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Hispanic Americans in the United States Essay

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Abstract Over the past several decades, the United States has become a much more diverse country. Immigration from most if not all countries throughout the world are the reason for this. A large portion of the immigrants that make up our country are Hispanics. Hispanics aren’t just made up of one group of people, but rather several groups from different countries of the world including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Central America, and South America.

They differ in many ways from one another including but not limited to their method of entry into the United States, the color of their skin, traditions, culture, political background, musical trends, and lifestyle. In many ways, Hispanics are disadvantaged from non-Hispanic whites. This has been the way since they first came to the United States. If it wasn’t for the color of their skin and for some of them, their dialect or language, they may not be subject to the prejudice and discrimination they encounter on a daily basis. HISPANIC AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES 3 Hispanic Americans in the United States A large portion of the population in the United States is made up of immigrants.

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Many of those immigrants are of Hispanic origin. Hispanic Americans make up several groups of people. Each of the different groups have a set of their own traditions and their cultures vary slightly and sometimes very significantly. Americans tend to group all Hispanics into one group and forget that not all of them came from one country, but rather several countries. Entering the United States Mexican Americans Throughout most of our history, Mexicans have entered the United States voluntarily. The American Southwest was previously part of Mexico until they lost it to the United States after the Mexican War (Marger, 2012).

The Mexicans that inhabited those areas were then incorporated into the United States (Marger, 2012). Puerto Rican Americans Puerto Ricans didn’t come to the United States by force, nor voluntarily. The United States gained Puerto Rico as part of its territory after the Spanish-American War and those on the island were automatically given American citizenship (Marger, 2012). Puerto Ricans were then able to come and go freely as they chose, just as American citizens are able to go from state to state. Cuban Americans Cubans have recently come to the United States voluntarily similar to the Puerto Ricans and Mexicans.

Their motive for migrating to the United States though was for political reasons rather than economic reasons like the Mexicans and Puerto Ricans (Marger, 2012). When the HISPANIC AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES 4 Cubans came to the United States, they tended to be more educated and more prepared to begin an occupation than most other foreign immigrants (Marger, 2012). Central Americans Many of the Central American immigrants have come to the United States as political refugees (Marger, 2012). Most have come voluntarily like many of the Hispanic migrants have.

Another large reason for Central Americans migrating to the United States was for economic opportunities (Marger, 2012). Hispanics and Music About Latin Music Latin music first developed in different Latin American countries, mainly Cuba and it is originally derived from African religious ceremonies (Revels-Bay). Latin music is a unique kind of music and it has a unique rhythmic structure when compared to American music (Revels-Bay). American music can be considered by most people to be Rock and Roll. Latin music is typically viewed as dance music. It has a lot of rhythm which is highly syncopated (Revels-Bay).

Latin music, like American music includes many instruments. American music tends to be more on the beat than Latin music. Latin music also uses more percussion instruments than American music and it includes several different string instruments. Some of the string instruments include timbales, congas, congo, guitar and the Cuban guitar (Revels-Bay). Over the years, the bass, trumpets, trombones and woodwinds were added to play melodies and repetitions of sound and the piano replaced the guitar (Revels-Bay).

Latin Music Gaining Popularity The motivations underlying the boom of Latino music have brought possibilities for economic gain and increase the visibility of Latin Americans within the United States (Cepeda). HISPANIC AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES 5 Two Latin Americans who have brought Latin music to America are Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

They have hits in the United States and also have Crescent Moon Studios. Crescent Moon Studios are a Mimi-based Sony affiliate that grosses 200 million dollars yearly (Cepeda). Their Crescent Moon Studios are also a reason for the popular building of the Latino music in the media industry in the United States. Gloria and Emilio Estefan are two very successful Hispanic Americans.

There are several famous musical artists but because of their race, it is harder for them to be accepted into the musical industry. The number of Hispanic Americans who have been successful making music is relatively small when compared to the number of non-Hispanic musical artists. There have been several popular Latin musical artists who have brought new meaning to Latin music in the United States. Some examples are Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. They keep a lot of the Latin culture in the Latin-American music, but they “Americanize” it in a sense and the language used is English.

