Cultural Identity: Redefining America, Part 1

There is nothing new about younger generations taking identity and their future into their own hands. After all, this is America, the land of opportunity after all. Cultural identity is usually at or towards the top of our initiatives. 

This not only redefines America, but it defines how we see each other and how we communicate within our ethnic/cultural groups, as well as how we communicate with other cultural and ethnic groups in general. 

A lot has been said about redefining and identifying the new face of America. What color is America’s hair? How about her eyes? What does she sound like? What and whose shoes and clothes does she wear? 

There’s much to think about when it comes to cultural identity. 

Having been in Multicultural, Latino, Cultural marketing for a long time, I’ve come across a lot of insights, research and “expert conclusions”. Some of it good, some of it off-base with an eye roll. But I’m also fortunate to have grown up in an area that had a lot of cross-cultural, multiethnic & multiracial components to it, as well as a close relationship with the U.S./Mexico border. 

What has been especially interesting to me have been studies and numerous articles about the “death of Multicultural Marketing.” To a certain point, I agree. But I also disagree when I look around. Why? It all very well depends upon whom you (if you’re in multicultural marketing) are trying to reach and engage with. 

Or who you are trying to sell something to. 

One question I should ask about the death of Multicultural Marketing is, “Are these statements and declarations being voiced and expressed through a white, non-Hispanic lens? Or through the lens of a LatinX marketer in Miami, New York, Chicago, LA, etc.?” 

Does this relate to marketing only or is it more about the fading of Hispanic identity across generations?

Here’s an interesting chart with food for thought, with some information and data from Pew Research Center.  Take a look and you can see how identity fades across generations amongst Hispanic/Latino immigrants by generations. 

Graph citing Cultural Identity by Hispanics

This chart provides an interesting look at how Hispanic identity fades across immigrant communities through the generations. I noticed that Pew (and others) did not mention the term LatinX here. I wonder how this self-identified term comes into play among this Hispanic ancestry study? Although many LatinX may not identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino, they more specifically stand firmly with their identity as LatinX. Sure, this argument may seem like it’s splitting hairs, I’ve seen and heard numerous Chicanos take that approach through the years. Many Chicanos have rejected terms like Hispanic or Latino, and others have accepted it. Regardless of which preference and term we use and accept, we like to self-identify. 

I think we always will.

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels

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