The Mexican American community rate of assimilation into the American Society has been affected negatively by several factors. One is the “constant influx from Mexico, which is unprecedented in American history, and is unquestionably a factor inhibiting the successful assimilation of Mexicans already here” (Chavez). Due to Mexicans constantly immigrating to the U.S., it seems as if the MexicanAmerican community is not assimilating into the main society. There are always newcomers that need to assimilate and this, in a way, damages the ones living in the U.S. that have already assimilated. Due to Mexico’s proximity to the U.S. and the difficult economic situation that Mexicans face in Mexico, the immigration of Mexicans has not stopped over the years. This keeps current their mainculture, and it is a reminder of their immigrant status in the U.S. Immigration from other countries to America stopped at some point, for one reason or another, and there is not a reminder of their original culture. They have already mixed with and have become part of the main culture. Examples of this are immigrants from Europe. Then again Europeans have other traits that have facilitated theirintegration into society, such as racial and cultural similarities.
The racial factor has negatively influenced the assimilation of Mexicans into the American society also. Mexican features are not similar to the Anglo features. This has slowed down Chicanos’ assimilation since they are not easily accepted into the Anglo society based on the way they look. Non-white skin color and Indian featuresprevent Mexicans who look more indigenous from blending into the Anglo-American society. This makes it difficult for Mexican Americans to assimilate and limits their upper mobility in American society.
Cultural factors such as language, worldview and way of thinking also affect the assimilation of this community into the American society. Mexicans coming from Mexico have to learn English in orderto integrate, since the main language spoken in America is English. Their integration is often slow, since there are a lot of Mexican communities that facilitate communication for newcomers. In some cases Mexicans come to work within the community and go back to Mexico after they make some money. Some schools also offer bilingual education for Mexican children. This service facilitates thetransition of Mexican children coming into the U.S., but it also slows down the process of becoming fluent in English for those children.
Education level and opportunities of education in the U.S. play another important role in the assimilation of Mexican Americans, since education level can influence economic status. It is undeniable that high paid jobs are often proportional to education level. Ina study performed by Baum and Flores, it was found that while some immigrants such as Japanese, Indian and Chinese have the doors open to postsecondary education in America, Mexican Americans find several obstacles that prevent them from achieving a higher education, thus limiting their opportunities of employment. “Their difficulties are frequently compounded by inadequate information aboutcollege opportunities and how to access them, cultural differences, citizenship issues, language barriers, and, too frequently, discrimination”(Baum and Flores). Low-income families and children whose parents did not receive a postsecondary education are affected the most since college can be expensive especially for those who are not permanent residents or American citizens. In addition “low-incomestudents and those whose parents have little education are frequently ill prepared academically to succeed in college. Many also lack support networks that would bolster aspirations and expectations about postsecondary education” (Baum and Flores). All these obstacles faced by the Mexican American community make it difficult for them to obtain a postsecondary education. This again keeps them...
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