Diversity within Latino Families by wuyunqing


									                               Diversity within Latino Families
                            Sociohistorical Context for Diversity
   Families have incorporated into the US by migration and conquest.
   Following conquests rapid economic growth resulted in a shortage of labor…Mexican
    were recruited beginning a pattern of labor migration that continues.
   Mexican population tripled in 20 years to13.5 million in ‟90.
   In 1995, 2/3 of MA are native born, and the remainder are foreign born.
   With some exception, typical migrant has low ses and rural origins
   Recent immigrants have a distinct disadvantage because of education, limited work
    skills, and language.
   Mexicans are concentrated in barrios with social networks where information is
    shared, contacts are made; job referrals given
   Puerto Ricans citizens
     – Major migration to US after WW II
           High unemployment

           Inexpensive air travel

           Labor recruitment by US companies

     – Concentrated near port of arrival – NY although some dispersement has taken
     – Engaged in a variety of blue-collared jobs, concentrated in textile and garment
     – Loss of manufacturing in US has decimated these families
     – Most economically depressed and most female headed households
   Cubans – since 1959
   Us supported migration with massive supports, loans, welfare payments, health care
    etc….phased out in 70s.
   Concentrated in South Florida; Miami in a true ethnic enclave.
   High rates of entrepreneurship resulted in consolidation of a true enclave.
   Cubans embody a privileged migration‟ compared to others
   Cuban workforce is polarized between rich and poor
   However, Cubans have highest incomes and education than other Latinos and have
    smallest households.
   Other –Central Americans, Dominicans
     – Characterized by displacement from political oppression, civil war and
        accompanying economic dislocations. Characterized more by the push theory than
        the pull of immigration.
     – Find resettlement difficult because of lack of preparation for US labor market and
        langue skills
     – Non poor fare well
   Class, Work and Family Life
     – Cubans fare the best in all indices…Puerto Rican most disadvantaged on SES
     – Mexicans also fare the poorly – systematic exclusive of Mexican from upward
        mobility ladders. Due partially to Mexicans being a transient labor force.
     – Currently Mexican American middle class families fare well, but poor have
        unstable family relationships.
 Latinas are increasingly likely to be employed
 “90 studies showed that Cuban women were likely to be employed to reestablish
    middle class status.
   Mexican women in LA worked out of dire necessity
   Economic restructuring -
     – NYC economic changes have had dire consequences for Puerto Ricans.. union jobs
        for minorities left the city. New jobs offered low wages.
     – “informalization and casualization of urban labor markets shape families
        unemployment = unstable families, poor wages, higher rates of non marital births
        and poor female headed households
     – Creates a Latino underclass
     – Immigration has contributed to a proliferation of family forms and a variety of
          household arrangements
     – Immigration also effects genders roles –more egalitarian relationships
     Familism – four components
     – 1. demographics –size
          2. structural – multigenerational families
          3. normative families - value of unity and solidarity
          4. behavioral familism level of interaction between family and kin
   Changes in economies result in dislocations of Latinos
   ‟97 study showed extended kin networks declining among Chicanos, Puerto Ricans,
    and AA.
   On the other hand, large bodies of research documents network participation by
    Latinos….and are an important survival strategy in poor MA communities …networks
    operate as a system of cultural, emotional, and mental support, as well as coping with
    economic marginality
   Familism is associated with high levels of education and income.
   SES is overwhelmingly poor and working class
   Communities lack resources for upward mobility for new and second, third
   The assumptions that immigrants are assimilated economically by taking entry level
    jobs and advancing has not been supported by experience
   ‟96 study showed high labor force participation; low wages = large group of working
   Mexicans are largest Latino immigrant group :
     – Low incomes; high employment
     – Lowest educations and largest families
   Cubans entered in cold-war context as political refugees. Government support for
    resettlement, job training , small business loans, welfare and health benefits (cost one
    billion dollars).
   Population primarily in Miami area where ethnic enclaves thrive.
   Immigrants, women, and minorities have generally supplied low-wage, flexible labor
    on which economy depends.
 Cubans “embody a privilege migration”.
 Cuban families have higher incomes, lower poverty rated than other Latino groups.
 Most educated and smallest household size.
 Central Americans:
   – Political; repression, civil war, economic dislocation fueled immigration of central
     – Group doubled in the 80s; outnumbers Cubans.
     – Migrated under difficult circumstances and face serious challenges.
   Vulnerable due to:
     – Undocumented ( 40 – 49%)
     – Marginal employment; high poverty
     – Not recognized as political refugees.
   Largest groups are Salvadorans and Guatemalans in LA area
     – Little formal education
     – Little English language skills
     – High employment rates but over represented in low paying jobs; women in the
       private household sector.
     – Do the worst of the „dirty work‟ to support high wage workforce
   Dominicans -large migration in the 60s. Had a higher standard of living in home
    country and had to enter the low=age, marginal market in US. Settled mostly in New
   High rates of poverty and female-headed households.
                            Structure of Economic Opportunity
   Class, Work and family Life
     – M-A opportunity in sharp contrast to Cubans
     – Systematic exclusion of Mexicans from upward mobility ladders.
     – Mexican migrants, transient workforce..vulnerable to market fluctuations and
     – Bracero program limited Mexican to low-status jobs and industries
     – Bracero program discontinued..but work patterns continue.
   Contextual factors made it difficult to sustain long term relationships
   Marriages for poor women were threatened by unemployment and underemployment
   Mexican women have a high rate of poor households; Cuban women more likely to be
    members of upwardly mobile families.
   Cubans initially experienced downward mobility; women had to work..and withdrew
    from the labor force when families‟ position improved.
   Mexican women worked to support families.
   Cuban women worked temporarily; Mexican women worked because their partners
    could not earn a family wage or breakdown of family relationships.
                                     Latino Underclass
   Rising poverty rates…..suggests that Latino have joined AAs to form part of the
   Inner-city men‟s joblessness has encouraged nonmarital childbearing and undermined
    economic foundation of AA family.
   Applying „underclass‟ theory obscures more than it reveals
   A different analytical model is needed to understand poverty/family issues in Latinos.
 Different causes of poverty and different responses
 Both AA and Puerto Ricans have high rates of female headed households; one study
    shows that Puerto Ricans have high rates of co -habitation; family processes that differ
    from AA.
   Poor Mexicans (in Tucson) surrounded by kinship networks that stretch beyond
    neighborhood and provide resources to cope with poverty.
   Cost of migration is need for families to adapt to their receiving communities
    generally in areas of change of household composition and gender relations.
   Latino flexible family household identified in transnational families, binational
    families, extended families, multiple family households and other arrangement among
    Mexican/Central American families.
   Family change reflects desperate economic circumstances which brings families to
    breaking points and leads others to expand household boundaries.
   Transnationalization of economies and labor has created new opportunities for
    successful Latinos and new opportunities for families.
   Familism..Latinos emphasize family over individual.
   Familism „typical‟ of Mexicans, not other Latinos. Even for Mexicans evidence is
    inconsistent as to the forms of familism.
   Key ingredients of familism: (1)demographic..size; (2)structural…incidence of
    extended household; (3) normative families…focus on unity and solidarity;
    (4)behavioral..interaction among kin.
   Economic changes have caused extended kinship among Latinos to decline. For three
    decades these networks have been a survival strategy for Latino families.
   Kinship is maintained for reasons in addition to socioeconomic.
   Kinship ties are associated with high levels of education and income
   Familism a form of social capital that links with academic success among MA students
   Structural flexibility is a social construction
   Transnational families and their networks are extended in space, time, and across
    national borders.
   Kinship networks are not monolithic…variation rooted in distinctive social conditions.
   Mexican immigrants have smaller social networks that second generation families.
   Regardless of class, Mexican extended families in the US become stronger and more
    extensive with generational advancement, acculturation, and socioeconomic mobility.
   Families do not fade with assimilation.
   From machismo to…how gender and power in families are connected with other
    institutions of society.
   Male dominance is a central theme…gender dynamics among Latino families are
    similar and different from those found in other groups.
   Family life in all Latino groups is deeply gendered:
     – Family decision making
     – Allocation of household labor
   Latinas employment..provided them with resources and autonomy that alter the
    balance of family power.
   Women‟s employment does not eradicate male dominance.
   As seasonal, part-time workers, women gain some leverage in the home…but does not
    leverage balance in family.
 Employed women‟s newfound rights are often contradictory.
 Family relations often become contentious when women press partners to share
    domestic duties.
   Migration has created a situation where women work longer and harder than in their
    country of origin.
   General „inside-outside‟ dichotomy…but women in middle class receive more „help‟
    from husbands.
   Diminution of patriarchy comes in the US. Key is place in society
   Migrant men have lower status than women who gain autonomy and economic skills.
   Ethnic gender identities, values, beliefs contribute to gender relations.
   In one community Hispanics were living in a world made up largely of
    women…relationship between dense social networks and gender segregation.
   Compulsory heterosexuality is a component of gender and family systems.
   Obstacles for forming a safe space for gay and lesbian identity in a society in which
    ethnic identity is primary basis for survival.

