ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hispanic American Diversity

Updated on February 29, 2020

This essay was written for an Axia College / University of Phoenix Cultural Ethics class.

Overview

According to the United States Census Bureau's reports, (2006) roughly 15% of the population of the United States identified as Hispanic at about 43 million people. The casual observer may believe this nationality to be the same throughout, but just as Caucasian Americans are different, so are Hispanic people. Explored within are the Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban-Americans and Brazilian-Americans.

Mexican-American

Mexican-Americans may speak Spanish as well as English, to varying degrees of success. In recent years, companies nationwide have shifted to a more language friendly method of doing business, incorporating the option to read/hear functions in Spanish at machines such as ATMs and checkout counters. While the language barrier is not so vast now as it was a few decades ago, it still exists. Organizations such as the National Association for Bilingual Education work to break the gap between English and Spanish.

As the largest "subculture" within the Hispanic header, Mexican-Americans "comprise almost two-thirds of Hispanic Americans," statistics show (MexicanAmericans, 2007). Within these numbers are found people of all skill types and education levels, giving Mexican-Americans, like other Hispanic groups, the ability to locate employment within any area of expertise, even in local, state and federal government positions.

Home life for a Mexican-American person is likely to be family oriented, though more prone to poverty the number of mental illnesses is reportedly lower (Mexicanamericans, 2007), and politically speaking only one issue directly affects the Mexican-American population is the debate regarding the Mexican-American borders and the efforts which should be made to further secure them against illegal immigration.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Retrieved from winona.edu
Retrieved from winona.edu
Retrieved from winona.edu

Brazilian Americans

Unlike other Hispanic Americans, Brazilian Americans speak Portuguese, a romance language similar to Spanish. Brazilian Portuguese is different from Portuguese spoken in Portugal, with more words in its retinue and a softer method of speaking. Portuguese is similar to Spanish in some forms, making it easier for a Brazilian American to carry a conversation with a Spanish person than an English speaking person when considering a single-language education. Bilingualism touches the Brazilian American community, and more Brazilian Americans are learning English as well as holding to speaking Portuguese.

Brazilian Americans are not technically Hispanic, in that they do not speak Spanish as a native language. They share similarities, however, in that they form close family ties, experience a degree of poverty, and must overcome language issues upon arrival to the United States. Brazilian Americans thrive on the continuation of their rich culture and their prescription to the Roman Catholic faith. Jefferson (2007) describes the social environment in a Brazilian American family and neighborhood to be very focused on the family itself, both direct and extended. Future immigrants are likely invited by their relatives in the United States, and tend to live close to one another.

Interestingly, Brazilian American women are encouraged not to work outside the home, though it often becomes a financial requirement for everyone to work dependent upon the needs of the household. Like their attitude toward family, Brazilian Americans tend toward a keen attention to the political situation in their country of origin, and their involvement in American politics is a relative unknown (Jefferson, 2007).

Funny Cheech & Chong Video

Cuban Americans

Linguistically, Cuban Americans speak Spanish, though a majority of them speak English as well. Steady migration and thorough assimilation into American society has provided Cuban Americans with certain cultural shifts – such as language. Coming from a harsh economic climate to live in America, many Cuban Americans have a much better financial life than they would have had in their home country. Of the groups previously described, Cuban Americans are the most proficient in English, and therefore stand alone in that respect.

Cuban Americans are divided in terms of religion, with many Cuban Americans worshipping as Catholics, yet many more in Cuba itself claiming no religious affiliation as an aftereffect of governmental bias there. Immigrants from Cuba fled extreme poverty and other factors, but find themselves employed, for the most part. Unlike other Hispanic groups, a Cuban American family is likely to be matriarchal, and focused closely on the immediate family rather than including the extended family on both mother and father's sides. As well, Buffington (2007) claims that Cuban-born Cuban Americans are less likely to marry outside the Cuban community, whereas American born Cuban Americans are more likely to marry into Caucasian families. Unemployment rates for Cuban Americans are lower than any other Hispanic group, says Buffington (2007).

Puerto Ricans

A population that is 3.2 million strong in the mainland of the United States (Schaefer, 2006), Puerto Ricans are a somewhat unique group within the Hispanic American culture as they originate from a Spanish background in a commonwealth governed by the United States. Puerto Ricans living within the United States are subject to many of the same stereotypes regarding economic factors much like Mexican-Americans and other Hispanic groups, though the island of Puerto Rico has seen a great deal of aid and experiences a large benefit in terms of tax relief for companies operating out of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans are taught English from an early age, though the proficiency in such is varied for a variety of reasons. Socially, Puerto Ricans are open and friendly, which helps to bridge the language gap. Divorce rates amongst the Puerto Rican community are very low, at about four per 1000 couples. This means that of the estimated 3.2 million people in the United States who are Puerto Rican, only 14,300 of them will go through a divorce.

