Puerto Rican family
Puerto Rico was discovered in 1493 by a Spanish explorer known as Christopher Columbus. The culture of the Puerto Rican family was affected or influenced by the Spanish who were its conquest. However, the Puerto Ricans are proud of their culture and always try to maintain it as they consider Puerto Rico as an autonomous island free from American interruption. Puerto Rico though has some autonomy; it still operates or is subjected to the laws of the United States. In Puerto Rican family setting, a home is significant in that it is the beginning of family life and they reflect the culture of the Puerto Ricans.
Most of the Puerto Ricans live below poverty level and are usually segregated by the American since they are a minority group. Literacy level is higher among women than men with different families being headed by women (Green, 2008). This paper will evaluate the Puerto Rican family in relation to its composition, education or literacy level and employment/ poverty level in Puerto Rico. Composition of Puerto Rican family Different factors have contributed to the structure which exists in the Puerto Rican family. One of the major influences is the Spanish culture infusion which was experienced during the colonial period.
Introduction of Catholicism religion which led to erosion of the native Puerto Rican religion also shaped today’s family in Puerto Rico. Slave culture which emerged during the colonial period and the Taino Indians also influenced this family’s structure. Another aspect which gave shape to the today’s Puerto Rican family was the evolution of the mestizo Puerto Rican culture. The Puerto Rican family can be categorized into four groups. The first group is composed of the nuclear family which is made up of the parents and the children.
This setting is characterized by cramped apartment as a result of high population and fertility rate among the Puerto Ricans and few economic resources (Gonzales, 2003). Extended family is the next family setting valued in the Puerto Rican community. This family consists of the parents, their children and also their grand children. This setting is mostly found among the migrants found in central cities. The extended family evolved due the demanding and harsh life conditions and is aim was to offer emotional, economic and social support to the members.
It is characterized by interdependence, support and family loyalty. The third category of families is the attenuated nuclear family. During the earlier years, the divorce rate in Puerto Rico Island was high which saw some women and men left with children to take care of. Attenuated nuclear family was formed when a divorced man or woman with children from previous marriages married. This led to the introduction of a nuclear family consisting of step children and step parents (Gonzales, 2003). The last category of the Puerto Rican family setting is the female headed family.
This form of family setting is common with communities living in the urban areas of Puerto Rico. These families consist of households which are supported by women who have been divorced, separated or those with children gotten out of wedlock. Premarital cohabitation and the informal union acceptance in this region are also other contributors to high number to female headed families. In Puerto Rico, families are the foundation of social structures and they emphasize on close connections and also concern for the family’s well being.
Telephone communication and family visits are encouraged in Puerto Rico as these are seen as signs of care. The interaction are however courteous, considerate and also honorable since family honor is highly regarded by the Puerto Ricans. Achievement of an individual are not highly regarded like the family loyalty in this island. The high population growth rate can be attributed to the notion held by the Puerto Ricans that children are a symbol of wealth (Miller, 2004). Contribution of poverty levels and education segregation to family bond cementation
The high regard for family in Puerto Rico is usually attributed to the high levels of poverty experienced in this island. During the colonial era, most of the Puerto Ricans held blue collar jobs which were underpaid as compared to those of the Anglo Americans. Racism led to high level of unemployment among the Puerto Ricans thus raising the levels of poverty. In the recent past, younger generations who had formed the majority group of Puerto Ricans in new yolk are employed in eastern urban areas where they hold white collar jobs and other professional jobs.
Despite this fact, less than 2% families in Puerto Rico get medium income of $75000 per annum. Unemployment crisis among Puerto Ricans can be attributed to the increase in women headed families, diminishing of industries like the garment industries which were a major employment sector for the Puerto Ricans and also the racial and institutional segregation against the Puerto Ricans by the Americans (Wood, 2006). The Puerto Rican community is also faced by educational obstacles and segregation which has led to high poverty levels as high rates of school drop outs are recorded.
Substandard school facilities are common in Puerto Rican schools and also school segregation thus hindering educational achievement. The teachers in these schools are inadequately prepared and also insensitive to the students. Cultural differences and linguistics are highly disregarded. The proportion of Puerto Rican teachers is low as compared to Puerto Rican students in schools. Due to these difficulties and segregation experienced by the Puerto Ricans, family is essential since it provides the social and psychological needs to the people. Maintaining family cohesion is thus vital in this island (Safa, 2003).
Reference: De Genova, N. & Ramos-Zayas, A. Y. (2003): Latino Crossings: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the Politics of Race and Citizenship. ISBN 0415934575, Published by Routledge Gonzales, J. L. (2003): Racial and Ethnic Families in America. ISBN 0787227641, Published by Kendall Hunt Pub Co Green, D. (2008): Puerto Rican Americans. Retrieved on 16th February 2009 from, http://www. everyculture. com/multi/Pa-Sp/Puerto-Rican-Americans. html. Miller, J. (2004): Family and Community Integrity.
Journal article of Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, Vol. 28 Safa, H. (2003): Changing Forms of U. S. Hegemony in Puerto Rico: The Impact on the Family and Sexuality. Journal article of Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development, Vol. 32 Varas-Diaz, N. & Serrano-Garcia I. (2003): The Challenge of a Positive Self-Image in a Colonial Context: A Psychology of Liberation for the Puerto Rican Experience Journal article of American Journal of Community Psychology Wood, D. (2006): Kids and Space in the Puerto Rican Highlands Journal article of The Geographical Review, Vol. 96Sample Essay of StudyFaq.com