Hispanics and American Society

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Hispanics and American Society

The size of the overall population of the Hispanics found with the rural areas of America is increasing by the day and this population has trickled over to the urban areas. The effects of their increase is felt by the overall American society as the Hispanics have adopted a particular social way of living that indeed has affected the social, educational and the political life of the Americans.

This paper will tackle the challenging issues faced by the Hispanics living in America including the dysfunctional families, use of drugs among individuals in this community, their educational achievements; rate of attrition and the issue of single parenthood that dominates this community. Main body Literature review Kenneth M. J. and Licther T. D. (2007) have given a recount of the population estimates of the Hispanics living within the American territory as per a research they carried between the year 2000 and 2007. They explain the rate of increase in the population of Hispanics since the year 2000 and their current estimates.

They explain that the current population of the Hispanics is an estimated 14% of the total population residing in the United States. They have shown that between the year 2000 and 2007, the rate of increase in the population of this group of people accounted for more than a half of the total population gain that the United States experienced within the said period. The results of the research attributed the increase to a very high fertility rate as opposed to the rate of immigration that led to the population increase prior to the said time period.

The research does not however eliminate immigration as a factor of population increase as it still accounts for a lesser percentage of the increase in population. Kenneth and Licther have also covered the redistribution of the Hispanic population towards the internal geographical areas of the United States from the traditional gateway cities found in the southwest and into the suburbs represented by large and small metro areas, the non metro communities as well as the rural areas (Kenneth & Licther 2007pp32-47)

Denlinger, K. 2005 has covered the area of economic and social challenges confronted by the Hispanics in America. Five social indices that mark the social needs of the Hispanic families have been explained here. They include poverty, income, age, immigration and fertility. Poverty rates among the Hispanic families in the year 1999 are put at 20. 2% as compared to the9. 3% rate for the whole nation in the same year as well as the 5. 5% rate among non-Hispanic white families.

The said rates differ with the kind of families where the single parent headed families performed badly at an overwhelming 39% and the families headed by both parents at 14. 2%. The median income for the Hispanics is approximated at 60% that of the families residing in the United States at 32,000 dollars as compared to the 52,000 dollars of the American population. Just like with the poverty rates single parent headed houses especially those headed by women performed poorly than all other types of families.

On the overall age of the Hispanics is much younger than that of the overall American age. The Hispanics have an approximated median at 26. 3 for males and 25. 5 for females as compared to the 34 years for males and 36 years for females across America. Denlinger’s findings on the rates of fertility among the Hispanics are similar to that made by Kenneth and Licther. He explains that on average, the Hispanic women have much greater fertility levels than any other group residing in America. He records findings of a 2000 research that shows that 13.

6% of the 60. 9 million women of child bearing age were Hispanics who gave birth to 19. 3% of the 3. 9 million children born in 2000. The young ages of the Hispanic mothers increases the possibility of bearing children (Denlinger 2005 p45, 52-60, 73). Weber 2004 captures the rates of immigration of the Hispanics to the United States. He explains the results of the census 2000 that yielded the count of 16. 1 million Hispanics out of the 35. 4 million that were living in the United States were born elsewhere but had migrated to the United States.

He goes back in time to the 1980 up to the year 2000 where he estimates the number of Hispanics that immigrated to the United States to be 12. 5 million. The significance of Weber’s book to my paper is the identification of the indices that mark the social needs of the Hispanics living in the United States. This was done by the virtue of appreciating the fact that the Hispanics living in the United States are not a homogenous group but a collection of people with particular differences in terms of financial status, social status, marital status and the many social dynamics that exist in social living.

He has however attempted to comprehensively cover the indices that related to the wider group as an estimated general consideration (Weber 2004PP23-46). Akins has captured the issue of substance abuse among Hispanics immigrants living in America. He draws from a research conducted by the Oregon State University that had surveyed a total of 6,714 adults who were living in Washington of which 1,690 of them turned out to be immigrant Hispanics. He contributes to the significance of the paper by raising points that he concluded from the research conducted.

He found out that the immigrants were in large numbers taking up the habits they found with the white Americans to the predicament of their own cultural practices. He has reported on a number of studies conducted in areas where there were great Hispanic concentrations like Florida, the Southwest and California. He found out that the Hispanics had a reduced chance of experiencing acculturation due to their tendencies of clumping together into ethnic communities. But the research yielded that accultured Hispanics had a 13 times possibility of doing drugs than their non-accultured counterparts.