Most Puerto Ricans prescribe to the Catholic faith, which may be another cause for the low rate of divorce. In regard to politics, Puerto Rico hopes to one-day rule itself, though currently governed by the United States.

Summary

The Hispanic community shares a few very clear qualities in their social and religious statuses. One theme present within each culture is a strong adherence to native traditions and language. Family life appears to be a common focus amongst each of the subcultures researched, and the dominant religious affiliation is Catholic. Each different group is affected by poverty on some level, and each has deviated from the concept of a woman working in the home based on the financial situations the family faces. Beyond the country of origin, these four Hispanic cultures deviate from one another in their cause for immigrating to the United States. Each country that Hispanic Americans can trace their roots to has its own rich history, trials and tribulations. Despite the overall level of economic depression experienced by Hispanic citizens in the United States, for those who have immigrated here and their families, their conditions have improved in comparison.

References

Buffington, S. (2007). Multicultural America. Cuban Americans. Retrieved July 6, 2008 from http://www.everyculture.com

Jefferson, A. (2007). Multicultural America. Brazilian Americans. Retrieved July 6, 2008 from http://www.everyculture.com

Mexican Americans. (2007). Mexican Americans. Statistics. Retrieved July 6, 2008 from http://www.mexicanamericans.com

Rivera, M. (2008). Welcome to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico People. Retrieved July 6, 2008 from http://welcome.topuertorico.org

Shaeffer, R. (2006). Racial and Ethnic Groups. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Frank Garcia 

      9 years ago

      Brazilians are a mixture of Portuguese, black and Indian with a minor admixture of italians, middle eastern and Asian. Simple as that. The most common twenty surnames in brazil are all portuguese in origin.

    • profile image

      Xero 

      9 years ago

      Point of fact. As far as the federal government and the general population are concerned, even though they are not Hispanic, Brazilian Americans are included in that header due to the geographical location of their country of origin.

      Stop giving the author so much guff about this. It's not the authors fault, that's just how it is.

      Anyway, great article. :-)

    • profile image

      Rudy 

      9 years ago

      No Brazilian in his right mind would call himself hispanic.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      9 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      If you actually READ the content, you'd have caught this particular line:

      "Brazilian Americans are not technically Hispanic, in that they do not speak Spanish as a native language."

      Perhaps re-read the section, and don't be so blasted angry when you obviously haven't read the content you're angry about.

    • profile image

      angry brazilian 

      9 years ago

      Could you please stop labeling us as hispanics.We are brazilians .PERIOD.Stop including us with people we have never heard or met before ,like mexicans ,puerto ricans etc.

      I ve never met one hispanic until I have got in to the US.

      Stop labeling us as whatever comes to your mind .We are BRAZILIANS and nothing else!

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      9 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      AnnB - this was my paper for cultural diversity with Axia Online as well. Please be sure to properly cite me when you use any portion of this article for your own paper.

    • profile image

      AnnB 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for the good article. Am using some of this for my cultural dicersity class at U of P Axia on line. Also, thanks for the URL leads.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      10 years ago

      Thank you so much for this insightful hub. It should be required reading.

    • profile image

      Julia 

      11 years ago

      I've never understood all of this classification necessary in the US, about who is what and where they come from originally, or where their grandparents came from or their great-great-whatevers. I'm British, I live in England, and my mother is Brazilian, that is also where I spent the first ten years of my life, aftet the initial three months. I would never think to call myself British-Brazilian or Brazilian-British. This is because I was born in an awful little town called Crewe, in Cheshire. In Brazil, there is a basic rule... where were you born? If you were born in Brazil you're Brazilian, if you weren't, then you're not. It's simple, and it works. It's truly a country of extreme diversity, yet it is fully integrated in itself. People who are of Japanese descent merely consider themselves Brazilian, even if they occasionally visit their grandmother for a nice sushi buffet. Most Brazilians laugh at the very thought of calling someone Afro-Brazilian... nearly everyone has slave blood in them somewhere, at what point would you draw the line? It's only with the increase of American culture in Brazilian society that these lines have occasionally been drawn, mainly by some media and politicians, but the issue of race and ethnicity is not one that brings great confusion to the Brazilian people.

      Last time I was in Ireland, a few months ago, I met some very nice people from NYC who insisted they were Irish, I believe because they were called O'Malley and came from what they deemed an 'Irish' neighbourhood. Well, no offence intended, but I probably have more Irish blood than them and would never consider myself from that country.

