hispanic family values

lots of conservatives (rinos in particular maybe) like to talk about how great hispanic/mexican family values are, and what a wonderful addition these will be to american society (never mind the sky-high illegitimacy rates in the hispanic community) — but what these so-called conservatives don’t understand is that hispanic/mexican family values are different from our (well, your, if you’re a wasp that is) family values.

it’s called familism (familismono kidding!) — and hispanics/mexicans got it in spades [pg. 314 – pdf]:

Familism can be defined as a social pattern whereby individual interests, decisions, and actions are conditioned by a network of relatives thought in many ways to take priority over the individual. This social pattern manifests itself through three dimensions: (1) the attitudinal, expressed in dispositions, values, and beliefs that prioritize the welfare of the family; (2) the behavioral, expressed in everyday actions, or major decisions, informed by one’s attachment to family ties; and (3) the structural, expressed in the spatial architecture of family networks (Steidel and Contreras 2003; Valenzuela and Dornbusch 1994). Researchers from several disciplines have observed that familism is an important component of Hispanic culture (Okagaki and Frensch 1998; Oyserman, Coon, and Kemmelmeier 2002). At the attitudinal level, Hispanic adults and adolescents value interdependence, as well as family support and obligations, more so than whites (Fuligni, Tseng, and Lam 1999; Harrison et al. 1990; Sabogal et al. 1987). At the behavioral level, Hispanics report higher degrees of familial cohesion and intimacy than whites (Niemann, Romero, and Arbona 2000; Sabogal et al. 1987) and assist family members in instrumental ways more so than whites (Sarkisian, Gerena, and Gerstel 2006). And at the structural level, Hispanics, and Mexican Americans in particular, live in larger and denser kinship networks than whites (Sarkisian et al. 2006; Valenzuela and Dornbusch 1994).”

well, that all sounds great — and it is, in its own way — but what it isn’t is anything like the anglo/anglo-american family tradition which is based upon the nuclear family and the individualism of its members, a societal structure that appears to go right back to the thirteenth century (see also here and here). if someone says to you “hispanic family values,” you should absolutely not picture in your mind june and ward cleaver along with wally and the beav — and, maybe, uncle billy coming over for thanksgiving dinner every other year.

no. hispanic/mexican familism (and, of course, there is a lot of variety here — latin america is a big place) means a lot of extended family — and, for whatever reasons, a lot of extended family obligations. which is also fine — but there are only twenty-four hours in a day, and if you’ve got obligations to your immediate family AND your tío jorge and all his kids, and your tía rosa and all her kids, etc., etc., there’s simply going to be less time in your day to devote to other things like the broader community. as someone who comes from a large clan (52 first cousins!), i know this to be true — there’s just not a whole lot of spare time for anything other than family (except you guys, of course! (~_^) ).

“but won’t hispanics quit being so extended-family oriented once they assimilate to american culture, hbd chick?”

i dunno. and neither does anyone else.

there are some indications that the amount of some aspects of familism is lower among hispanics/mexicans raised in the u.s. than their immigrant parents, but not all aspects — and all of these familism metrics remain higher in hispanic groups than for white americans. (what would be interesting to know is how much familism there is in the new mexican hispanic population. i couldn’t find anything on that anywhere — might try to dig some data up from the gss myself….)

i’m of the opinion that the development of strong feelings towards one’s extended family (or not) is a question of evolution, so changing those feelings, afaics, ought to take some time. the english (see links above or the “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column) have had a loooong history of individualism and nuclear families, a process which started, i think, in the early medieval period with the bans on cousin marriage by the roman catholic church. mexicans, and other hispanics, have had a very different evolutionary history when it comes to family feelings and cohesiveness.

the colonial mayans, for instance, had close, endogamous mating patterns — and they lived in extended-family settlements, just as their pre-columbian ancestors had done, indicating that extended-family-ness in mayan society goes way back [pgs. 368-369]:

“[T]he Mayas divided up house-plots or treated contiguous plots as one so that what might have officially been nuclear families living on separate house-plots were really multiple-residence extended-family household complexes. Not only have such patterns of residential clustering survived to the present in much of Mexico, but they have been observed by archaeologists for a number of pre-Columbian Maya sites — most notably Coba, Dzibilchaltun, K’axob, Mayapan, and Tikal….

“[A] typical grandfamily household might occupy adjacent house-plots and its member frequent the neighboring plots of related households of the same patronym-group or alliance of patronym-groups.

“The free movement of family members and animals between plots symbolized the blurred lines between separate and joint…. To avoid cutting up parcels of land … Mayas made use of the parallel principle of multial, ‘joint ownership.’ Typically then, a plot of land was placed in the hands of a representative of the household or, in the cases of large cultivated plots, the patronym-group….

