Diverse America

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Date Submitted: 09/15/2011 09:41 AM

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Cultural Diversity – Hispanic Americans

The 2000 United States census revealed a striking growth in the country’s Hispanic population from 1990 to 2000 with nearly a 60 percent rise, from 22.4 million in 1990 to 35.3 million in 2000 (Encyclopedia Britannia, 2010). Hispanic Americans are the largest ethnic minority in the United States and have a vastly diverse group; although separate due to continental divide, they have a lot of similarities. Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Cubans ethnic backgrounds share common linguistic, political, religious, social, and economic structure.

Mexican Americans

As stated in Chapter 9 of week 7’s reading, as of 2002, an estimated 66.9 percent of Mexican Americans make up the Hispanic population within the United States ; making Mexican Americans the largest Hispanic group (Schaefer, 2006). Spanish has remained the standard language of most Mexican Americans. However, throughout the history of immigration to America, Mexican Americans have developed a proficiency in English. The greater use of the English language is more likely found within the second generation of Mexican Americans; and by the third generation bilingualism is common. Approximately 75 percent of Mexican Americans are Catholic. Ceremonies and rituals in recognition of events related to the birth and death of Jesus Christ are an essential part of the religious calendar of many Mexican Americans (Englekirk and Marin, 2009). Family structure in Mexican American households is such that it is male dominated; the male of the household is usually the sole provider. Mexican American families also believe in co-parenting, in which extended family members and intimate friends play an integral part within the family. Economically speaking, Mexican Americans usually work labor intensive jobs such as construction, landscaping, restaurant, and hotel services. Mexican Americans do not have a prominent stance in politics within the...