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Module 7 Discussion
Mexican families are typically patriarchal in their dominance, with the female having responsibility for the home and the familys health concerns (Purnell, 2013, p. 377). The concept of family in a Mexican household is the foundation of society for their culture. Family is held in high regard, and takes precedence over almost every other aspect of the Mexican culture, second only to God (Purnell, 2013, p. 378). In the Mexican culture, their strong familial bond is referred to familism, which refers to the cultural value that the family is expected to provide the necessary emotional and contributory social support when needed (Valdivieso-Mora et al., 2016). Familism also creates a sense of obligation to take care of your family, and to take them into consideration when making decisions, and this allows for family to become an important source of information (Valdivieso-Mora et al., 2016). The Perez family in our scenario demonstrate that this is a strong tradition that they believe in, by the proximity of their children, and the fact that the one daughter who lives out of state attends her fathers major surgeries and procedures. It shows the strong bond the family shares in caring for each other.
Religion is also very important to the Perez family, as evidenced by the items in their home that are mentioned, as well as their church involvement and dedicated attendance every week. Roman Catholicism is the main religion in Mexico, and even though many Mexican-Americans may not practice their religion, they do consider themselves to be devout (Purnell, 2013, p. 384). Religious faith provides significant support for Mexican families. Religious faith is manifested as the personal and collective responsibility for self, family, and community (Nance et al., 2018). Their religious faith experience is rooted within the family and their church community. Religion and faith are bound in the caregivers culture, and their faith gives them another source of strength (Nance et al., 2018).
Two stereotypes about Mexican Americans that were dispelled in this case scenario about the Perez family are that Mexicans are lazy, and that most Mexican-Americans are undocumented immigrants (Stroud, 2017). To dispel the first stereotype about Mexicans being lazy, the information provided about Mr. Perez stated that he immigrated to the United States when he was 18 years old, in order to work. He is currently retired from working in a machine shop and receives a social security check and a pension. If he were the stereotypical Mexican who was a lazy person, he would not have worked long enough at his former shop to retire and earn his pension. His current situation shows and indication of the untruth to this particular stereotype. As for the second listed stereotype, that most are undocumented, Stroud (2017) states that 76% of all U.S. Hispanics of Mexican origin are U.S. citizens and that two-thirds of them were born in the United States. In fact, some estimates prove that 89% of them are either citizens or legal residents (Stroud, 2017).
Mrs. Perezs role for the family is one as the traditional provider of spiritual, physical, and emotional care for the family. She is seen as a marianismo, a traditional gender role in the Mexican family (Mendez-Luck & Anthony, 2016). Women are traditionally socialized into the marianismo role starting in early childhood, which guides normative behaviors of femininity (Mendez-Luck & Anthony, 2016). An important aspect of marianismo is the sense of responsibility one has to their family. A woman is expected to be submissive and deferential to her husband, and to make self-sacrificing behaviors that benefit the entire family. An example of this can be seen in her sacrificing her health to have more children after her difficult first pregnancy, and the recommendations of her doctor. Mrs. Perezs role will continue to be one of a care giver, along with her daughter, once her husband has his pacemaker implanted. From the scenario given, it appears to be a role that she takes very seriously, and one which has served her family and community well.
Mendez-Luck, C.A., & Anthony, K.P. (2016). Marianismo and caregiving role beliefs among U.S.-born and immigrant Mexican women. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 71(5), 926935. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbv083 (Links to an external site.)
Nance, D. C., Rivero May, M. I., Flores Padilla, L., Moreno Nava, M., & Deyta Pantoja, A. L. (2018). Faith, work, and reciprocity: Listening to Mexican men caregivers of elderly family members. American Journal of Mens Health, 19851993. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988316657049 (Links to an external site.)
Purnell, L. (2013). Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Co.
Stroud, C. (2017, December 6). Seven myths about Mexican-Americans. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/seven-myths-about-mexican_b_10235970 (Links to an external site.)
Valdivieso-Mora, E., Peet, C. L., Garnier-Villarreal, M., Salazar-Villanea, M., & Johnson, D. K. (2016). A systematic review of the relationship between familism and mental health outcomes in Latino population. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 1632. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01632
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