The study indicated a 6. 4% illicit drug use among the white communities while the accultured Hispanics had a 7. 2 percentage use in illicit drugs. At the same time, the research yielded a less than 1% illicit drug use among the non-accultured Hispanics. Akins reported that the general trend within the Hispanic communities was a commitment to the family and intolerance towards use of alcohol and drugs. The drug using accultured Hispanics emulated the patterns of the white drug users.

Some of the findings of the research revealed that accultured Hispanics had a double tendency to binge and thrice as likely to drink continuously for days without sobering up. Frazier et al. 2006 has focused on the academics of the Hispanics living in America. He associates the massive concentrations of Hispanics found in the lowest levels of jobs in America to lack of education and their challenged use of the English language. Recent immigrants usually have little formal education and the poorest command of English which puts them at the greatest disadvantage in acquisition of well paying jobs.

This problem also trickles down to their children who limited in their upward social mobility. Frazier explains that many Hispanics face problems completing high school which leaves them without the necessary skills to compete for high paying jobs seeing that the United States’ economy is driven by technology and information. The book shows how immigrant student Hispanics and the American born Hispanics have a less likelihood of graduating from high school than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

A relationship between the improvements of the academic standards with the Hispanics’ success in the job market has been struck in this book and serves to create one of the dynamics within the paper that explains the predicament of the Hispanics in the United States. A study on high school graduation rates conducted in the United States approximated the percentage of high school completion among the Hispanics as the lowest at 33. 8% (Frazier et al. 2006p218-233). The overall approach with the referencing has been the utilization of a very recent time period for the studies conducted.

Most of the information contained within the reference material has utilized very recent experiences of the Hispanics within the American society. Kenneth and Licther for example have limited the time period for their study between the years 2000 to 2007. Denlinger sought to focus on the year 1999 and other recent years; the author who has drawn his ideas from a long time period appears to be Weber who has drawn on the experiences of the Hispanics in the 1980s all the way to the year 2000.

Even then, most of the authors have drawn their conclusions on the historical experiences of the Hispanics from their very beginnings in migrating to the America and settling there either as illegal immigrants or as American citizens by virtue of the natural birth that immediately confers American citizenry to the people born within America. The theoretical understanding of the Hispanics has been drawn from previous studies conducted by the authors e. g. Akins based his study on a research that was conducted by the Oregon state University.

Other authors based their ideas on the researches that they themselves conducted among the Hispanics in America. Such authors include Denlinger. Scholarly journals and academic materials have also formed sources of information for the authors of the references I have used. The findings of this study reflect a symbolic interactionist approach since it reflects the individuals in this case the Hispanics as social products of the society from which they come from. The Hispanics for example have had problems with attaining good jobs because they do not have the academic skills required for competing for well paying jobs.

This is a direct result of the kind of life they lead which is dictated by the financial challenges they face within the society. Conclusion The Hispanics who live in America are quite challenged especially due to their lack of an education that has helped to elevate the social standing of the people living within the United States. Though they have been faced by a predicament whose magnitude they bear, it is also apparent that they affect the whole of the American society since their presence in large numbers through immigration or high fertility rate happen to pressure the social amenities and other facilities e. g. the health facilities that are already in place. It has been feared that they might course a population proliferation if their current fertility trends persist and attract great competition for the good jobs that the American born population currently enjoy.

Even then there is need to check on the positive side of the presence of the Hispanics within the American territory for example, they have enriched the American culture through the addition of their cultural beliefs and practices. At the same time, they have involved themselves with the low ranking jobs which the Americans loath.

This way they assist with the growth of the economy. References Akins, J. & Arrighi, B. (2007) Hispanics in America Today?. Oxford University Press P101 Denlinger, K. (2005) Hispanics in America: The “resting monster” wakens?. Sage publishers p45, 52-60, 73 Frazier, J. , Margai, F & Tettey, F. (2006) Race and position: justice issues in urban America. Sage pub pp218-233? Kenneth, M. J. & Licther, T. D. (2007) Hispanics and the future of America?. McGraw hill publishers. pp32-47 Weber, D. (2004) The Spanish border in North America?. Macmillan publishers PP23-46


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 23 September 2016

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