Hispanics and Educational attainment

Topics: Poverty, Education, School Pages: 11 (3626 words) Published: September 25, 2013

Still in progress--
As of 2011, Hispanics make up 52.0 million of the US population making them the largest minority group in the United States. From the year 2000 to 2011 alone, there has been a 37% increase in population. The projection for the year 2050 is 132.8 million (Nora, 2009). Although immigration has been blamed for this rapid increase, it is believed that the continuing increase is due to high birth rates among the 2nd and 3rd generations. In the US, the Hispanic population is primarily composed of 3 Latin American regions; Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. 58% of the Hispanic population is Mexican, 9.6% are Puerto Rican, and 3.5% are Cuban (Macartney, S. 2013). Because Mexicans make up a large proportion of the Hispanic population, more emphasis will be placed on them. Of the 52.0 million Hispanics, 23.2% are below the poverty line compared to 11.6% of the White population. The poverty rate across all races is 14.3%, still significantly lower than the Hispanic population (Macartney, S. 2013). Along with high poverty rates comes low educational attainment. Low levels of formal schooling earned have contributed to the overrepresentation of the Latino population in low-skill occupations that pay less, and have higher unemployment rates than other groups keeping them below the poverty line (Nora, 2009). The rate of high school completion among Hispanics is considerably lower than their White counterpart. Nearly half of the Hispanic population fails to graduate from high school, 13% of the population receives their bachelors and an even smaller number of 4% receive their graduate or professional degree (Sepúlved, J. 2010). Being the largest minority group in the US, the Hispanic minority group has become a great influence on American society. The grand population increase only goes to show how important the Hispanic population is to the future of the United States. As they become larger, they will be shaping the future. With low educational attainment and poverty rates the way they are, the future is not looking so bright, but attention is finally being paid to this phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is to explore the many influences on Hispanic educational attainment in the United States. This paper will look into the various aspects of a Hispanic’s life that may influence the lag in educational attainment. I will begin with a historical overview and facts about the phenomenon. I will continue with a summary of the various theories and concepts applicable, and will then review previous research and articles written on this topic, compare their finding, and discuss trends. With the information gathered, I will bring issues together and create my own interpretation of the phenomenon. The paper will be concluded with a summary of the topic and findings. I will address any limitations to my paper and reasons why it is important to further research this topic. This phenomenon cannot be explained simply, and no one theory could fully address the many issues that arise once exploring this phenomenon. Many theories and concepts will be used to explain the different variables impacting educational attainment. Within the topic of educational attainment among Hispanics comes a variety of issues. Being a Hispanic in America brings about certain issues such as acculturation and assimilation. In the United States assimilation is highly stressed. It is a necessity to conform to the values and norms of mainstream society. Because the great difference in culture and language, full assimilation is hard to achieve. The Hispanic culture emphasizes the concept of familialism. This concept varies greatly from traditional views of the American culture, because it places more emphasis on the community instead of the individual. The tension to conform brings about a concept called acculturated stress that will be further discussed in the following paragraphs. The language barrier causes problems in its own. The Sociocultural Theory...
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