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Andriy Ilnytskyy
Principles of Sociology
Prof. Wiegand
“The Mexican-Americans of South Texas”

1) Who are the members of the group? How did they become members of the group? Where they live and what time period? The members of the group are Mexican-Americans. They moved to Hidalgo County that lies across the border from Mexico in the valley of the lower Rio Grande of southeastern Texas. Hidalgo and Cameron counties have been known as the “Valley of Tears” but others call it as the “Magic Valley”. It had a very fertile agricultural land and more job opportunities. Seventy-five percent of the population of Hidalgo County is Mexican-American. They consider themselves to be true Texans. They sometimes refer to English-speaking residents as “foreigners,” because Rio Grande Valley was settled by Spaniards and Mexicans about a century before first US settlers came. The reason why Mexicans colonized Rio Grande Valley was to protect people from Indian raids and encroachment from New France.

2) What are the group’s important beliefs, values, and norms? In all acculturation levels there is a strong feeling that that the Mexican-American deserves the right to be a first-class citizen without renouncing his Mexican heritage. Upper-class Mexican-American families did not consider their daughters properly married unless the wedding ceremony was performed in Mexico with all the splendor of the Catholic Church. Woman crossed the border to give birth in Mexican cities. Which caused many Texas residents to have Mexican birth certificates, and it also caused confusion when US immigration regulations were enforced. Members of the old families take pride in been born and married south of the border, because these rites establish their ties with the older sophisticated culture of Mexico. Mexican Americans believe that the worst sin a Latin can conceive is to violate his obligations to his parents and siblings. Mexican-Americans also believed in the existence of...