August 3, 2010

YOU CONFORM AND WE ALL GET DRUNK ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY:

Poll: Identity, blending in important to Hispanics (JIM KUHNHENN, 08/03/2010, AP)

An Associated Press-Univision poll shows that a significant percentage of Hispanics believe it is important to hold on to their unique identity even as they work to blend into American society. That dual view of their cultural space — a strong sense of heritage and a desire to embrace the United States as their home — challenges perceptions that a growing Hispanic population poses a destabilizing threat to national unity.

“It is part of life to adapt,” Bulux says. “But our identity is already within us — you can’t isolate it, suppress it, substitute it for another.”

The poll, also sponsored by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, shows two-thirds of all Hispanics surveyed say it is important to maintain their distinct cultures. At the same time, 54 percent say it is important to assimilate into American society.

All told, about four in 10 hold both views — a seeming contradiction that reflects the daily balancing act that many immigrants and ethnic groups perform to retain their identity in a diverse, though still Anglo-Protestant-dominant, culture.

“Identity is multidimensional and people can see themselves as Hispanic and as Americans, and see themselves as culturally part of the United States and maintaining their Hispanicity, without seeing that as being internally in conflict,” said Gary Segura of Stanford University, an authority on Latino politics who helped design the survey. “Hispanics are part of a very long tradition here of incorporating their own cultures into the American mainstream.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 3, 2010 5:45 AM
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