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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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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civicness in the u.s. by race

following up on civicness in the u.s. by region, here is civicness in the u.s. by race.

the data are taken from the world values survey, 2005-2008 wave (2006 for the u.s.). note that these are people who claim that they are active members of voluntary organizations. here’s what i found (click on chart for LARGER view):

so totally, whites are a bit above average while blacks are a bit below average. hispanics, otoh, are quite a bit below average. the “others” (asians?) are in the lead, but note that the sample size for that group is rather small (n=62). (note that i also left out the “mixed race” category ’cause the sample size was way too small [n=14]. i also skipped the “other organization” category, again because the sample sizes were too small.)

african americans, then, are like their distant cousins back in africa — very civic-minded, civic here meaning inclined to join together in voluntary associations.

white americans score above average in joining: political parties, sports/recreation organizations, charities/humanitarian organizations, art/music/educational organizations, professional organizations and environmental organizations.

black americans score above average in joining: church/religious organizations (average), art/music/educational organizations and labor unions. the church/religious organization really seems to have pulled their total average up.

hispanic americans score above average in joining: church/religious organizations and labor unions, pretty much like they do back home.

previously: civic societies and civic societies ii and civicness in the u.s. (by region)

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interracial / interethnic marriage rates up in u.s.

from a new pew survey:

– About 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another, more than double the share in 1980 (6.7%). Among all newlyweds in 2010, 9% of whites, 17% of blacks, 26% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians married out. Looking at all married couples in 2010, regardless of when they married, the share of intermarriages reached an all-time high of 8.4%.

– Gender patterns in intermarriage vary widely. About 24% of all black male newlyweds in 2010 married outside their race, compared with just 9% of black female newlyweds…. Intermarriage rates among white and Hispanic newlyweds do not vary by gender.

– [W]hite/Asian newlyweds of 2008 through 2010 have significantly higher median combined annual earnings ($70,952) than do any other pairing, including both white/white ($60,000) and Asian/Asian ($62,000). When it comes to educational characteristics, more than half of white newlyweds who marry Asians have a college degree, compared with roughly a third of white newlyweds who married whites. Among Hispanics and blacks, newlyweds who married whites tend to have higher educational attainment than do those who married within their own racial or ethnic group.

– Couples formed between an Asian husband and a white wife topped the median earning list among all newlyweds in 2008-2010 ($71,800)…. As for white female newlyweds, those who married a Hispanic or black husband had somewhat lower combined earnings than those who “married in,” while those who married an Asian husband had significantly higher combined earnings.

– Intermarriage in the United States tilts West. About one-in-five (22%) of all newlyweds in Western states married someone of a different race or ethnicity between 2008 and 2010, compared with 14% in the South, 13% in the Northeast and 11% in the Midwest.

– Several studies using government data have found that overall divorce rates are higher for couples who married out than for those who married in….

looks like a big report. lots to read. and data, too (state-by-state even)!

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save me, doc!

whatever the price!:

Blacks Are Most Willing to Exhaust Personal Finances for Life-Sustaining Care

“Minority races—especially Blacks—are more willing than Whites to expend personal financial resources to prolong life after being diagnosed with lung or colorectal cancer, even if it means using up all of their personal financial resources….

“The researchers found that 80 percent of Blacks reported a willingness to spend all resources to extend life, versus 54 percent of Whites, 69 percent of Hispanics, and 72 percent of Asians. After accounting for a host of factors including income, disease stage, quality of life, patients’ age, patients’ perceived time left to live, and other medical illnesses, Blacks were 2.41 times more likely to opt for expending all personal financial resources to extend life than Whites….”

has this got something to do with low time preference versus high time preference? like with the marshmallow test, blacks can’t really plan for the future long-term? i’m thinking that maybe more whites hope to leave as much of their financial resources as possible to their decendants to, you know, benefit their genes, whereas blacks are just thinking of themselves in the here and now.

or maybe white folks are just the cheapest people on the planet. (~_^)

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your ethnicity…

…they can work that out from your mtdna. with a fr*ckin’ 80-90% accuracy rate! awesome. (don’t ask me what a ‘support vector machine’ is, but it sounds awesome, too!)

it’s “coarse ethnicity” — for instance caucasian, asian, african, hispanic — but still:

Inferring ethnicity from mitochondrial DNA sequence

“Background: The assignment of DNA samples to coarse population groups can be a useful but difficult task. One such example is the inference of coarse ethnic groupings for forensic applications. Ethnicity plays an important role in forensic investigation and can be inferred with the help of genetic markers. Being maternally inherited, of high copy number, and robust persistence in degraded samples, mitochondrial DNA may be useful for inferring coarse ethnicity. In this study, we compare the performance of methods for inferring ethnicity from the sequence of the hypervariable region of the mitochondrial genome.

“Results: We present the results of comprehensive experiments conducted on datasets extracted from the mtDNA population database, showing that ethnicity inference based on support vector machines (SVM) achieves an overall accuracy of 80-90%, consistently outperforming nearest neighbor and discriminant analysis methods previously proposed in the literature. We also evaluate methods of handling missing data and characterize the most informative segments of the hypervariable region of the mitochondrial genome.

“Conclusions: Support vector machines can be used to infer coarse ethnicity from a small region of mitochondrial DNA sequence with surprisingly high accuracy. In the presence of missing data, utilizing only the regions common to the training sequences and a test sequence proves to be the best strategy. Given these results, SVM algorithms are likely to also be useful in other DNA sequence classification applications.”

(but don’t forget — race doesn’t exist. it’s juuuust a social construct….)

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kids and media

Media Use Among White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian American Children


“When it comes to spending time using computers for entertainment, Asian youth lead the way, spending an average of almost three hours (2:53) a day among 8- to 18-year-olds, followed by Hispanic youth at 1:49, Blacks at 1:24, and Whites at 1:17. [See Table 22]

“Asian youth have more computers at home and are more likely to have a computer in their bedroom. [See Table 23] Asian youth are also substantially more likely to have their own laptop than White youth (41% of Asians, 35% of Hispanics, 33% of Blacks, and 24% of Whites). Hispanic youth spend more time using computers than White youth do, despite the fact that they have fewer computers at home and are less likely to have home Internet access than their White or Asian peers (74% of Hispanics and 78% of Blacks, compared with 89% of Asians and 88% of Whites). [See Table 23]”

that’s it? three hours a day? amateurs. (~_^)

“Differences in media consumption are especially pronounced with regard to TV, with Black youth (ages 8 to 18) watching an average of nearly six hours of TV a day on various platforms (5:54), Hispanic children close to five and a half hours (5:21), Asian youth more than four and a half hours (4:41), and White youth averaging about three and a half hours (3:36) a day. This includes time spent watching live TV, as well as DVDs, pre-recorded shows, and computer and mobile viewing. [See Table 1]”

SIX hours a day of tv! sheesh. what the h*ck are they watching for all that time?! talk about mind-numbing.

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