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Hispanic American Diversity

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Autor: 24  •  January 5, 2011  •  1,155 Words (5 Pages)  •  931 Views

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Hispanic American Diversity

The four groups Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and South Americans have been chosen for identifying the linguistic, political, social, economic, religious and familial conventions and/or statuses of Hispanic groups living in the U.S. All these groups are from different regions but have been placed in one category due to the similarity of their language. The base is Spanish but the accent and the meaning of certain words are different. Two groups; Mexican Americans and South Americans, even though they are the same region have different dialects as well.

Mexican Americans

The Mexican American population is the largest minority group in America. The Census Bureau data shows a record of over 35 million as of March 2005 (legal and illegal). The Mexican Americans come from all over Mexico resulting in a wide variety of linguistic varieties amongst them. Mexico’s language is derived from Spanish but varies from different regions in Mexico. A majority of Mexican Americans do not speak Spanish at all, native born mainly. The Mexican American population is very much into the political civil rights in America. They are active in many civil rights movements, from workers rights to voting rights. The social status of the Mexican Americans is poor due to the majority not having an education. Alba (2006) states that, a very low level of Mexican-American educational advancement beyond high school, regardless of generation. Because of the poor education, economically the Mexican Americans are behind White Americans. A writer for the Public Policy Institute of California writes

Substantial education and wage deficits persist between people of Mexican descent and other Americans. Third generation Mexican Americans in California average a year and a half less schooling and about 25 percent lower wages than non-Hispanic whites.

(Grogger, 2002, p.132)

The majority of the Mexican Americans in the U.S are Catholic but there is a fast growing religion of Evangelical Protestantism amongst the immigrants. The family unit is the single most important social unit in the life of Hispanics. Family responsibilities come before all other responsibilities. The father is the leader and the mother runs the house hold, doing the cooking, shopping and cleaning. The grandparents play a large role in the family by helping to carry on their customs.

Puerto Ricans

The Puerto Ricans language is Spanish but the majority speaks English and is known for being lively with their hands and facial gestures. Puerto Ricans use body language and it is an important form of communication. Socially the Puerto Ricans consider themselves American but are fiercely proud of their island and culture. They do not call themselves American but Puertorriqenos or Boricuas (Hosay, 1977). Here in the U.S. the Puerto Ricans stick tightly together, and hold a high regard for their island even though they were born here. Economically the Puerto Ricans do very well for they hold education very high, most going on to college and earning degrees.

The majority of Puerto Ricans are Catholic with a few Protestants. The family is very important in Puerto Ricans, and respect is the tie that holds it together. In a statement written for OSU it says:

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, 1995)


The main language spoken by Cubans is Spanish, but like the Puerto Ricans speak English, and according to the 1990 U.S. Census, there are nearly 860,000 persons of Cuban descent in the United States. Of these, 541,000, or almost 63 percent of the total, live in Florida. Most of these live in Dade County, where Miami is located. There are also sizable communities in New York, New Jersey, and California. Together, these three states account for 23 percent of the Cuban American population. Florida and Miami specifically, is the center of the Cuban American community.

The Cuban American community is well assimilated in the United States. Moreover, because of its size, it has significant political influence. In 1993, the Cuban American National Foundation lobbied against and successfully prevented the Clinton administration from appointing an undersecretary of state for Latin American affairs whom it opposed. Fully 78 percent of Cuban Americans had registered to vote in 1989 and 1990, compared to 77.8 percent of non-Hispanic white Americans. Cuban Americans also enjoy greater economic security than other Hispanic groups. The average


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