Chapter 9
Hispanic Americans
Part 1
Hispanic Population
• In 2002 the Hispanic population by
nationality was
– Mexican 66.9%
– Puerto Rican 8.6%
– Central/South American 14.3%
– Cuban 3.7%
– Other Hispanic 6.5%
Hispanic Population
• By the year 2100 Hispanics will
constitute about one-third of the
• Diverse
– Culturally
– Economically
Latino Identity
• Panethnicity - refers to a common
identity and sense of solidarity among
Latinos from different nationalities
Latino Identity
• While there is considerable diversity
among Hispanics, a number of factors
tend to bring the Hispanic community
1. Language
2. Spanish formatted television stations
3. English and Spanish periodicals aimed at the
Hispanic community
Latino Identity
• Divisions remain
– culturally
– politically
– economically
– identity
Figure 9-4 People in
Poverty Trends, 1979-2003
The Language Divide
• Bilingualism - involves the use of two
or more languages
• Bilingual educational
1. English as a Second Language program
• Most common program but most lack a bicultural
2. English immersion program
The Language Divide
• Problems in implementing bilingual
1. Lack of teachers to incorporate a Bicultural
2. The number of languages spoken by children and
the lack of qualified teachers
3. Ethnocentrism
• Research results on bilingual
Official Language
• The 1980’s and 1990’s saw an
increase in attacks on
– Political
– Education
• Decline in Federal support for
bilingual programs
• An increase in the number of States
that have passed laws making
English the State’s official language
• California and Proposition 227 end to
bilingual education
• Attacks on bilingual education
Growing Political
• Voting rights
• Banning literacy tests
• In 1975 Congress moved in the
direction that resulted in legislation
that provided for multilingual election
ballots in areas with at least a 5%
minority population
Growing Political
• Political trends
– Increase in registered voters
– Increased number that vote
– Less commitment to one party
– In between major elections, little effort is
made to count Latino interest except by Latino
elected officials
• Borderlands – land between Mexico
and the United States, the area of
common culture
• Legal and illegal immigration
• North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA)
• Exchange of media across the border
• Hometown clubs are nonprofit
organizations that maintain close ties
to immigrants’ hometowns in Mexico
and other Latin American countries
• Maquiladoras - foreign-owned and
established businesses on the
Mexican side of the border
• Job exportation from the
manufacturing North in the United
States and the exploitation of
Mexican workers
• Migradollars or remittances
Cuban Americans
• Patterns of immigration
• Cuban settlements in Florida date
back to the early nineteenth century
– Where small communities organized around
single family enterprises
Cuban Americans
• Since the Cuban Revolution in 1959,
there have been successive groups of
• First: About 200,000 came during the
first three years after Castro came
into power
• Second: Freedom flights - another
340,000 came from 1965-1973
• Third: Mariel - another 124,000 came
in the freedom flotilla (Mariel
• Fourth: In 1994 - economic push
The Present Picture:
Cuban Americans
• The influence of Cuban Americans
– Miami area
– In Urban centers
• Generational relations among Cubans
– Generational clash between cultures
(parent and child)
• Cuba and Cubans
• Inter-ethnic relations between Cubans
and other Hispanic’s at times have
been strained
• Adjustments were made by Cuban
immigrants with the loss of income
and family roles
• Long-range perspective of Cubans in
the U.S. depends on several factors
Central and South
• Central and South Americans came
– historically different experiences and times
– culturally diverse backgrounds
• Color gradient and race in the United
Central and South
• Immigration has been influenced by a
number of push and pull factors
• U.S. immigration laws
• Social and economic forces in their
home country
– War and persecution
– Economic deprivation
Present View
• Many immigrants have problems
because they came to the United
States without the proper documents
• Many were professionals and had to
adjust to downward mobility
– lower status jobs
• Unemployment
• Adjustments in family roles
• Brain drain

Chapter One Sociological Perspectives on Social Problems