COMMUNITY VOICES: ASSIMILATION
"It seems that since parents are less bilingual than their children, they claim to make a conscious effort to use Spanish when they identify Hispanics in their community, whereas the children tend to follow more closely the English-only rule in public interaction."
--Margarita Hidalgo, San Diego State University
The Dialectics of Spanish-Language Loyalty and Maintenance on the U.S.-Mexico Border4
"Immersion in the large American culture results in two adaptation processes. The first is assimilation of the large dominant American culture. The second one, which is less understood, is the exposure to many other Latin American national cultures, a process that may be referred to the Latinization or cross-fertilization of Latin American cultures. [I]t is only in the United States that a true melting pot of diverse Latin American cultures takes place.
"A related process that also influences the Latin core identity is the reverse process of Latinization of the larger American culture. As Americans look for more diversity and new experiences they may embrace Latin expressions or gestures and explore Latin products. This processs of Latinization of the large U.S. market is of great interest to U.S. firms targeting this ethnic segment. The potential crossover of Latin products and culture to the general market is five to ten times more attractive than just targeting the Latin market alone."
--Fernando Robles, Francoise Simon, and Jerry Haar
Winning Strategies for the New Latin Markets
|Language Preference Among Hispanics Ages 14–24|
|Source: Cultural Access Group, A Tale of Two Cultures: L.A.’s Latino Youth5|
"The existing investigations of Spanish-language maintenance among Chicano speakers in the Southwest offer evidence of a process of language shift from Spanish to the dominant societal language, English. The existing literature shows a relationship between such a shift and the factors of the speakers’ age and generation, with younger [respondents] and successive generations of speakers within the same families showing decreasing maintenance of Spanish."
--Mary Beth Floyd, Oakland (California) School District
Spanish in the Southwest: Language Maintenance or Shift?1
|Purpose of Bilingual Education Programs|
|"In your opinion, what ought to be the purpose of bilingual education programs in the public school system: To make sure that students learn English well, or to teach immigrant children in their native language so they don’t fall behind in other matters?"|
|Learn English well||68.2%|
|Teach in native language||25.9%|
|The Latino Coalition, 2002 National Hispanic Survey6|
"What is undoubtedly the most highly debated and manipulated issue is the level of acculturation and language use of Hispanics. This has been a constant source of debate and contention given that, since its origins, the dominant view in the Hispanic marketing industry is that Hispanics speak Spanish and thus Hispanics respond, understand, and connect more efficiently to messages that are transmitted in 'their language.' The irony that remains unstated is that such language purity is an unattainable goal in the world of advertising, where U.S. products are being advertised and where product names – all in English – necessarily fill the airwaves with English names and Spanglish phrases.
Latinos Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People