                                 Child Parent Relations

 Latinos have the highest concentration of children and adolescents of all major groups.
 Child rearing practices differ by generation.
 Mexico style is „responsibility oriented‟; US born Mexican have a „concern oriented‟
 Latino children are socialized into a context of „thick‟ social relations
 From infancy onward ….experience more social interaction.
 Socialized into more cooperative model of interaction..a disjunction from school
 Latino parents face obstacles to providing material resources for their children.
 Transnational mothers work while their children remain in home country.
 Others migrate alone and send for children later.
 While immigration requires tremendous changes..family adaptation is slower.
 Family members experience the aversive impacts of cultural change at different times
  and at variable levels of intensity
                                 Understanding Diversity
 Key to understanding is the uneven distribution of constraints and opportunities among
 In viewing Latinos as a group one finds a „kaleidoscope of family diversity‟.
                                      Three themes
 1. Understanding Latino diversity means analyzing how the formation of diverse
  families is based on and reproduces social inequalities.
   – Race, class, and other hierarchies affect all families…in different ways.
   – Diverse family arrangements are viewed in relational terms.
   – Family difference based on race, class and gender coexist in relationships of
     domination and subordination and differential access to material resources.
   – Patterns of privilege and subordination characterize historical relationships between
     Anglo families and Mexican families in the southwest.
 2. Family diversity plays a part in different economic orders and the shifts that
  accompany them. Scholars have suggested the multiplicity of household types is one
  of the chief props of world economy (structural reordering of families is central to
  regional economies).
 3. The enormous capacity for adaptation of immigrant family… flexible and plastic
  experience of Latino families gives resonance to the image of long-standing family
  fluidity offers a new departure for study.

Zinn, M. B. &Wells, B. Diversity within Latino families: New lessons from family
social science. INnDemo, D. H. , Allen K. R. & Fine, M. A. (eds.) Handbook of family
diversity. NY: Oxford Press

Marjie Barrett Page 6 9/5/2011

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