States.

Tara-Ivette, O. "I agree with Richie Rodriguez when he states that

"[Puerto Ricans] used their ethnicity as their basis for being a

separate entity in America and sought to improve their socio-economic

and political status as an ethnic group through

politics"(frontpage.trincoll.edu/rrodriguez)." Unity is a big part of

Puerto Ricans socioeconomic and family backgrounds. They tend to set

themselves apart from the United States mainstream culture and

remain their own entity within the U.S.

Puerto Ricans place family very important and respect plays a big

part in family relations; according to Jones Syracuse, C. Cultural

Diversity: Eating in America Puerto Ricans

"Respect for family is critical in the Puerto Rican culture.

Mothers and elders are adored and duty to the family,

including the extended family, is essential. Family ties

are strong. Families often gather for holidays,

birthdays, and weddings. Machismo is a critical element of

the society. Women usually make decisions on foods

purchased and served. Traditionally meals are served

when the entire family is together."(Syracuse)

Cubans

Cuban Americans main language is Spanish, according to a study

done by Jason Cato Cuban Americans have adapted parts of the US to

their culture. Cato, J. "In rising to dominate the centers of power in

Miami, Cuban-Americans have reversed the traditional cycles of

assimilation and acculturation." Even though they seek freedom from

the oppression of their country they still have extremely strong ties to

their homeland and instead of adapting to the mainstream culture

they have adapted parts of the US to their culture.

Cuban Americans religious ties are mainly with the Roman Catholic

Church, however; according to Answers.com; "Yet, there are many

Protestant, spiritualist (involved in Santeria), nonreligious, and Jewish

Cuban-Americans." Family ties are close as they are a source of

holding onto their traditions and cultural heritage.

El Salvadorians

El Salvadorians primary language is Spanish; economically

speaking they are extremely poor. El Salvadorians immigrated to this

country to flee war and poverty. They often come to this country

looking for work, so that they may send money home to their family.

Politically El Salvadorians are not very active and generally do not

participate in elections, especially due to the fact that a large

percentage of El Salvadorian immigrants are illegal residents of the

US.

Their social standing in the US is limited to work related

interactions and for the most part other El Salvadorians. They are not

much interested in assimilating to the mainstream culture. Most are

here merely to work and send money home. Since most of their pay

checks are sent back to their country the daily living income is

minimal. Not to mention that wages for them are extremely low. Since

most are here illegally and have no papers for working they have

no standing politically or legally to fight for better salaries and

working conditions.

El Salvadorians primary religion is Roman Catholic; however there

are some who follow the Pentecost religion because the religious

beliefs are similar to their own. Family is very big among their people.

Generally the woman cooks and cleans and takes care of the children.

Female children are relegated to caring for their younger siblings and

men and boys are higher up in the family order. Everything in their

culture revolves around their religion and family. Every aspect of their

life in this country has to do with providing for their family. There are

cases where some immigrants want to bring their entire families to

the US for better opportunities but for the most part they are here for

work, for even though wages and working conditions are relatively

poor, they are still better than in their country.

Similarities seen among the four Hispanic ethnic groups discussed

here are mainly around family, language, religion and the reasons that

brought them to this country. Common factors such as opportunity and

a better life is prevalent in each of this cultures, hopes of a better life

and achieving the В‘American Dream' are very relevant to all four

cultures. Family and religion are very important to all the cultures.

Similarities in what religion they follow are easily seen throughout the

research. Finally, as everyone can agree language is a definite

similarity for all these groups, all share the Spanish language,

which is their primary language, and what categorizes them as

Hispanic.

References:

Alba, R., Mexican Americans and the American Dream. PS: Political Science & Politics

June 2006. Retrieved July 23, 2006 from

www.apsanet.org/imgtest/PerspectivesJun06Alba.pdf

Cato, J, Becoming American in Miami: Reconsidering Immigration, Race and Ethnic

Relations., Center for Latin American Studies., 2004, Retrieved July 23, 2006 from

socrates.berkeley.edu:7001/Events/fall2003/11-20-03-stepick/index.html

GonzГЎlez-Clements, E., Mexican American Traditions in Nebraska.,

Nebraska State Historical Society 1998 Retrieved July 23, 2006 from

www.nebraskahistory.org/libarch/whadoin/mexampub/traditns.htm

Jones Syracuse, C., Cultural Diversity: Eating in America Puerto Ricans.,

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet. Retrieved July 23, 2006 from

ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5257.html

Mendoza, V., Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.

The Journal for Multimedia History. Vol. 3 В– 2000, Retrieved July 23, 2006 from

www.albany.edu/jmmh/vol3/chicano/chicano.html

Tara-Ivette, O., Puerto Rican Migration and the Puerto Rican Political Experience in the

United States. Puerto Ricans., 1999. Retrieved July 23, 2006 from

www.trincoll.edu/~tosorio/puerto.htm



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