Differential Treatment of the Latino Population in the United States
The term “Latino” or “Hispanic” is used to refer to a population sharing a common heritage, including a language. The words should not be used to refer to people of a common race or ancestry. Latinos account for the biggest growing minority group found in the United States. Many researchers have classified them as a group of people having a single ethnic group, but in reality, Latinos can be described as heterogeneous from the socio-economic, genetic, and cultural point of view. Worth noting, A newly released survey by the Pew Research Centre about racism in America, more than half (52%) of the Hispanics population in the United States admit to have encountered differential treatment whereby they treated unfairly as a result of their ethnicity or race (Janusz, & Lajevardi, 2016). The concepts of race and identity are varied and complex for Latinos. In the United States, one in every four Hispanics is Afro-Latino, while a quarter is of indigenous descent. Additionally, more than two-thirds of the Latino population agree that having a Hispanic background forms an integral part of these individuals’ racial identity. This essay aims to describe the differential experiences of the Latino people and the impact of these experiences. Additionally, the text provides a historical and socio demographical background of the Latino people. Moreover, the essay provides an understanding of personal and professional ethics and values that should be observed in relation to the Latino population.
The History and Socio Demographical Data about the Latino Population.
Hispanic population comprises the biggest minority groups across the United States. In 2019, the Latino population in the United States hit 60.6 million. This data represents about 18.5% of the total population according to data released by the Census Bureau. The figure has been growing constantly compared to 16% recorded in 2010. They hold the title for the second largest ethnical or racial group. They fall close behind the whites identifying a non-Latino who stand at 60.1% of the total U.S. population. Latinos hold bigger numbers than Black, Asians, and American Indians Native that account for 13.4%, 5.9%, and 1.3% respectively of the total population (Janusz, & Lajevardi, 2016). According to the Pew Research Sector, the growth rate for U.S. Latinos has been slowing down despite the fact that their population has been rising. In 1995, Latinos’ growth rate was 4.8% compared to 3.8% and 3.4% recorded in the year 2000 and 2005 (Abascal, 2015). In 2010 the Latinos had grown by 2.1%, while 2019 recorded a growth rate of 1.9%. This shows a declining population growth rate among Hispanics. Immigration from Mexico and annual birth rates have declined too. In terms of age, statistics show that the young population is getting old. The median age in 2010 was 27.3, while in 2019, it went up to 29.8. Worth noting, as the Latino population in the U.S. grows older, they remain to be overall younger than their non Latino, Black, and Asian counterparts, whose median age stood at 44, 35, and 38 years respectively (Ríos-Salas, & Larson, 2015). In 2019, Los Angeles County recorded the highest population of Latino Population (4.9 million). Other counties, including California, Harris County, Texas, Florida, Cook County, Riverside, and Illinois had a population exceeding 1 million. Apart from differential treatment, the Latino population also grapples with problems to do with social support, access to healthy food, housing, and transit, childhood trauma, pollution, and mental health.
Differential Experiences of the Latinos
Across the many United States, there is a significant discrimination rates metted against the Latino population. The fact reams that in most scenarios, men fall victim to differential treatment compared to their female counterparts. To begin with, Latinos often find themselves as a target of stigmatization and prejudice that has to do with immigration as well as in the labor market. For some reason, people are inclined to think that Latinos are runaways who are irregular as immigrants. Employers also tend to favor white people compared to white people. The United States has long-standing issues with immigration, and the fact that Latino immigrants are fond of the U. S. destination only exacerbates the situation. In 2017, Latinos recorded a participation rate of 65.8%. This percentage barely depicts the actual gap that exists between Latino men and women. Amongst all racial groups, Latinos have a 20% gap in employment between men and women. Further, Latinos found in the U.S. recorded the lowest educationally attainment at both university education and secondary school diploma. Additionally, Latinos are more concentrated in clue collar jobs and are more likely to work in maintenance and construction domains, such as construction laborers and agricultural workers. On the other hand, Latino women in the U.S. predominantly work in service sectors such cleaning, maids, and food preparation.
