Study Questions

  • At the beginning of this chapter, it is stated that Hispanic Americans “combine elements of the polar extremes [immigrant and colonized] of Blauner’s typology of minority groups” and that they are “partly an ethnic minority group and partly a racial minority group.” Explain these statements in terms of the rest of the material presented in the chapter.

  • What important cultural differences between Mexican Americans and the dominant society shaped the relationships between the two groups?

  • How does the history of Mexican immigration demonstrate the usefulness of Noel’s concepts of differentials in power and competition?

  • Compare and contrast the protest movements of Mexican Americans, American Indians, and African Americans. What similarities and differences existed in Chicanismo, Red Power, and Black Power? How do the differences reflect the unique experiences of each group?

  • In what ways are the experiences of Puerto Ricans and Cuban Americans unique compared with those of other minority groups? How do these differences reflect other differences, such as differences in contact situation?

  • The Cuban American enclave has resulted in a variety of benefits for the group. Why don’t other minority groups follow this strategy?

  • What images of Latinas are common in U.S. society? How do these images reflect the experiences of these groups?

  • Describe the situation of the major Hispanic American groups in terms of acculturation and integration. Which groups are closest to equality? What factors or experiences might account for the differences between groups? In what ways might the statement “Hispanic Americans are remaining pluralistic even while they assimilate” be true?