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Relation between Hispanic and American Culture

Introduction

Culture has generated many in people’s mind and they all act differently in almost all social aspects of life e.g. religion, personality, belief structure, education, dressing, eating, naming, and relationships. The world today has become a global village and most people are travelling from their native homes to search for greener pastures. Intercultural relationships have been common world over with many challenges coming with it forthwith (Perry, 2004).

The cultural differences between Hispanics and Americans are quite clear in the United States; as cited by Madphy, (2008)the “Americans differ in many ways including child rearing, orientations, social identities, and stereotypes”. This paper explores intercultural relationships between Hispanics and Americans; it focuses on the hardships of a marital relationship between a male Hispanic and a female American and the cultural huddles and conflicts they have to endure enjoy their “happily ever after” relationship (Crowder, & Tolnay, 2000).

Literature review

Marriage has several barriers, these come from friends, family, bureaucratic strains, and personal values. The problems and tension that may be experienced for a couple who are not of the same race may be language, differing values, religion, and legal issues (for international couples) (Fishman, 2007). Cultural affiliation has been mainly a core aspect when choosing whom to relate with especially in the world today, this is because many cultures contradict in matters of religion, beliefs, roles of each couple and the general rules of relationships e.g. ethics and respect.

Hispanic and American culture are quite different and according to Kimura (2006) the Americans are more work-centered and are strict time planners while the Hispanics are more relationship oriented and time flexible, their values are also very different. This fact however does not deter the many Hispanics meeting with the Americans. Clutter, & Neito, 1999 in their article “understanding the Hispanic culture” state the increase of the Hispanics in the United States to an 11% and has become the largest minority group. They have strong attachments to family values e.g. good manners and respect for the elderly and mainly preserve their Spanish culture within families. They are also attached to etiquette, rituals and religion, eating habits, and teaching and learning implications (Qian, & Lichter, 2001).

Hispanic males usually have the mandate to pass the Spanish culture to the next generation and thus marrying other cultures may be countered by their parents and family members. There has been ethnic preference in relation to marriage with women preferring to get married to men of their own culture. Mixed ethnic relationships and self ethnic relationship may be similar to other races and those who are already married but to those who are staunch believers of culture will see it as abomination. Bratter, 2006 in his article “But Will It Last?” Marital Instability among Interracial and Same-Race Couples” indicated that marriages between

Hispanics and other ethnic races have a higher divorce risk.

The relation between a male Hispanic cultures coming into a relationship with a female of American culture could be really affected by culture since Hispanics are staunch believers in cultural affiliations and this would create tension and pressure on the side of the male which would require him to look for someone within his ethnic background (Clutter, & Nieto, 1999).

Thus when planning to marry an American lady then he must overcome social prejudice and attitudes and beat all odds. For the relationship to be a success the couple has to convince the people involved that they are worth of each other and are aware of the situation, never assume anything, tackle all issues of the relationship such as children, careers, money, roles, and parents before the relationship goes to the next level (Swanbrow, 2000).

Research Questions/Hypothesis

The paper tries to establish the intercultural issues that will arise in case a male Hispanic culture coming into a relationship with a female of American culture. The research questions will be what the effects of culture (Hispanic) will be on the relationship between the people in question. The hypothesis will be: is culture, race, or ethnicity a factor to consider when choosing a lifetime partner in a relationship.

Statement of Methods

The study targets youth from both the Hispanic and American culture who have had friends of other races. This will include at workplaces, colleges, and information from social and dating sites. Parents from both ethnic backgrounds will be sampled too. The people will be sampled randomly with no specific or structured patterns. The sample will be administered with questionnaires and others will be interviewed. The questionnaires or interviews will avoid the enquiring of names or any identity, but the race and culture will be needed.

Open ended questions will be administered to the respondents in relation to relationships. This study will be limited to the people over the age of 18 years. The dependent variable will be respondents with the Hispanic origin and intercultural married couples. The data will then be analyzed using content analysis which will then be analyzed to infer the tensions and conflicts in mixed ethnic relationships.