Cultural Identity Interview and Analysis Essay

An interview with a member of the Mexican American community was conducted on December 1st. 2007. This research will supply a sum-up of that interview ; peculiarly. it will include a description of the regulations. norms. traditions. and values of Mexican American civilization.

The research will besides discourse: a ) how the premises sing cultural norms affect the interviewee’s behaviour in his day-to-day life ; b ) any disadvantages related to his civilization being outside “the norm” and how he reacts to that ; degree Celsiuss ) any advantages related to being assimilated to the “normative” civilization and how he reacts ; vitamin D ) his beginnings of strength or support ; e ) an analysis of the four dimension theory and how it relates to the interviewee’s life. Finally. the research will supply some penetration on how one can efficaciously pass on with people of other civilizations.

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In fact. communicating with assorted members that belong to other cultural groups ( i. e. Arab Americans. Latino Americans. African Americans. etc ) may be hard some at times because of the cultural difference that exists between the groups. Jose Luis Aguilar was born in Tijuana. Mexico on January 7th. 1972. Mexican is the cultural group he belongs. He lived in Mexico for 29 old ages. In 2001. he immigrated in Los Angeles. California. Job chances. presence of household members. and the presence of a monolithic Mexican community were the factors that brought him to immigrate into the United States.

Mexican Americans are the largest Latino or Latino cultural group in the United States. Harmonizing to the 2000 Census. about 20 million Hispanic or Latinos of the 35 million in the United States are Mexican Americans ( U. S. Census. 2000 ) . Mr. Aguilar’s native linguistic communication is Spanish. However. during the past old ages spent in California. he was able to larn basic English. although it remains a 2nd linguistic communication as the bulk of the Mexican American who live in the United States.

Richard Schaefer stated “as of 2002. about 23 per centum of Mexican Americans are English dominant. 26 per centum are bilingual. and 51 per centum are Spanish dominant” ( Schaefer. 2006. p. 241 ) . Mr. Aguilar’s faith is Catholic. Indeed. Mexican Americans represent “the largest figure of Catholic immigrants to the United States comes from Mexico ; Mexico besides sends the largest figure of Protestant immigrants to the United States” ( Murray. 2006 ) . Mr. Aguilar is married. He has a 1 year-old boy.

Aguilar’s household has a patriarchal organisation as the same as other many Mexican American households have. Harmonizing to Kathleen Niska. Mexican Americans Families “continuity was characterized by female parents making undertakings inside the house. male parents making undertakings outside the house. and both parents executing yearling and early childhood tasks” ( Niska. 2001 ) . One of the Mexican traditions that Mr. Aguilar mentioned during the interview was “quinceanera” . This ritual is celebrated in church when adult females reach the age of 15 to thank God that they arrived to this phase of their lives.

Similar to a nuptials twenty-four hours jubilation. the jubilation of a girl’s 15th birthday is a major event in most Latino girls’ lives as it means that she begins her journey to maturity ( Mattel. 2001 ) . They are ready to acquire married. The rite of quinceanera is viewed non merely as a gesture to beef up religion and household but besides as a agency to forestall adolescent gestations. A quinceanera besides allows for directing a message of sexual duty ( NC Times. 2008 ) . Mr. Aguilar is an independent contractor chiefly for existent estate direction companies. He provides general care services at $ 10 an hr.

So far. he had limited picks sing the occupations ( e. g. janitorial. landscape gardening. and care ) he could make since he moved into United States. Lack of instruction and his pending position with INS ( he has non received his green card yet. work license merely ) were the obstructions that did non let him to obtain better paid occupations. Harmonizing to David Spener. “Mexican immigrant workers play an of import economic function inside the United States every bit good. They constitute a important part ( 8 per centum ) of the entire U. S. fabrication work force” ( Spener. 2000 ) . Mexican Americans are normally have been seen by American companies as “cheap labor” .

Mr. Aguilar shared that members of his civilization had been affected by any signifier of racism. bias or favoritism. In peculiar. he pointed out the bilingualism issue and the tenseness that the proposition 227 created among his community. Proposition 227 went into consequence in 1998 and required that all public school direction had to be in English. A ) How do premises about cultural “norms” impact your interviewee’s behaviour on a daily footing? Mr. Aguilar pointed out how one peculiar premise sing Mexican Americans civilization affects his life on a daily footing.

He mentioned that one of his cousins was a gang member ; he was killed months ago. A popular premise is that Mexican American pack rank is generational which means the rank from a male parent to a boy or from a household member to another 1. Therefore. based on this premise. people believe that he is a gang member. So. Mr. Aguilar’s behavior is direct to forestall anything that may misdirect people in this sense. e. g. erosion red or blue. or specific vesture. or holding tattoos. B ) Does your interviewee acknowledge any challenges or disadvantages related to her/his civilization being outside the “norm” ?

How does he/she respond to those challenges? Similar to several other fellow Mexican Americans. Mr. Aguilar is able to pass on in his native linguistic communication without larning English decently. In fact. Spanish linguistic communication is normally spoken in the metropolis of Los Angeles. Almost every topographic point ( food market shops. eating houses. public offices. and so forth ) has marks and waies in Spanish linguistic communication. This monolithic publicity of Mr. Aguilar’s native linguistic communication in the United States encouraged by Mass Media represents a disadvantage. Radio and telecasting have besides been factors that allowed Mexican Americans. as Mr.