“Because those household members who lived on or from a plot of land were in some sense considered its joint owners, family members effectively held shares in such property, which they then left to successive generations.”

the spanish tried to break down these extended family units by forcing the natives to register their houses/lands according to nuclear family units (eg. one house with a certain amount of acreage connected to it), but as restall describes above, the maya simply worked around these bureaucratic nuisances. what needed to be done, of course, was to ban close marriages in the new world — but that was too much of an imposition on all those potential new world recruits that the church so desperately wanted to harvest, so they gave much of latin america a (beyond first cousin) cousin marriage dispensation in 1537 (including mexico, i think, but i do need to double-check that).

aztec society was structured quite differently from that of the maya, but from what i understand (so far) about the aztecs, extended families and “clans” (calpulli) were also very important there. (i’ll get back to you on aztec society when i get through reading more about them!)

in any case, hispanics/mexicans are still devoted to their extended families. not that there’s anything wrong with that! except that familism does tend to go along with some other, undesirable societal features like corruption (see lipset and lenz) — fyi, mexico ranked #100 in transparency international’s 2011 survey.

true conservatives would hold off on inviting tens of millions of people from a very differently behaving population into this country — at least until we understood something of why the behaviors differed.

previously: mating patterns in colonial mexico: the mayans

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good civicness vs. bad civicness

from Civic Engagement and Corruption in 20 European Democracies: Separating the Bright from the Dark Side? [pdf] i learn that there is GOOD (inclusive) civicness and there is BAD (exclusive) civicness [pg. 65]:

“The idea underlying the inclusive/exclusive networks distinction then is that groups focusing on individual-oriented goods such as personal materials, status or group identity goods are more likely to generate exclusiveness.”

the problem is that studies have shown that, while the inclusive networks are associated with lower corruption in any given society, “involvement with the latter [exclusive networks] actually shows the reverse tendency” [pg. 73].

oh dear.

inclusive civicness networks include: sport / outdoor hobby groups; cultural organizations; humanitarian organizations / charities; environmental groups; church / religious organizations; political parties; and science / education / youth groups.

exclusive civicness networks include: trade unions; business / professional / farmer organizations; consumer / auto groups; and social clubs / young / elderly / women.

i like to think of them as group-oriented vs. more personally-oriented groups (see what i mean?).

looking back on a previous post on civicness patterns around the world, we see that this does seem to fit:

– the anglo world, which is known for being not-sooo-corrupt, has relatively low participation rates in labor unions (10.1%) — exclusive civicness networks — compared to very high participation rates in inclusive civicness networks like humanitarian organizations/charities (19.8%) or sports groups (28.5%);

– meanwhile, eastern europe, which is known for being pretty-durned-corrupt, has relatively high participation rates in labor unions (5.1%) compared to low participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (2.7%) or sports groups (7.1%) (kinda);

– same holds true for india — relatively high participation rates in labor unions (15.7%) versus comparatively lower participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (10.8%) or sports groups (15.9%) — and also pretty corrupt.

and looking at civicness amongst the races in the u.s.:

– whites have a relatively low participation rates in labor unions (7%), with pretty high participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (16.5%) and sports groups (17.1%).

– both blacks and hispanics have relatively high participation rates in labor unions (10.3% and 8.6% respectively), with comparatively low participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (11.7% and 6.8%) and sports groups (14.9% [kinda] and 8.6%).

this pattern is definitely something i’ll be keeping a look out for in future posts on civicness!

see also: “Applying the concepts of bonding and bridging social capital to empirical research” by sonja zmerli, 2003, european political science 2(3).

previously: civic societies and civic societies ii

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hispanics don’t think of themselves as hispanic

from pew’s When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity, 51% of hispanics in the u.s. prefer to refer to themselves by their specific ethnic group (i.e. family’s country of origin):

they also don’t trust other people very much. whereas 35% of americans feel that most people can be trusted, only 12% of hispanics think so. and that includes just 13% of hispanics who were born and raised here but have immigrant parents (pew’s “second generation” hispanics):

and hispanics luuuuuv big government. even 3rd+ generation hispanics prefer big government much more than your average american (58% vs. 41%). no wonder big government loves them:

previously: trust me on this and mexicans think mexicans should be mexican and a sense of entitlement ii

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a sense of entitlement ii

i babbled something the other day about some groups maybe having a stronger sense of entitlement than others and wondered, if so, which ones those might be. so, i did a little digging around in the world values survey to see if i could find anything interesting.

