Latinos; the Strugglel for Equality

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  • Topic: Discrimination, Affirmative action, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Pages : 6 (2047 words )
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  • Published : February 16, 2013
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Latinos; the struggle for equality
DeVry University Online

Discrimination is the differential and pejorative actions that serve to limit the social, political, or economic opportunities of members of particular groups (Bell, 2007 p.68). Unfortunately, this is prevalent in all aspects of one’s daily life. Discrimination is all around us and effects people in different ways. As the majority of people deal with prejudice regularly, Hispanics targeted in the workplace, specifically women. Gender discrimination refers to distinction, exclusion, or restriction made based on socially constructed gender roles and norms, those that prevent individuals from experiencing full human rights (Cordon, 2012). The prevalence of Hispanics in our country is largely under recognized. White Americans being the dominant culture look to Hispanics for specific types of work, therefore stereotyping them into categories. Hispanic immigrants are looked to for laborious types of jobs and are prevalent in agricultural fields. This occurs because most Hispanics are much more willing to work for lower wages and are less likely to complain about mistreatment; “Whether you’re legal or not, you need that job, and you don’t want to raise problems because there are a lot of other people in line for that job” (Greenhouse, 2003). For a White American, this would never be accepted. Society categorizes Hispanics as being uneducated, lazy, or unwilling to learn our culture; when really, it is quite the opposite. There are more Hispanic immigrants in the United States than any other group; 40% of the Hispanic population is foreign-born (Bell, 2007 p.141) In March of 1992, Hispanics represented 7.9 percent of the labor force, a substantial 1.7 percentage points increase from the previous decade. Between 1982 and 1992, the Hispanic civilian labor force grew from 3.4 million workers to 9.9 million. In 1990, immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean constituted more than two-thirds of all immigrants to the United States. Latinos are predominantly an urban population, concentrated in a few regions of the country. In 1992, 91 percent of Latinos lived in urban areas, compared to 70 percent of the white population. In 1990, four states (California, Texas, New York, and Florida) accounted for 71 percent of the Latino population in the country (Gaston, 1994 p.4).

Education is a vastly reviewed topic and much emphasis has been placed on it when it comes to the work force. The level of education attained by Hispanics varies between their countries of origin. While about half of Mexicans have at least a high school diploma, 67% of Puerto Ricans and 71% of Cubans do. Nearly 19% of Cubans have at least a college degree, compared with less than 8% of Mexicans (Bell, 2007 p.138); this contributes to the lower wages and unemployment rates of Mexican Hispanics.

Communication is another factor that is thought to largely contribute to the lower employment rates of Hispanics in upper management. The language barrier often creates difficulty regarding interviews, and if the position is related to dealing with the public, being able to speak English well and communicate effectively is important. However, often times bilingual employees are utilized for translating for another monolingual employee. The monolingual employee is not looked down upon for speaking only one language (English), but the bilingual employee is not considered more valuable because they are able to communicate with a variety of different people. If Latino men speak English at least “very well,” and have completed at least 12 years of school, their occupational achievement is close to that if a white non-Latino man with similar English fluency and schooling (Gaston, 1994 p.8).

Overall the socioeconomic profile shows that Hispanics are disproportionately represented among the working poor. Hispanics are overrepresented in low wage occupation and have high incidence of...
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