Aguilar. to keep their original cultural values. In fact. in 2004. there were over 678 Spanish linguistic communication wireless Stationss compared to 1982. when there were 12 Spanish linguistic communication telecasting Stationss in the United States. This figure more than doubled within 10 old ages. Several creative persons ( e. g. Jennifer Lopez or Shakira ) helped to advance their civilizations by singing in their traditional linguistic communications ( Jandt. 2007 ) . Mr. Aguilar has responded to this challenge by inscribing himself in an grownup school in order to better his English. However. as of today. he is still fighting to compose. read and talk English fluently.

C ) Does your interviewee acknowledge any privileges or advantages associated with absorbing to the “normative” civilization? How does he/she respond to that acknowledgment? Mr. Aguilar recognized that being assimilated to the “normative” civilization has some advantages. In peculiar. he stated that a positive facet is that immigrants learn the linguistic communication of the “normative” civilization ; they are able to avoid any signifier of isolation and segregation. Furthermore. these immigrants probably will non confront any bias from the dominant society as he experienced during his stay in the United States. During the interview Mr.

Aguilar recalled a few household familiarities with 3rd coevals boies and girls who had an version in the American civilization different compared to their parents. In fact. they were able to travel to school. larn the linguistic communication. acquire a college instruction. and obtain a good occupation. They became a portion of the American civilization. In fact. they celebrate the 4th of July and the Thanksgiving. which are truly American vacations. They besides had to larn about professional athleticss other than Mexican association football. He now is besides watching baseball. hoops. and American football games. D ) What does that individual cite as being beginnings of strength or support?

Mr. Aguilar cited church and household as his beginnings of strength or support. As many others fellow Mexicans Americans. Mr. Aguilar gives exceeding importance to faith and household on a daily footing ; he is really active in his community particularly with human-centered enterprise promoted by his Catholic church. Mr. Aguilar is really household orientated. He tries to pass as much clip as possible with his household ; it may be common to see him making concern with his households around. E ) An analysis of the four dimension theory and how it relates to the interviewee’s life A theory from the class that was good related to Mr.

Aguilar’s interview is the “four dimensions of culture” by Geert Hofstede. Particularly. Aguilar’s interview confirmed that in the Mexican civilization maleness is prevailing. largely due its history. Mexican households were chiefly patriarchal therefore work forces were in charge of the household ; they were working to supply money and nutrient while adult females were at place taking attention of the kids. Mexican civilization is based more on Bolshevism due chiefly to the fact that more people with fiscal troubles seek to one another for aid or garner together ( e. g. two or three households populating in the same flat ) .

Power distance is embodied in the Mexican civilization. Mexico is a underdeveloped state with important fiscal jobs. The difference between people ( e. g. hapless and rich people ) is good marked. Finally. the 4th dimension. uncertainness turning away. is correlated to faith and history of the civilizations ( Jandt. 2007 ) . Roman Catholic Christian civilizations and civilizations with Romance linguistic communications ( e. g. Mexico ) tend to hit high. In decision. communicating with assorted members that belong to other cultural groups may be hard at times because of the cultural difference that exists between the groups.

However. inclusive linguistic communication can be an effectual manner to pass on with such members. Mr. Aguilar and the interviewer are from different civilization backgrounds. There were times during the interview where inclusive linguistic communication was used to avoid miscommunication. Choosing the right words when pass oning with members who have different backgrounds may assist to forestall miscommunication that may stop up pigeonholing them on the footing of race. gender. disablement. faith. or other factors.

Furthermore. carry oning research and garnering information on members with different backgrounds may assist non merely to get the better of linguistic communication issues but besides can help people in going more culturally sensitive. Mentions Jandt. F. E. ( 2007 ) . An debut to intercultural communicating ( 5th ed. ) . Thousand Oaks. CA: Sage Publications Mattel Inc. ( 2001. May ) . Happy 15th quinceanera barbie® ! mattel’s misss division launches foremost hispanic-tradition subject barbie® doll. Retrieved on January 11. 2008 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. stockholder.

com/mattel/news/20010515-43065. cfm Murray. B. ( 2006. January ) . Latino Religion in the U. S. : Demographic Shifts and Trends. Retrieved on August 19. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. facsnet. org/issues/faith/espinosa. php Niska. K. ( 2001 ) . Mexican American Family Survival. Continuity. and Growth: The Parental Perspective. Retrieved on August 19. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //nsq. sagepub. com/cgi/content/abstract/14/4/322 NC Times. com ( 2008. January ) . For Latino Catholics. Quinceanera ritual provides lessons on religion. household —- and sex. Retrieved on January 11. 2008 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. nctimes.

com/articles/2008/01/05/faith/17_56_271_3_08. txt Schaefer. R. T. ( 2006 ) . Racial and Cultural Groups. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Spener D. ( 2000 ) . Mexican labour at the centre of North American economic integrating. Retrieved on August 19. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa3688/is_200007/ai_n8892489 U. S. Census Bureau ( 2000 ) . Profile of General Demographic Characteristics:2000. Retrieved on August 19. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //factfinder. nose count. gov/servlet/QTTable? _bm=y & A ; – geo_id=01000US & A ; -qr_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_DP1 & A ; -ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U.