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Mexicans And Their Soical Issues They Face. Talk About Their History, Culture, Family Life, And Social Issues. Includes Bibliography

1876 words - 8 pages

The people of Mexico reflect the country's rich history. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire in the early 16th century soon led to widespread intermarriage and racial mixing between Spaniards and Native Americans. As late as the early 19th century, Native Americans accounted for nearly two-thirds of the population in the region. During that century, however, the racial composition of the country began to change from one that featured distinct European and native populations, to one made up largely of mestizos, people of mixed Spanish and Native American descent. By the end of the 19th century, mestizos, who were discriminated against during three centuries of Spanish colonization, had ...view middle of the document...

Close to 60 percent believe themselves to be "good Catholics." Approximately 20 percent of Mexican Americans in the United States belong to Protestant communions (Encarta 2002).The Mexican culture has a very rich heritage of both Indian and Spanish ancestry, which have great influence on raising children. Mexico was a patriarchal society under the Spanish legal system. Women only had rights over their children in extreme circumstances such as default of a natural or appointed male relative. The idea of Spanish family law was primarily unchanged until the late 19th century and was not significantly revised until the 1960s (Lavrin, 1991).Today, in Mexican households in both the United States and Mexico there is still a traditional division of labor by gender. For example, girls help their mothers in the kitchen and boys help their fathers in the yard. In addition to the division of labor by gender, in the Mexican culture adult males are "expected" to be dominant over adult females (Bronstein, 1994). In the interview with Ricky, he told me "The man is more dominant. Most often women tend to take care of the kids and cook by staying home. Traditional Mexican males don't tend to do much besides being the bread winner."In Mexican families the mother is the primary caretaker of the children. Typically, Mexican mothers are very affectionate especially to children under 3 years of age (Bronstein, 1994). While there appears to be defined roles for males and females, Mexican mothers did not differ in their treatment of children based on gender (Bronstein, 1994).In traditional Mexican culture the male is the disciplinarian and his wife and children both respect him. The father's role has been characterized by "aloof authoritarianism". Recent research has shown that fathers in Mexico and in the United States are quite similar in their discipline style. In both countries, fathers from lower socio-economic status families were less nurturing and used more frequent and harsh discipline styles (such as spanking and yelling) than fathers from higher socio-economic status families (Bronstein, 1994; Mirande, 1988; Fox & Solis-Camara, 1997).Mexican fathers treat their children differently based on gender. Fathers often pay more attention to their sons, and are less punishing of their daughters (Bronstein, 1994). Despite traditional gender roles there has been some changes in the fathers role. Today, fathers are more involved with their children than in the past. The involvement, however, is typically physical and outdoor play (Bronstein, 1994).The knowledge of how Mexicans raise their kids is important to the social work practice. In every culture there are norms that differ from our own. The social worker needs to know what is excepted in the family they are working with, regardless if it is different from their own beliefs. What is behaviorally appropriate in one culture may seem abnormal in another. Accepted practice in one culture may be prohibited in...

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