Mexican culture has its similarities and differences with American culture. Not only are there similarities and differences within the basic aspect of culture but also within the socialization aspect. My subtopic was immigration and how that affects Mexican-American people not only in their daily life but also in their long-term lives. We will dive deeper into how the basic cultures are different, current events that might be affecting Mexican Americans today, and differences that affect identity. Each culture is going to vary from culture to culture. There are many aspects we could analyze about either culture, but I think there are some key dimensions we can look at. Individualistic cultures are more likely to gain power through personal accomplishments to make themselves stand out. Collectivistic cultures encourage power gain by conforming to a group to stand out as a group. (Gorodnichenko & Roland, 2002) When talking to my interviewee stated that “I would consider Mexican culture to be a collectivist culture. I say this because family is a very important role in our culture, and we tend to take care of each other before taking care of ourselves and I could say that about most Mexican families. I think that is a huge component of what identifies a culture as collectivist.” (Anonymous, 2019) Now considering that Mexican culture is more collectivist versus individualistic, we can compare that to American culture. American culture is an individualistic culture. We care about how our individual being versus the larger community’s greater good. This is a very important difference to note because this is an outline of how the culture functions as a whole. Today there is a huge problem with discrimination against immigrants coming from Mexico into the US. The Trump administration has made it difficult for people coming from Mexico to try to get a better quality of life in the US. Immigration is a hot topic when talking about the Trump administration.
There have been many stories released that families have been split up due to deportation and adults and children have been put into detention camps. This has caused a loud uproar of madness in people today. Immigration is the reason we have some sense of knowledge of Mexican culture here in the US. When speaking with my interviewee he said, “I don’t feel like I have felt much discrimination personally because my family has immigrated to the states, but I do know a lot of people have been hurt, physically or verbally, but things people have said or done negatively about Mexican immigrants and it is a really sad thing they feel different from any other American citizen.” (Anonymous, 2019) Even though he never felt direct discrimination he is fully aware it is taking place in the US. Being discriminated against can harm your identity and view of self. Identity plays a huge role in culture. Culture is where you find your identity. When coming from Mexico to the states, they tend to struggle with their identity. They face a lot of stereotypes that make them feel they are a certain way when in reality it may be very different and not the truth. (Ortiz, 2012) My interviewee stated, “I struggle with either not being American enough or not being Mexican enough. I feel like when I am in the united states, I need to be more American and when I am in Mexico I need to be more Mexican. This is a problem because I can’t always be changing who I am depending on where I am.” (Anonymous, 2019) This seems to be a huge problem for Mexican Immigrants in the US. When the United States Mexican Immigrants often feel like they need and should be accepted so they tend to change their ways to fit in. This often results in a loss of culture and loss of true identity. (Ortiz, 2012). Being only immersed in the American culture I cannot relate to a lot of the things my interviewee said on the same level. When talking about types of culture his culture, Mexican, he believes it is very collectivist, while my culture, American, is very individualistic.
Even though these are different when talking about the example, of family, I take pride in how much I am involved with my family and how much they mean to me, similar to my interviewee’s look at family. When we mention the discrimination against immigrants, I cannot relate to that because, I, myself, have never been in that situation. As my interviewee knows it’s happening, I can see that as well and has similar views as him on what is going on currently. Lastly, when talking about identity, I have never felt a loss of cultural identity because American culture and identity are all that I know and am surrounded mainly with. Therefore, I only have to appeal to and feel accepted by the American culture. As many similarities and differences, we may have in the end, we are all human. Having interviewed my interviewee has made me become more knowledgeable and are of the differences cultures may have.