Monday, October 14, 2019

Overview and History of Hispanic Culture

Overview and History of Hispanic Culture The term Hispanic was first coined the Federal government in the years of 1970s. This was in an attempt to provide a common identity to a large, group of population that had a connection to the Spanish language (Toomey and Chung, 2012). It is a term referring to individuals residing in the United States and whose origins are traced back to the regions of Latin America that speak Spanish. The regions whose people are considered the Hispanics are Central America, Mexico and South America and along the Caribbean (Davis, 2000). Efforts to link up the relationships between these multicultural societies it is also very important to understand how the world today is characterized by an ever growing number of contacts that results from communication between people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds (Samovar, 2006). Basically, this communication occurs because of the contacts that exist within military installations, areas of business, education, entertainment, scientific instit utions, etc. It is therefore necessary to denote that to understand intercultural communication amongst the Hispanic, there is a need of focusing on their cultural beliefs, and social attributes. Culture has different meanings although it is used to denote to a set of standards, values, art, practices and music of a particular group. Becker (2004) defines culture, as a complex whole that includes beliefs, arts, knowledge, morals, law, and any other capability and habit which is acquired by mankind within a society. Furthermore, he denotes that culture is normally acquired and learned, as opposed to biological traits which are inherited (Samovar, 2006). As we are made to comprehend that this was innovative against the background of colonialism, social evolution and racialism which were the most common ideologies during the nineteenth century (Davis, 2000). Hispanics cultural beliefs and social attributes form the basis of this papers work that is in line with their communication links along their cultural setup. They are regarded as a highly group-oriented form of social setup. In this sense, Hispanics put strong emphasis on the family as the main source of the identity of an individual, and it protects against the hardships an individual passes through. People who do not have the capability of creating this set up are not easily trusted, and this process is very cautious (Toomey and Chung, 2012). The model of a family, amongst the Hispanics normally comprises of aunts, grandparents, cousins, etc. They use the term Familismo to describe their strong and supreme loyalty to extended families. Due to an emphasis on harmony, collectivity and corporation amongst the Hispanic people, this group normally emphasizes collective responsibility (Toomey and Chung, 2012). The decisions and behavior of each are ascribed to the strong ties shared with the extended family. Within these groups, there is a very rigid definition of sex roles. The elderly are revered and very much valued by all members of the family. On the end, the male figure is seen as a symbol of authority within these social constructs (Martin and Nakayama, 2013). Although some of the female roles are being defined of late, the women in Hispanic culture still occupy the subsidiary positions. In these groups, fathers have the prestige and authority and sons on the other end bear earlier individuality as compared to the daughters (Bergad and Klein, 2010). Language refers to a set of words that are used by a common people, who belong to the same country, community, cultural tradition, and geographical area (Piller, 2011). Under the Hispanic culture, language is viewed as a process of communication that helps to bring the society together. For them, Spanish is a key marker of personal, social and political identity (Cai, 2010). This means that Spanish speaking televisions make the much important part of the lives of the fluent English speakers. Communication among the Hispanics is never limited to one language, but there is a need to integrate both English and Spanish in communication. These individuals are not limited to neither English nor Spanish but to both. Religion has played a significant role among the Hispanics for generations. Most Hispanics are very religious, and the most dominant religion is Catholicism (Piller, 2011). Catholic religion plays an important role in shaping the manner in which these people behave, and communicate with one another. Becker (2004) explains that 90% of the Hispanic people practice the religion of Catholicism. Religion shapes the mode of relationships and also contributing to better intercultural communication. In recent years though, other faith denominations have been identified to grow within the people of the Hispanic community. The church is said to influence family life and also community affairs of the Hispanics by giving spiritual meaning to the people of the Hispanic culture (Cai, 2010). For every local community patron saints, days are celebrated in given much importance than what individuals do during their birthdays. When a light meal is served in the morning, it implies that a breakfast is served. El almuerzo or Lunch is usually the main meal of the Spanish- speakers. Some countries make it a custom for their adult family members and their children to come home and celebrate el almuerzo together (Martin and Nakayama, 2013). La siesta, which is a resting period among the Hispanics is said to be a habit among this group of people. In the early evening, la merinda, a light snack of coffee sandwiches is served, and it is usually for children. At around 9.00 p.m people normally conclude the days meals (Bergad and Klein, 2010). Hispanics refer to midday and evening meals to be very important and are always associated with sobremesa when guest is present. Sobremesa is a time the Hispanics talk over coffee or an after –dinner drink (Davis, 2000). The Hispanics only accept food served when it is offered for the second time. The behavior is learnt across cultures, and it helps in shaping an identit y in line with interpersonal communication among groups. Latino culture is denoted by celebrations of holidays and traditions. These traditions and