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The less segregation, the more assimilation. It is a give and take situation.
The highest level of education a Latin American immigrant has, the more willing he/she is to assimilate. Yet, he/she gives up his cultural origins. In terms of their level of integration in the U.S., there are implications for both the Mexicans and the more assimilated Latin American groups in the U.S. While the later might enjoy greater economical benefits than Mexicans, Mexicans is the only ethnic group that has kept its cultural roots generation after generation at the expense of not enjoying such economical benefits.
While Mexicans have refused to assimilate, they have influenced the U.S. culture in every way. A couple hundred years from now, the only culture alive in the U.S. will be the Mexican (Dia de los Muertos, piñatas, mariachi, tacos, etc.). The rest will be passing technology, brands, and disposable things. Mexicans have the ability to layer several cultures without renouncing their own. I’m very proud of every single bilingual and bicultural Mexican-American in the U.S.
By Mari D. González
I’m a graduate student in Intercultural Communication doing research on online marketing specific to Latinos in the U.S. and Mexicans in Mexico. I do a lot of reading on the topic and just finished reading Joe Kutchera’s book, Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content.
His is a complete read on the intricacies of the Latino market from a global and international perspective. He is not simply expressing his opinions. He does extensive research and lets the voices of other experts speak and share their valuable in-the-trenches experiences. Latino Link presents the real step-by-step, “how to” market to Latinos and to middle-class Mexicans who travel from Mexico to shop in the U.S. that I haven’t found in other books.
We already know the Latino/Hispanic market is large and expanding. The numbers are there–just check the Pew Hispanic Center website. Yet, we need to understand the complexities of comparing and contrasting this market within the context of the general market. And, beyond that, he compares the Latino market with Mexico as a stand alone and expanding online market. Kutchera talks about the “invisible consumer,” the affluent and middle-class Mexican buyer whose potential has not been recognized. Why? Perhaps, because most executives and so-called Hispanic marketing consultants have been fixated on the stereotypical Latino/Hispanic and the Mexican (in Mexico) consumer and continue to exploit the market based on such stereotypes.
What I enjoyed most is Mr. Kutchera’s ability to investigate without a preconceived premise or hypothesis. He is open to being surprised and finding new knowledge outside the box even from his own nephews who are habitual internet users and are the present and future consumers. As a consumer behavior researcher who focuses on the cultural and linguistic aspects of the Latino/Hispanic y en el mercado de Mexico, and the market in Mexico, I highly recommend Latino Link.
Edited by Connie Cobb
Last year, the August 13, 2010, Huffington Post’s Huffpost Tech, listed the following countries as the top Facebook users:
This year, as of July 5, Check Facebook, a Facebook marketing statistics site, contains a slightly different list of top Facebook countries:
What makes these countries top users?
- extensive access to Internet
- high population numbers
- users’ affinity for U.S. culture
- familiarity with the English language
- a high number of young users
- or, a combination of some or all these variables.
If you follow Internet use around the world, you might be familiar with the popularity of other social network sites such as Google’s Orkut in India and Brazil. With Brazil making this year’s list, one can speculate that users are moving from Orkut to Facebook. Yet, only 31.46% of Brazilian online users are on Facebook.
As for Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, and the Philippines, 100% of online users are on Facebook, which means no other social-network or online communication platform is competing.
Why isn’t China on the list? China’s government prevents Internet users in China from accessing Facebook. The most popular site in China is RenRen, which can be accessed in the U.S. and is supported by U.S. investors.
Another question: Are the top 10 Facebook countries selected based on the percentage of each country’s total population of active online users or on the total number of users?
For example, 30% of Mexico’s total population (112,322,757 x .3 = 33,696,825) are Facebook users but 70% of Canada’s (34,507,000 x .7 = 24,154,900). It appears that Mexico made the list based on population-number advantage, and Canada was dropped because of its smaller population.
Edited by Connie Cobb
By Mari D. Gonzalez
1810-2010: Identity of Blended People
The more blended people in the Southern Hemisphere of America began the tedious task of being named, boxed, and “other-ed” by their settlers five centuries ago. Mexican as a nationality came about exactly two centuries ago when “La Nueva España” gained independence in 1810 and it named itself Mexico after its indigenous roots.
There wasn’t neither a country named Mexico nor “Mexicans” before then. The process for Mexicans to develop their own cultural identity began with the Mexican Revolution and culminated with La Epoca de Oro, The Golden Era, of cinema in the 1950’s and with the amazing proliferation of world-class visual art by icons such as Khalo, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Orozco who exposed a rather dignifying Mexican working class and their popular culture.