This has helped to integrate one part of the Hispanic cultures into today’s American society. Hispanic American Families Family Structure Traditionally in the Hispanic culture, the father or the oldest male in the family holds the greatest amount of authority over the family and women typically show submission (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The responsibilities tend to be shared among the members of the family. When compared to the non-Hispanic whites, many of the households are similar. Although, throughout the years, the father or oldest male is no longer always the authority holder in the home.

Instead, the mother and father hold equal amounts of authority. HISPANIC AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES 6 The household size of Hispanic American families is larger than other American families. The average size of a Hispanic household is 3. 47 people and for the rest of the population, the average is 2. 62 people (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Family Values Family is an important part in most Hispanic American’s lives. Family is a large reason for immigration for many of them. They may have family ties here who they wish to move closer to or they may be moving here to provide a better life for their family.

The extended family of Hispanic Americans plays a major role in each family member’s life (Moitinho). They tend to have strong bonds and a lot of interaction among much of the family and extended family. In many households, parents, grandparents and children live in the same home or live nearby (Moitinho). Among most Hispanic families, faith and church are a lot times central to their family and community life. Most Hispanic homes have a religious object and most attend a religious service once a month or more (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Single Parent versus Two Parent Families.

In the United States, 70% of Hispanic children live in two parent homes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Single parent families among Mexican Americans have grown from 14% in 1980 to 22% in 2001 (Zeiders, Roosa, & Yuntein, 2011). Children who live in a single parent home tend to be at greater risk than children in two parent homes for academic and conduct problems, substance abuse and depression (Zeiders, Roosa & Yuntein, 2011). This may be due to the fact that there is a lack of financial resources for some of the single parent families versus the two parent families who may have a double income.

Although there are some studies HISPANIC AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES 7 that show Latino children in single parent homes are more likely to have negative outcomes, there are also some studies that show they are not (Zeiders, Roosa & Yuntein, 2011). Marriage Patterns In the United States, Mexican American females are most likely to be married and non-hispanic blacks are the least likely (Landale, Oropesa, & Bradatan, 2006). Among some of the Hispanic races in the United States, 4% of Cuban females and 38% of Puerto Rican females aged 20-24 are married (Landale, Oropesa, & Bradatan, 2006).

Fitting In Over recent decades, Hispanic Americans have adapted to more of the “Americanized” way of living. Many of them dress alike, eat American food, go to college, etc. They have assimilated somewhat, but are far from being fully assimilated. They may never actually be fully assimilated into American society. One main reason is their race. It has typically been shown throughout history that races made up of white people are able to assimilate much easier than those with different skin colors.

Conclusion Hispanics have come from several different countries and even look dissimilar from each other but are still each identified as Hispanics. Throughout the years, Hispanics have adapted to the American way of living and continue to do so. The only thing separating many Hispanics from non-ethnic whites is the color of their skin. As a whole, Hispanics have assimilated in many ways but they will probably never be fully assimilated. Instead, they may be working towards full acculturation.

HISPANIC AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES 8 References Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n. d. ). Retrieved November 14, 2013, from http://www. cdc. gov/… /Audience/AudienceInsight_CulturalInsights.

pdf Cepeda, M. E. Mucholoco for ricky martin; or the politics of chronology, crossover, and language within the latino music “boom”. Popular music and society, 55-67. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from Ebscohost. Landale, N. S. , Oropesa, R. S. , & Bradatan, C. (2006). Hispanic families in the United States: Family structure and process in an era of family change. In Hispanics and the future of America. Retrieved November 14, 2013 from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/books/NBK19902/ Marger, M. N. (2012). Race and ethnic relations American and global perspectives (9th ed. ).

Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Moitinho, E. (n. d. ). Hispanic culture 101. In American association of christian counselors. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://www. aacc. net/2012/09/21/hispanic-culture-101-increase-your-hispaniclatinocultura l-iq/ Revels-Bey, N. (n. d. ). History of Latin music. In Revels-Bay Music. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://www. revels-bey. com/history_of_latin_music. htm Zeiders, K. H. , Roosa, M. W. , & Yuntein, J. (2011). Family structure and family processes in mexican-american families. Family process, 70-91. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from Ebscohost.

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