Mexican American Culture: The Film Selena Essay

Mexican American Culture: The Film Selena Essay

Length: 1000 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

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To help me understand and analyze a different culture, I watched the film Selena. The film tells the life story of the famous singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. Not only does it just tell personal stories from her life, it also gives insight to the Mexican-American culture. Her whole life she lived in the United States, specifically in Texas, but was Hispanic and because of that both her and her family faced more struggles than white singers on the climb to her success. Even though the film is a story about a specific person, it brought understanding into the culture in which she lived. Keeping in mind that these ideas that I drew about the Mexican-American culture is very broad and do not apply to every single person in the culture, there were very obvious differences in their culture and the one that I belong. Mexican-American culture identifies with their family rather than individualized or spiritual identities and the culture has gone through significant changes because of discrimination and the changing demographics of the United States.
There are three identities that all people have but depending on the culture, they chose one dimension to emphasize and downplay the other two. In the Mexican-American culture, they tend to value the family identity the most. Martin and Nakayama (2013) define familial identity as, “The sense of self as always connected to family and others” (p. 172). This was shown in the film Selena many times. The family was the most important aspect of their lives and that is the way they wanted it. Every decision that was made revolved around the family and how it would affect it. A specific example that illustrates this from the movie is when Selena married her guitarist, Chris. Her father had told her s...

... middle of paper ... culture has differences from American. Mexican-Americans are very family-orientated so much that they identify themselves as familial instead of individualized or spiritual as other cultures do. The culture has changed over time and is receiving less opposition from Americans as they have in the past. Immigration demographics can be used to see how America is becoming more homogenous accepting Mexican-Americans and eliminating discrimination because of ethnicity. Selena gave great insight into her culture and created some understanding on the differences between Mexican-American and my culture. Knowing these differences will create a more successful interaction any potential person from a Mexican-American culture and myself.

Works Cited

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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