celebrations normally help to shape the life of that culture (Toomey and Chung, 2012). The holidays help in shaping opportunities of deepening family, friends and communal connections. Others believe that such days do offer an excuse to party (Cai, 2010). The Hispanic celebrations range from religious to patriotic and from popular to unique. Navidad or better known as Christmas celebrations is the most common of them all because 90% of the population ascribe to the doctrine of Catholicism (Bergad and Klein, 2010). The other most common religious celebration is La Semana Santa or the holy week. La Semana Santa is a cultural practice amongst the Hispanic people, and it is common in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru (Cai, 2010). The Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated only in the United States. Hispanics tend to describe their communication in a very formal manner. They look at each other with formal considerations. Greetings and leave-taking are described with handshakes as a formal means of communication (Martin and Nakayama, 2013). Also between women, and men and women who share close relationships; hugging and light kissing is visible to be a common practice among these groups.In language address, words of respect are shared across cultures (Bergad and Klein, 2010). The words such as Don or Dona are used before peoples first names this shows how such forums are formal in nature. In non-formal communication setups speaking is often loud, fast and full of animated gestures for the better conveyance of meaning to the points stated (Martin and Nakayama, 2013). In terms of dressing, wearing of formal attires bears the meaning given to formal gatherings for example church, parties, social gatherings and also work (Davis, 2000). Hispanics are noted to be very relaxed about time and space of punctuality than the Native Americans do. Not arriving on time is a socially acceptable behavior among the Hispanics (Piller, 2011). For instance, a meeting that was scheduled to begin say at 8.00 would not commence until at around 8.30 because guests begin showing their faces around at the latter time (Toomey and Chung, 2012). Also, their accent limits them from public speaking, because they feel they might be marginalized or ignored all the same. Becker (2004) explains that life normally goes one way. Furthermore, people are always caught between the past and future. In other words, we are living with the uncertainty of which we are conscious. In this sense, there is that ability to see our destinies and fates dramatically different because of our cultural attitudes about controlling external forces (Cai, 2010). Hispanics believe in a strong sense of uncertainty that is inherent in life, and they take each day as it comes (Bergad and Klein, 2010). The term fatalismo is usually used by Latinos to express their belief that individuals are not able to do anything about fate. For example in Medicine and health matters, they would prefer not to inquire if they are diagnosed with cancer but rather they would just believe that Gods punishment has made them the way they are. Because of fatalism, Becker (2004) explains that Hispanic patients are normally reluctant to seek screenings for purposes of preventing diseases. They would only attend these screenings until the disease they are suffering from becomes severe (Martin and Nakayama, 2013). Preventive screenings are important because they help in avoiding diseases such as chronic illnesses, and cancer, and radical invasion procedures and treatments. Latinos are more concerned with relationships rather than time. The word Simpatia means kindness and it refers to the idea of being polite and pleasant even when in the presence of stress. Hispanics, therefore, are said to be very kind to anyone trying to communicate with them at all lengths (Cai, 2010). They command an optimistic approach at every instance even in the presence of depressing situations. An individual who is trying to communicate with these community members should never have an approach that could be read as neutral. This is because it would translate to unkindness. They demand attention, patience, respect and if possible communication is in Spanish. Furthermore, physical gestures like handshakes or placing hands on the shoulders of other people help in communicating warmth and happiness. In other cases, they demand confidence from their respondents. Intercultural communication is the communication system or elements that help to share information across different cultural groups. Communication occurs when there are a recipient or respondent and the sender or communicator, a medium of communication and the information itself. Hispanics are a group of people living in the United States but trace their origin to Spanish speaking nation like Cuba, Mexico and the Caribbean. In understanding these relationships in communication, despite a lot of emphasis and focus being placed on other cultures in America, Hispanics culture shape the American world. From formal communication to informal communication Hispanics culture demands confidence, respect attention and patience. In other cases, they demand that their respondents to speak in Spanish which translates into greater rapport between them and their communicators or recipients. References: Becker, P. (2004). Social change in America: The historical handbook, 2004. Lanham, MD:  Bernan Press. Bergad, L., Klein, H. (2010). Hispanics in the United States: A demographic, social, and  economic history, 1980-2005. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cai, D. (2010). Intercultural communication. Los Angeles, Calif.: SAGE. Davis, K. (2000). Bridging boundaries the pastoral care of U.S. Hispanics. Scranton, Pa.:  University of Scranton Press. Martin, J., Nakayama, T. (2013). Intercultural communication in contexts (6th ed.). New  York: McGraw-Hill. Piller, I. (2011). Intercultural communication a critical introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh  University Press. Samovar, L. (2006). Intercultural communication: A reader (11th ed.). Belmont, CA:  Thomson/Wadsworth. Toomey, S., Chung, L. (2012). Understanding intercultural communication (2nd ed.). New  York: Oxford University Press.

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