What did I think the differences between American and Latino cultures are? For me personally, I don’t have any kind of experience with Latino people and Latino culture, but I had several thoughts about the Latino culture that I got from the media. About relationships in Latino culture, I always thought that relationships outside marriage are not acceptable especially for women, and of course I thought that any kind of freedom that is related to sexual activities like homosexuality is not acceptable.
But in American culture, relashionships outside marriage could be accepted and homosexuality is an accepted fact for many Americans as America is a liberated country. For family in Latino culture, I used to think that Latinos in general are connected with their family members just like any traditional culture. But in American culture it is common that there are no close relationships between family members in general, and there is no high respect for the parents and many times people don’t see their families for a very long time.
What I found after reading about differences between the two cultures? After reading, I found that there are many differences between the two cultures about family, relationships and religion. Firstly, the difference between American culture and Latino culture appears most obviously in family relationships. In Latino culture family bond is a very significant fact, and in contrast to the American culture the family in Latino culture is very bonded and includes” all relatives, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and padrinos (godparents)” (Beltran 23).
Latinos feel safe in surrounding strong family bonds, Latinos usually return to their families in times of problems and they don’t commonly believe in including other parties to try to solve their problems because Latinos are raised to be committed to the family for life time (Beltran 23). According to what L. Michele Henline says in “Exploring the Latino Culture”, family has a unique structure in Latino culture because “Within the extended family, each member has a role.
The grandparents have wisdom, the mother has abnegation, the father has responsibility, children should be obedient and godparents are to be resourceful”. But in American culture there is no focusing on strong family bonds, but personal life is what Americans mostly focus on with no big depending on the family role (Beltran 23). Secondly, there is a difference between the image and the rule of men and women in life between both cultures. The role of women in Latino culture is anything that is generally done inside the house like cleaning, cooking food, sweeping and taking care of children (Beltran 24).
But the role of men is to earn money for living for their families and they are the highest authorities in their families, no one does anything without consulting the father. But nowadays this side of Latino culture is affected because of the financial problems that they face as well as the fact that women started to become workers (Beltran 24). In Latino culture as L. Michele Henline says in “Exploring the Latino Culture” men have so much power over women. Latino men have an image of a powerful male; they are the face of their families and they give their families everything they need in life.
According to what L. Michele Henline says in “Exploring the Latino Culture”, in Latino culture it is not a wrong thing for a man to assault his wife physically, and most of times it is not safe for a woman to go to the police and tell them if her husband assaulted her because she” will be punished again by their spouse”. And also L. Michele Henline says in “Exploring the Latino Culture” that women in Latino culture are leaded by their men; they should be faithful, always obey them and take care of their homes and children.
But in American culture there is no much big difference between men and women, taking care of home and earning money for household are jobs that could be done by a man or a woman because in American culture men and women are equal. Thirdly, the difference between the two cultures in social relationships can be seen in the fact that in Latino culture people in general make social connections, through these connections they take care of each other.
They have so much respect and commitment to each other, sharing each other’s feelings, preferring others over themselves and they have so much awareness of the special space of the single individual (Beltran 24) Fourthly, there is a big difference between the two cultures when it comes to the religion. Latinos are usually committed to religion as it is a part of their culture and religion for them is a relationship between a person and God (Beltran 25). But in American culture many people don’t involve religion in their lives, and there are even people who don’t have religion and don’t believe in God.
And there is even a difference when it comes to religious people as religion in American culture is not just a relationship between a person and God but it is also an “institutional” relationship (Beltran 25). What’s my reaction to what I’ve read? What I’ve read about Latino culture matches what I thought about them. Despite all the negativities in Latino culture like their violent nature, they have so many positive things that make Latino culture better than American culture in some sides like their high positive spirituals and their connected families.
Despite all negativities in different cultures the difference between cultures in the world is not a bad thing, but it represents the variety in everything in this world. Works Cited Henline, Michele L. “Exploring the Latino Culture. ” February 2000. Arizona School of Professional Psychology. 15 April 2008 <http://www. users. qwest. net/~abinormal/Latino. htm> Irma, Beltran S. THE RELATION OF CULTURE TO DIFFERENCES IN DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS AND COPING STRATEGIES: MEXICAN AMERICANS AND EUROPEAN AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS. Texas: U of Texas, 2005.
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