Impact of Differential experience on the Latino Population
Various impacts can result from discrimination meted against the Latinos living across various states in the United States. Since Latinos are faced with the challenge of accessing quality education, they lack the necessary skills required for entry-level and subsequent employment. Worth noting, women mores so remain to be the most affected by the problem of unemployment. Education is the easiest way to transition into employment and to change the economic situation for an individual. If people are denied education, they are denied a voice. The fact that there is prejudice is a result of the perception that society has about Latinos. Common stereotypes have branded Latinos in America as lazy, poor, uneducated, gangsters, and of illegal status. These stereotypes only serve one purpose; that Latinos are not competent and capable, less American, and more threatening. It is no secret that people that speak with an accent are deemed les competent than other people. This negatively impacts their life and economic status because they end up being denied jobs despite being qualified because of their accent. While some of these stereotypes also apply to other minority groups such as African Americans, Latinos are stereotyped more heavily in regard to their intelligence, criminal nature, perseverance, and ethics. Furthermore, Latinos also face an additional penalty of being stereotyped as aliens. There has been legislation designed that seeks to jeopardize their stay. This negative perception that Latinos are criminals is further reinforced by media attention and laws targeting undocumented migrants.
Professional and Personal Ethics and Values to Observe while Working with Latinos.
Even as the Latino population continues to grow extensively across various states, there is a need to familiarize themselves with the Latino Culture. To foster a healthy working relationship with Latinos, one has to respect their ethics at the workplace. For many years’ stereotypes have been pushing the stereotypes backward. The truth is that Latinos have held on to their cultural values and traditions for generations, although the third and second generations have become more assimilated in the American culture. Latinos hold the aspect of family in high regard. Latinos are socialized with a close relationship with the family. Family includes both immediate and extended family members. Further, a person who has been a friend for a long time is considered a family. In their culture, the longer the time a person is known to you, the more they become part of the family. Latinos respect and recognize the ideology of collectivism that emphasizes the aspect of interdependence. For Latinos achieving collective goals is more important than personal goals. Following the collective nature, community members find it hard to make decisions for individual gains and always put their relationships before their personal needs. As a future social work practitioner, individuals should employ the three-pronged technique as a strategy to maintain professionalism. The strategy entails developing, engaging, and reaching out to the Hispanic workforce. This can be done through training, coaching, mentoring, and leadership programs. Engaging is paramount because they value relationships, and they want to feel a sense of family. So many things can go wrong when employees impose personal values on a client. They are likely to rub the client the wrong way, probably because they are not culturally sensitive. The client may even end up being worked up by a comment that seems out of line with staff members. This can result in unnecessary conflicts.
Latinos are people that share a common heritage, such as a language. They do not have to necessarily have the same ancestors. However, Latinos are heterogeneous from a socio-economic perspective. More than half of the Latino population in the U. S. admits to having been subjected to differential treatment because of their racial identity. People and society at large have stereotypes regarding Latinos. They are viewed negatively as immigrants who are poor and uneducated. This limits their chance of employment in entering the labor market. Latinos hold daily relationships in high regard. As such, social workers must familiarize themselves with the Latino culture to become more sensitive when talking to them.
Abascal, M. (2015). Us and them: Black-White relations in the wake of Hispanic population growth. American Sociological Review, 80(4), 789-813.
Janusz, A., & Lajevardi, N. (2016). The political marginalization of Latinos: Evidence from three field experiments. Available at SSRN 2799043.
Molina, K. M., Little, T. V., & Rosal, M. C. (2016). Everyday discrimination, family context, and psychological distress among Latino adults in the United States. Journal of Community Psychology, 44(2), 145-165.
Ríos-Salas, V., & Larson, A. (2015). Perceived discrimination, socio-economic status, and mental health among Latino adolescents in U.S. immigrant families. Children and Youth Services Review, 56, 116-125.
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