Hispanic American Diversity
Globalization has led to an increased movement of populations from one region to the other. This has culminated in the diversification of societies that share intricate and augmenting relationships. Having originated from Spain, Hispanics are also referred to as Latinos and they constitute a minority group in the United States. It has different sub ethnic groups that are relatively diversified with regard to political, social, linguistic, religious and familial characteristics. Although they have resided in America and interacted with the natives for long, emergent research ascertains that the respective groups still maintain their cultural diversities. This paper provides an intrinsic review of the American Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans. In detail, it underscores the unique cultural attributes that characterize each sub ethnic group.
The Mexican Americans
Historical evidence indicates that this is the largest sub ethnic group and comprises of close to sixty four percent of the entire Hispanics (Grieco & Rachel, 2008). They originated from Mexico and use Spanish as their first language. They exhibit the highest degree of fluency in English language too. This is because they have stayed in America and interacted with the natives at different levels and for the longest period of time. Nonetheless, there are intrinsic differences in the languages they employ in communication. This can be attributed to the fact that they hail from different geographic regions in Mexico. In their review, Grieco and Rachel (2008) ascertain that the role they play in politics cannot be overstated. In particular, they are active members of the civil rights movement and participate fully in the relative activities.
Socially, they are still discriminated against and considered a minority by the wider society. Their efforts to enhance their social status have been undermined by the low levels of education and the illegal immigration status. The low literacy levels have also been implicated for their desperate economic status. Essentially, they lack sufficient skills and knowledge that are fundamental for attaining quality employment. With regard to religion, Lawrence (2002) indicates that most of them are Catholics. The family unit is central within the social sphere and grandparents are revered for enhancing and maintaining its cohesion.
Cuban Americans have also stayed in the country for a significant period of time and can be rated as relatively liberated. Although their native language in Spanish, they also use English in Communication. Research in this regard cites that Cuban Americans that were born and raised in the American context are more likely to communicate in English than their counterparts that are not born in America. With regard to religion, Lawrence (2002) indicates that they mainly practice Catholicism although the Jewish and protestants are also present. Further, there are smaller factions that are spiritualists and non religious.
Cuban Americans tend to hold the family relations and traditions in high regard. Nevertheless, recent trends indicate that the rate of assimilation of the American culture within this population is significantly high. As such, they are increasingly abandoning their traditional beliefs, values and virtues. The current trend can be used to explain why they are more acceptable within the American social sphere than other groups. They also participate actively in politics and have been known to be great supporters of the conservative republicans. Economically, they are relatively well endowed and are considered to be on equal footing with the White population.
Puerto Rican Americans
These also have distinctive attributes that differentiate them from the entire society. They employ Castilian Spanish in communication that is known to have its origins in Latin. Religiously, Grajales (2008) indicates that apart from Catholicism that is commonly practiced by a significant percentage of the population, they also have different protestant denominations. Their political status is currently uncertain because of the fact that they have also not been able to attain statehood. Despite this, they are commonly known for their support for class politics. Unity is an inherent attribute of this group and in most instances, they lay great emphasis on collaborating with one another in attainment of specific goals and objectives. This attribute has made them unique and they consider themselves to be different from the entire American society. One main challenge that undermines their ability to attain sustainable economic wellbeing is inaccessibility to quality education. Furthermore, their familial ties are threatened with disintegration as they continue assimilating the American culture. Regardless of this, they still commit quality time for partying and participation in cultural events. The extended family is held in high regard and the mothers play an important role in strengthening familial ties.
Dominican Americans are the only Hispanic group that has been cited to mostly employ Spanish in communication. Although they are well versed with English language, this is not commonly employed in communication. Apart from being active followers of Roman Catholicism, they also accommodate Afro Christian religions, Jewish and protestants. Their familial ties have reportedly disintegrated and currently, most families are headed by the female members of the society (Lawrence, 2002). Compared to the native Dominicans, families of the American Dominican have weaker ties and are smaller.
With regard to their economic status, they are poor and in most instanced depend on the government for support. The low economic status has had adverse effects on their social welfare. Of great concern is the fact that their tendency of assuming rather than assimilating the European culture has culminated in the loss of their social identity. In return, this has compromised their ability to participate actively and objectively in national politics. Rather than enhancing their wellbeing, they place undue attention on enhancing the welfare of the White population. Put differently, they lack the strength and capacity to control to exercise independence and objectivity in facing societal challenges.
In sum, there are inherent cultural similarities and differences amongst the four sub ethnic groups of Hispanics irrespective of the fact that they have a similar geographic origin. From the review, it is certain that all groups recognize and speak some degree of Spanish although in different dialects. Likewise, they practice Roman Catholicism and other religions are practiced by an insignificant percentage of the population. All groups apart from the Dominican Americans enjoy strong familial ties and value extended families. Apparently, the Cuban Americans assume an elevate status with respect to economic stability. This can be attributed to the entrepreneurship and liberalism that they practice. Apart from strengthening their social life, it allows them to explore different economic opportunities.
Grajales, F. (2008). Understanding the Culture of American Hispanics. USA: Fordham
Grieco, E. & Rachel, C. (2008). Latino Population. USA: Census Bureau.
Lawrence, S. (2002). Hispanic Legacies. Cambridge: University Press.