Mexicans, as any other labeled people, do not represent a particular classification but “una amalgama” between the already ethnically diverse Spaniards whose background could have been Arabic, Jew, Celt, or other from that well-mixed Southern region; slaves from Africa; and the local indigenous peoples.
“Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds”
Latin Americans, as did Latin Europeans, continue to mix and blend. According to scholar and historian Gregory Rodriguez’ (2007) research reported on his book “Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America,” the majority of second- and third-generation Latinos marry outside their own ethnicity.
Latinos, people with origins in Latin America, have already gone through what this country is about to. This census year, the task of boxing people, who from the beginning of history have blended despite legal, religious, and social limitations, will be incommensurable.
Hopefully, this tediousness will prompt us to give up classifying people solely on physical appearance.
Contribución de Aurelia Fierros
Mi recopilación informativa y reflexión sobre el tema se basa más en un principio empírico y en la observación directa/periodística del fenómeno al que hoy llamamos Spanglish. No obstante, coincido con el resultado de tu estudio formal en que, sí hay una particularidad en la utilización del Spanglish por parte de la primera, segunda y hasta tercera generación de hijos de inmigrantes hispanos, cuando mezclan los idiomas que nos ocupan (inglés y español) para dar origen al híbrido que aquí tratamos de explicar. Es definitivamente distinto al utilizado -por ejemplo- por los pachucos en los años 40s y 50s.
Las palabras expresadas aquí, http://www.hispanicla.com/archive/espanol-y-spanglish/ son sólo un muestrario finito aunque se entiende que el vocabulario del Spanglish no lo es tanto, en el sentido de que -de nuevo, por ejemplo- muchos anglicismos son aceptados hoy en día como incorporaciones formales a otros lenguajes, incluido el español. El caso más explícito tal vez sea el de los vocablos de la nueva tecnología, los que día a día se incrementan y gracias al internet, un amplio público y mayormente los jóvenes, los adoptan con gran facilidad.
Por otro lado, la cuestión de las lenguas indígenas con relación al español y los inmigrantes, es otra que representa un reto no sólo en EE.UU. sino también en nuestros propios países latinoamericanos. Me encanta saber que hay quienes se apasionan en el tema al grado de enfocar sus estudios académicos a disciplinas relacionadas. El tema no tiene fin y es casi adictivo pero será siempre enriquecedor recibir sus comentarios.
Escrito por Mari D. González
De acuerdo a mi último estudio, los jóvenes quienes aprenden español en su casa – ya sea porque sus padres se lo exigen o porque sus padres no hablan ingles- y que aprendieron ingles a temprana edad, prefieren, al hablar casualmente con sus amigos(as), usar las palabras y frases en español que aprendieron en casa y mezclarlas con términos o frases en ingles que aprendieron en la escuela.
Este proceso de “back and forth” de una lengua a otra no necesariamente incluye palabras comúnmente conocidas como Spanglish.
En mi opinión, las palabras en español inglesadas o anglicismos denotan conceptos nuevos o variaciones de conceptos ya conocidos que se añaden al vocabulario en el lenguaje que fueron aprendidas manteniendo el sonido español por la popularidad de su uso y la funcionalidad que ofrecen.
El use de Spanglish es más común en los mexicanos quienes nos aferramos a un español menos castellano y más Náhuatl y en personas para quienes no es práctico buscar en el diccionario español-ingles la traducción al español de palabras nuevas en ingles.
It is becoming more and more common to encounter indigenous people from Latin America in the U.S. who speak their indigenous languages and do not speak Spanish, yet they are learning English. They are mostly young men from Southern Mexico or Central America.
Last month, I interpreted for two young men in their early twenties for a recorded statement related to a car accident. Both were from Guatemala. The youngest seemed very shy. Although he understood most of the questions I asked in Spanish, he needed further interpretation from his cousin who was fluent in Spanish and three other indigenous languages from Guatemala.
According to scholars (Elliot, Adams, & Sockalingam, 1999) indigenous people in the Americas should not be “counted” as Latinos. From their comprehensive study on cultural groups in the U.S. in the communications field, they conclude that,
Latino is used to refer to people with a lineage or cultural heritage related to Latin America, but should not be used to refer to the millions of Native Americans in the region. [Furthermore] members of indigenous groups in Mexico… object to being referred as ‘Mexicans’ (Multicultural Toolkit Summary, Hispanic American Communication Patterns, 3).