Mexican Americans Essay

(Part 2)


This mobility allowed them to maintain much of their Mexican culture and beliefs while African Americans were unable to overcome the vast distance between the United States and Africa. Healey believes that as the population moved freely across the border, the Mexican culture was continuously reinforced even though they had been attacked and disregarded by the Anglo-American society.

Mexican traditions and language are two of the more obvious examples in which Mexican American and Anglo American cultures differ. Religion is another area in which there are cultural differences, while the majority of Anglo Americans are Protestant an overwhelming majority of Mexican Americans are Catholic. Not only do we see differences in spiritual beliefs but there are also distinct differences in their religious practices. For example, Mexican Americans, especially men, are less concerned with attending church services, preferring to express their beliefs in a less routine way, while Anglo Americans have a defined routine of attending church as a way of expressing their religious beliefs. Machismo is another area of cultural differences between Mexican Americans and other minority groups. Machismo is a value system that emphasizes male dominance, honor, virility, and violence (Healey). The concern for male pride can be found in most cultures and with some degree of variance and expression. While machismo is a concept that often dictates many aspects of Mexican Americans, they tend to place a higher value on family relations and obligations, compared to Anglo Americans (Healey). Traditionally, the Mexican American family is a close-knit group which includes parents, children and extended family. Mexican American families are raised on the importance of honor, good manners and respect. Family ties are very strong for Mexican Americans; when a family member leaves to find work across the border, staying with family and friends is a common practice.

As the twenty-first century begins, minority groups in the United States will continue to demand openness, fairness, equality and respect for their traditions and beliefs. Mexican presence in the Unites States is defined by immigration. According to Healy, current Mexican immigration continues to reflect the disparities of development and standard of living between the United States and Mexico. Mexico remains to be an agricultural nation, with a low standard of living and a rising population stricken by poverty. Healy states that 40% of Mexico’s current population lives in poverty.