      Just be happy with the country you were born in. If not, then leave, emigrate, anything. Don't try to recreate your country in another, and don't try to make your children into something they are not when they will never have the opportunity to grow in the same country as you did.

      You're either American or you're not.

      The Brazilians have it right.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      11 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      john paul, thank you for your comment. Please pay close attention:

      Quoted from the article: "Brazilian Americans are not technically Hispanic, in that they do not speak Spanish as a native language."

    • profile image

      john paul  

      11 years ago

      BRAZILIANS ARE NOT HISPANIC DONT PUT US TOGETHER WITH HISPANIC COMPARATION, WE DONT SPEAK SPANISH, I M SO TIRED OF THIS BRAZIL IS THE MOST MIX NATION OF EARTH STOP ROTULATE US

    • profile image

      blindsleeper1st 

      11 years ago

      Am glad I ran down through your post, I am also writng a paper for a class, which happens to be uop, so I guess I may yous some of your resources but not plagerize myself, glad I saw that one.

    • profile image

      atmex 

      12 years ago

      Hi i read your article for the first time I find it very intresting and I agree with you since I am Mexican American, we should be the biggest segment of the Hispanic community. Where I disagree with you if you read my hub is that the Mexican American community is so divided that we don't make a difference. We have people that call themselves Americans, Texicans, Caucasions, Spanish, Chicanos, and very few who are proud enough to call themselves Mexican American. Thank You

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Arlan,

      Please re-read the section on Brazilian-Americans, especially this part:

      "Brazilian Americans are not technically Hispanic, in that they do not speak Spanish as a native language."

      There's more there, but I think you missed a little bit. :)

    • profile image

      arlan 

      12 years ago

      brazilians are not hispanic. brazilians are germans, italians, polish, portuguese, africans, japanese, koreans, chinese, arabics.... u guys are all wrong... if brazilians are hispanic americans are hispanic as well, i see more similarity between americans to brazilians than between hispanics to Brazilians.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      I did, I wrote it for a University of Phoenix course I took some time ago. :) You can visit the sites listed in my references section below this comment box to see the sites where I got my information.

    • profile image

      Norma 

      12 years ago

      Did you write this for a class. I am looking for research for a paper and I ran across this. It is really good.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thanks for the comment, Eve. Maybe instead of picture hubs you could write about the differences in Latin culture between the US and Canada? :P

    • evemurphy profile image

      evemurphy 

      12 years ago from Ottawa

      America is so blessed to have a rich Hispanic heritage and peoples of Latin extraction that enrich their culture and energize their society. In Canada we do not have the same mix of ethnic diversity, being largely of Scottish peoples, but that is changing with great numbers of peoples from Asia and other places immigrating here. Thanks for this enlightening hub.

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you, Learning Journey! :D

    • profile image

      Learning Journey 

      12 years ago

      A good cross-section of the hispanic community. I like this hub!

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      12 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thank you all for your comments.

      VioletSun, I come from a very mixed ethnic community surprisingly enough. I lived in Imperial Beach for roughly 11 years, and it has never left me, the many differences between the people that society brands as "Latino" when there is so much that is different about the many origins of the same.

      De nada, mi amiga!

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      12 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Was reading the interviews from the newsletter, and read yours, so I clicked on your hubs, and found this one. My comments are rather late, but enjoyed reading this!

      Muchas gracias for taking the time to bring cultural awareness about the hispanic community. I am South American, speak fluent Spanish. We in the Latin community have differences in terms of music, food,  religion, even physical appearance depending what country we come from. I wish though, that it would a requirement for every immigrant  to learn English as its done in France, because having the ability to communicate would improve the quality of life.

    • profile image

      kristendom 

      12 years ago

      Very enlightening indeed. E Pluribus Unum

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      12 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Very wise and good Hub..and i agree many just don't get it...but then there is also the filp side..and we all know what that is...I did learn much from this and I Thank You my dear...G-ma :O) HUGS

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      12 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Thank you for your wonderful and enlightening insight on a subject of which too many Americans remain ignorant. I have been a bilingual teacher for 8 years and I have found that even within the mostly Mexican Hispanic background my students have there are vast differences between families that come from one state of Mexico or another. Vera Cruz in very different than the interior states, and the cultural background of people also has a large influence on their family structure, outlook for the future and other factors.

      The one thing I found to be very common, however, is the burning pride of culture and heritage, which I applaud. The Hispanic students it has been my privielge to work with have taught me as much or more than I could ever have taught them. While I taught them curriculum, they taught me pride of heritage, familyvalues and tobe content with who I am. Those are lessons I will never forget.

      Muchicimas gracias!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)