Some like it hot: Hispanics and the American melting pot
As the number and influence of Hispanics in the U.S. has steadily increased in recent decades, they have been celebrated and derided, welcomed and deported, courted for their dollars and lambasted for clinging to their culture even as they are bombarded with ads for the latest pseudo-enchilada at Taco Bell.
Hispanics have been sliced and diced by age, size, and gender. They have been measured by how they look and what they buy, what language they speak, where they live, and whom they vote for.
But what some people really want to know is: Do they melt? Specifically, are they following the traditional model of “melting pot” Americanization, or are they, as some recent studies suggest, impervious to the homogenizing foundry of acculturation? The answer to that question has important implications not just for Hispanics, but also for the social and economic well-being of all Americans.
With the 2012 presidential elections looming, and minority births outnumbering those of non-Hispanic whites for the first time in U.S. history, the argument over the nature and future of Hispanic acculturation and identity is reaching a crescendo, with plenty of data and emotion on both sides of the debate.
New studies by Nielsen and EthniFacts make the case that Latinos in the U.S. will not “disappear into the melting pot, as many other immigrant groups have done before,” but instead are becoming “the first major immigrant group to exhibit cultural sustainability—successfully integrating into American culture while retaining major elements of Latino culture on a long-term basis.”
Read the full story at the National Journal