Compare and Contrast 2 Minority Cultures in South Dakota Research Paper

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Race
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #8650404

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Minority Culture in South Dakota

Lifestyles, Values and the Economy of Hispanic-Americans and Indian-Americans in South Dakota

The history of the minority groups in the U.S.A. dates back to historical times in the 1800 and their growth has been somehow stable in USA. It is undisputable that the treatment of the minority groups and the Native Americans and the African-Americans ran out of the borders of the tolerance and freedom. It is however notable that the U.S.A. has all through welcomed huge numbers of diverse immigrants and accommodated them as any other born American. It is no longer viable to ignore the issue of the minority groups in each state since even at the national grid, as U.S. Department of State (2006) indicates, the minority groups have played a significant part in all sectors. For instance Hispanics accounted for nearly half of the U.S.A. population increase between July 1, 2004 -- July 1, 2005, Asian-American by 3% while the other minority groups also significantly increased. This then shows that they can no longer be ignored since they significantly affect the American culture and way of life.

1.1 Statement of purpose

This paper is inclined towards divulging the various ways of life as a whole of the minority groups in South Dakota and the Hispanic-Americans and Indian-Americans in particular. It will appreciate the divergence of cultures in terms of:

Value systems- will be looked at as ethnic values that are consistent and are accepted as rights and wrongs within a culture or by an individual. It is a moral code that that is used for the purpose of ideological or ethical definition.

Lifestyle- which is viewed here as the way of life of a group of people which reflects their values and attitudes of the people.

Economy -- is here viewed as the major preoccupation that a group engages in order to cope with the day-to-day demands of their life and fulfillment of their needs.

There will be a deliberate attempt to identify the focal points where the selected cultures agree upon and act the same or in a similar manner.

1.2 Target cultures/population

South Dakota is a host to various minority groups just like any other Southern states and is currently hosting eight different minority cultures in varying proportions (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Among these minority cultures, this paper will concentrate on two largest by population minority cultures in South Dakota which are Hispanic-Americans and Indian-Americans. According to the Census results released in 2009, the Indian-American constituted 8.5% of the South Dakota population and the Hispanics constituted 2.9%, these being the largest minority groups in the state.

1.3 Common themes, concepts, and ideas discussed

The two cultures were studied based on the lifestyle, values/morals and the economic engagement and status of these three groups that have been selected. The things that the communities or the groups valued most in terms of the guiding principles in their social life, the way they carried on with their life and the engagements that they get into within South Dakota were explored and keenly noted.

2.0 Research findings

2.1 The Hispanic-Americans

2.1.1 Lifestyle

Most of the Hispanics prefer to spend their life in the rural and lead a pretty simple life. This is preconditioned by the Latino countries from where they come that are highly rural. They also se South Dakota as a cheaper and more peaceful place to live in hence they are mostly concentrated on the rural areas of South Dakota and not the cities and towns (Bloomberg L.P., 2011).

2.1.2 Values/morals

The most important unit among the Hispanics is the family which is usually a close-knit entity and it goes beyond the nuclear family. The father is the head of the family and the mother is responsible for the keeping of the home. The members are responsible for each other especially in times of financial constrains, sickness and other family challenges as noted by Ann W.C. & Ruben D.N., (2011). They further note that the Hispanic have much respect to morals like honor, respect for authority and the elderly as well as good manners. They also value their language and the preservation of the Spanish language within families in South Dakota is a common practice. The Hispanic have respect for collective or communal activities such as birthdays, first communion, weddings, birthdays, graduations and holidays when they gather and can eve travel a long distance to celebrate.

2.1.3 Economic activities

The employment rate of South Dakota is the third lowest in the U.S. hence this has helped the Hispanic population living there get into employment without many problems like the other states with higher unemployment rates. They are absorbed into the landscaping, dairy industries, construction and hotel industry. However, majority of the Hispanic still remain to be poor in South Dakota just like in many other parts of the U.S.A.

2.2 Indian-Americans

2.2.1 Lifestyle

These are the South Dakota's largest minority culture that takes up 8.5% of the entire population in this state. Majority of the population lives in the rural areas and not the towns. It is worth noting that even in the rural areas; they live in distinct neighborhood close to each other with firm belief in the religious ways.

2.2.2 Values/morals

The Indian-Americans value the social gathering and do celebrate national, historical or ethnical remarkable days together. They highly regard the family setting and the extended family is part of the family, indeed they live together in large family setting. They are also seen to value peace and calm with nature and man. There has been a clash between them and the government that wants to turn them away from their beliefs. They have observed the value of renewal and continuity of their practices and values and have remained averse to the westernization ideologies like in other areas (Christopher Brookeman, 1990).

2.2.3 Economy

Generally the Indian-Americans are poor and delve in businesses such as lodges and hotels in the state. This is a group that is highly under-represented in county and only form the median of the labor force required in manufacturing and a third of them living below the poverty line (Janice C.P., 2002). Most of them are reliant on farming and cattle keeping in particular, they also grow soya beans, wheat and corn.

3.0 Similarities between the cultures

There are several similarities that are there between the two discussed cultures. One fundamental is the fact that they both value the extended family concept and protects it by all means possible is an interesting similarity.

The second similarity is their choice of the rural areas to live in. Majority of people from both cultures prefer living in the rural areas and not the urban centers like cities and towns.

4.0 Difference between the cultures

There are subtle differences though not very pronounced between the cultures. One is that the Hispanics seem to be more liberal about their cultural beliefs yet the Indian-Americans seem to be very conservative with their culture practices which they cannot change despite the government pressure.

The other difference comes in the economic activities of the two cultures since the Hispanics will tend to rely more on the employment and industries, the Indian-Americans concentrate on driving their economy from the farm through cattle keeping and subsistence farming and creating self-employment through businesses.

Another significant difference comes in the lifestyle of the two minority groups, where the American Indians are seen to be more indulgent than the Hispanic counterparts. It was observed by the Volberg and Steadman that the rate of pathological gambling addiction among the American Indians was as high as 9.9% as compared to the Hispanic rate of 4.3%. this indicated, using addiction to gambling as a yardstick, that the American Indians are more prone to have a lofty lifestyle than the Hispanic group (Medscape, 2011).

5.0 Application of research in classroom

One way of applying this research in class is helping the students understand the life in totality of the minority cultures discussed. This way they will be able to juxtapose them against any other group they know or facts they have known about the minority groups and be able to understand them better.

This will also help the students in class see how each culture however small has its part to play in making the U.S.A. compete and be able to appreciate that each culture is significant in completion of the U.S.

From the acquisition of the knowledge above, it would be possible to ask the students to give suggestions as to how bets the resources (both human and natural) can be tapped so as to make the country a better place and help the minority groups improve economically.

6.0 Research methodology

6.1 Methods used

This research relied upon several demographic sources of data. The government of America websites of different departments was significant as well as organizational websites. The census bureau was also very significant in the supply of the numerical data that were used in the research above. The…

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