Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Samuel Huntington’s “The Hispanic Challenge”

November 9th, 2010 · No Comments
Apr 12/Cultural Globalization & Latino Immigration and American National Identity · Reading Response Memos

“The Hispanic Challenge,” by Samuel Huntington argues, with substantial credible supporting material, that the heavy and persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants is creating a United States of two peoples, two cultures and two languages. Huntington attributes the conspicuousness of the Hispanic immigrant community in the United States to various factors that all the other immigrant groups do not compile altogether. According to Huntington, some of the contributing factors to the gradual hispanization of the United States include: a 2000 mile border historically separated by a line in the ground and a shallow river between a developing and a developed country [Mexico and the United States], large income inequalities between the contiguous countries, increased availability of transportation, withdrawal of investments from dictatorial Latin American regimes to American Cities (for instance, from Cuba to Miami), pride in Spanish language and ethnic culture, sentiment by many Mexicans that they are entitled to living in the bordering states due to Mexico’s former ownership of the territories, high fertility rates among hispanic communities and many others. Huntington explains that, as a result of these factors, there has been a growing involvement and influence of Hispanics in America’s political, social, economic, linguistic and cultural life.

I believe that Huntington along with the cited scholars who contributed to the text make a valid point about the exceptional influence of Hispanic immigration in the United States. The global cities of America present themselves as bilingual and appear to be increasingly influenced by Hispanic culture in various aspects. For instance in many neighborhoods and boroughs of New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, the “white” majority, African-Americans and other groups of immigrants are the minorities due to the   affirmed communities of people from central and south America. In addition, these communities promote the food (eg: empanadas, arroz con pollo y habichuelas), the music (salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton), religion (catholic), posters and other images of significant figures (liberators such as Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Simon Bolivar), the communal hospitality, and evidently the language. In fact, ads and services are increasingly adding the label “se habla español,” which means that Spanish is spoken in case the person does not speak English and certain jobs require people to speak both languages. The tendency of this trend is to expand over the years, and as a result, the United States of America, which was initially, a country of Anglo-Saxon Protestants is transitioning towards a United States of the two predominant peoples, cultures and languages.

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