i was looking for any question/s related to redistribution of wealth issues, and this is the closest one i could find in the last survey wave (2005-2008):

Many things may be desirable, but not all of them are essential characteristics of democracy. Please tell me for each of the following things how essential you think it is as a characteristic of democracy. Use this scale where 1 means *not at all an essential characteristic of democracy* and 10 means it definitely is *an essential characteristic of democracy*: Governments tax the rich and subsidize the poor.

i know, not the perfect question. but let’s see what the results looked like anyway (see also previous post). here are the percentages of respondents answering *10* to that question — governments taxing the rich and subsidizing the poor is *definitely* an essential characteristic of democracy:

the global average is 24.9%. all of the anglo nations (great britain, u.s., canada, australia) score well below that, with australia having the most redistributive inclinations at 12.5%. most of the other european countries also score below the global average, except for romania, germany and russia. the russian federation has got the highest score of all european nations at 44.5%. (i should’ve done a breakdown of the russian fed. by region, but i didn’t. maybe i’ll work on that.)

in asia, the thais, japanese, and taiwanese all score lower — way lower — than the global average. meanwhile, the chinese, south koreans, vietnamese and indonesians are over the global average.

the interesting group, again, are the arabs/north africans/middle easterners (in green) — the father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marrying folks. all but one (iran) included in the survey are waaaay above the global average: iraq (34.2%), morocco (35.4%), egypt (58%) and jordan (62.9%). these folks often seem to be found in the extremes of surveys/studies — recall the connection between pathogens and consanguinity, and the fact that fbd marriage groups are very consanguineous despite not living in pathogen-rich environments. curious.

finally, (*envelope please*) — and the winner is — india! at 72.7%.

you’d think that poorer countries would be more interested in redistribution of wealth than richer ones, but that doesn’t seem to be the case — at least not 100% of the time. one of the countries least interested in their democratic government (if they have one) redistributing wealth is rwanda. meanwhile, germany’s not poor, but they’re all about the redistribution of wealth apparently.

in the united states, whites scored lower than the u.s. average (6.6%) at 5.8%. the “others” (asians?) scored even lower at just 3%. hispanics and blacks both desire greater redistribution of wealth in america than whites (but you already knew that!):

mexicans back in mexico score on average 18.20% on the question, with white mexicans desiring the least redistribution of wealth, indios wanting the most, and mestizos somewhere in between:

i wanted to check out the numbers for great britain by race, but the sample sizes were too small (<50) for groups like blacks and south asians, so i checked out g.b. by region instead:

prolly can’t tell much from the london score since that is such a “vibrant” city. i’m not at all surprised to see the peripheral populations in g.b. being (like the arab cousin marriers) more interested in redistributing wealth: folks up north and the north west (cumbria’s in the north west), yorkshire and humberside. meanwhile, the english long-term outbreeders in the midlands and south east don’t want the wealth shared around. dunno what to make of the scots, though! i would’ve expected to see them with a high score. hmmmmm.

i also checked out the regional scores for china having in mind that i have the impression (impression) that cousin/endogamous marriage and clans have always been more frequent/stronger in southern china than in the north (which would fit the pathogen-consanguinity theory, btw). i found that there is a -0.47 correlation between latitude and desire for the redistribution of wealth in china — the further south you go, the more people want the wealth spread around (i.e. to them) [latitudes grabbed from geohack]:

lastly, india. i broke the india numbers down by region before, so this time i thought i’d look at them by religion:

a LOT of people in india are very enthusiastic about redistributing wealth. muslims and hindus the most (muslims more than hindus), christians and sikhs the least — christians least of all. recall that muslims in india have the highest rates of consanguineous marriage in india, while sikhs and christians have the lowest rates.

(note: n>50 for all cases. way more than 50 on the national level.)

previously: a sense of entitlement and democracy and the redistribution of wealth

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no surprises here

Big gap between races in U.S. on Trayvon Martin killing

Americans are deeply divided by race over the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, with 91 percent of African-Americans saying he was unjustly killed, while just 35 percent of whites thought so, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Thursday.

Fifty-nine percent of Hispanics believe that Martin was unjustly killed six weeks ago, according to the online poll of 1,922 Americans, conducted Monday through Thursday….

The survey included 1,289 Caucasians, 219 African-Americans and 267 Hispanics. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval and this poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for all respondents….

The poll also showed a stark racial divide between whites and blacks over whether heavy media coverage of the case had been appropriate. A total of 68 percent of blacks surveyed said they thought the amount of media coverage had been appropriate, while only 24 percent of whites thought it was right.

original poll results.

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