Chapter

Becoming Americano

Miguel A. Ybarra

in Diversity in Human Interactions

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780195143904
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848171 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143904.003.0002
Becoming Americano

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For the most part, Hispanic has been traditionally used to refer to all Spanish speakers, including those from Spain. This presents a significant controversy as many Latin Americans do not speak Spanish nor do they claim a Latin-American heritage (for example, Brazilians). Furthermore, the term often implies a cultural lineage related to Spain, which is also incorrect, as many Native Americans do not speak Spanish nor do they trace their ancestry to Spain. Latino most often refers to persons from Latin America and is yet not an appropriate term to describe the Native American populations of the Americas. While many individuals would presume that Latin America is composed of specific countries, it might be more useful to determine the migration and final destinations of a people united by a common language, differences in dialect notwithstanding. With this in mind, Latin America can extend from the South Central/Southwestern United States (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California) into Mexico, Central America, and South America. Latin America, therefore, comprises many people from many countries with different backgrounds and customs.

Keywords: Hispanic; Spain; Latin Americans; Native Americans; differences; United States; Latin America; Mexico; Central America; South America

Chapter.  4653 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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