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New Latino Diaspora Essay

1056 words - 5 pages

Wortham Mortimer and Allard aim to summarize their study and findings exploring the Mexican model minority model and the impact of this on a growing Latino community, an area called the New Latin Diaspora. The New Latin Diaspora refers to a region not preciously related to a Latino population but in the past 15 years has become home to a large recently grown and continuing to grow Latino community. The city used in this particular research is called Marshall, (pseudonym) Pennsylvania. Wortham et all write that their research shows areas that fit this description are less likely to be home to negative racism because they are not home to a history of established racial tensions. Instead they offer the opportunity for new relationships and ideas to be formed and it is easier in this environment to form a positive idea of a new ethnic group.
Marshall’s residents tend to have set ideas about the Mexican community. They express the general belief that Mexicans have benefitted their community due to them being good hard workers and uncomplaining civilians. They believe the opening of Mexican stores and restaurants has enriched the community and are a welcome presence. These ideas exemplify the concept of model minority, model minority is the identity forged from expectations and ideas about an ethnic group and then imposed on the group as a whole. The article describes this attitude and social approach as “benevolent racism” (Wortham et all. 5). It is referred to as such because in extending these benevolent compliments it is necessary to imply that one is in a position to do so and therefore in a position of superiority and expressing that superiority. The notion of a Mexican model minority includes, in addition to being a hard worker, the idea that they are also uncomplaining, unambitious, and unwilling and unable to succeed academically. Essentially, the idea that Mexicans are good at menial labor like cleaning bathrooms or physical labor but bad at using their brains, like in school or ambition. While many Marshall denizens are quick to list off compliments about Mexicans regarding their work ethic there are also those who stereotype Mexicans as “docile” and “passive” and use these terms oppressively and to mock the Mexican students, as seen in the example of the two teachers who physically reenacted the docility of their Mexican students (Wortham et all).
In Manual-Figueroa’s article Citizenship Education in the Homework she attempts to shed light on the role of the immigrant Latino parent in the child or children’s U.S. education. She discusses challenges faced by the parents, including unclear assignments stemming from the immigrant’s different perception or expectation of education (example: month long science projects instead of a weekly packet of homework), translation challenges and the confusion regarding the term “citizenship” on a report card and also just decoding the report card in general. She also speaks of comments made by teachers...

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