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Nathalie Martinez
Eng 113B
Professor Beadle
10 February 2016

Mexican Student Culture

We live in a world where each person have cultures and are involved with people's lives.
Most of these people may share more than one culture. One may ask, What is culture? Culture
is the characteristics and knowledge of a specific group of people that we can define as anything,
such as, language, food, social habits, music, arts, ethnicity, sports, etc. Culture could fall into
any category of any lifestyle one has, such as military, or athletic life, etc. In the article What is
Culture?, Kim Ann Zimmerman goes a step further, defining culture as shared patterns of
behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by
socialization(pg1) Everyones behaviors in their culture is different depending on where they
are. For example, one would act differently if they are in their student culture than they would be
in their athletic culture. These cultures have different spaces. In student culture, one would be at
school in a classroom. The space for an athletic culture would be out in the field depending on
their sport. Although, one has many cultures they belong to, I personally fall into two cultures:
Mexican and student culture. While school restricts my Mexican culture, I embrace my Mexican
culture at home.
School restricts my Mexican American culture in many ways. Each day is a different
routine. This semester, I have chosen to take afternoon classes because I am not a morning
person. When taking afternoon classes, I feel more awake and ready to start my day. Once I wake

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up, I like to set a schedule of the time it takes me to get off my bed, how long it should take for
myself to get ready, and what time I leave the house. If I am lucky and have extra time, I make
breakfast. School and the classroom would be considered as my space in student culture. When I
am at school I always sit at the same seat that I have chosen on the first day, because that is
where I am used to doing my work. When I am in class I also try to speak in a way where my
accent is not heard in my sentences. My parents and friends refer this as my chola accent. The
reason to this is because, I prefer not to be told She sounds so Mexican, she does not sound very
smart and eventually bring up the stereotypes about Mexican American students. Most of these
stereotypes are mainly about Mexicans their inability to be as bright as the other kids and
therefore, do not succeed in life the way other races do.
When I am at home, I have a space in the living room table where I always do my
homework. If I do not sit specifically at that spot, I begin to feel very uncomfortable, thus my
work ends up incomplete. While doing my homework, I always listen to Spanish related music.
This is where my Mexican and student culture comes together. In the article Self-identity and
culture by Ronald Jackson, Cerise Glenn, and Kesha William talk about ones culture and all
this different aspects that one would feel in their cultures. In this quote they state, Your culture
identity is a reflection of how your social and cultural groups influence your thoughts and
behaviors (pg 120). This quote taught me that I socialize with people who are mainly part of my
student Mexican culture. Every once in a while, I will speak to those who are not part of my
culture, however, I tend to find myself hanging out with more of those who share the same
culture as I do. In the article Behind the stereotypes: Research with students from Mexico, U.S
shows difference in sociability by Joel Schwarz, he talks about all about the types of Mexican

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stereotypes. Mexicans are interdependent, which means everything is guided by being

dependent on others. They spend more times in groups, dont like to spend time alone, are more
involved with family and are more conscious of what others say about them. Americans, on the
other hand, are independent and basically the opposite. They learn to be independent and learn to
be individuals.(pg1) This quote represents information to the extent where I can relate to it.
However that does not say every Mexican will relate to this article. When I am in my student
culture, I love being social. It makes my day knowing I get to have conversations with people
and get to know them on a daily basis. It extremely makes my day when I see people who say
Hi to me while heading to class. The connection to this quote with myself is basically my
Mexican side who loves to spend time with groups and am more involved with family. Another
quote from the same article explains how Mexicans prefer to be social and be part of something.
Mexicans are more outgoing, talkative, sociable, and extroverted. The finding also contradicts
the way many Mexicans view themselves as being less extroverted than americans. Socializing
is one of the few things that do not restrict me from interacting with my Mexican culture.
However the problem is, as I am interacting with others, I act American.
When in school, I am very American. My student culture completely takes over while my
Mexican culture hides in the shadows. I act and play the part of an American by the way I talk,
act, and interact with others. It has got to the point where many perceive me on being white until,
they look at my last name. Acting American in my student space has been a habit of mine where
it now just comes naturally and does not feel like an act anymore. There are times in which I find
myself speaking Spanglish, a combination of speaking both English and Spanish together.
When this occurs, I immediately revert back to English and try my best to avoid speaking

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Spanish. One stereotype people usually say about Mexicans is, they are considered lazy. In the
blog named Mexican stereotypes it mentions about Mexicans being lazy is a well-known
stereotype. Americans from Mexican Origin: reading through many Yahoo Q&A and Reddit
threads, I noticed that almost everyone agrees that first generation Mexican Americans are very
hardworking; so where does this lazy reputation come from? Apparently, it is the result of the
clash between Americas over-achieving working culture and the Mexican Siesta habits, one of
many Spanish influences on the Mexican ways. In my opinion, anyone could be lazy. However,
it mainly applies towards to Mexicans. In my work space at school, I always work hard. I do
every assignment that is given from the professor, I never miss any because, I would feel guilty
and it would bother me for the entire day.
When I am at home I express my Mexican culture more. Once I get home my role as an
American student breaks free and my inner self as a Mexican comes out. When I am at home, I
live most of my culture by eating Mexican food, speaking Spanish, and listening to Latino music.
I feel most comfortable living in this culture because it is what I have been raised and grown up
into. Rather than in my student culture, I am in an awkward position as if I am living a double
life. I let loose in my home space and I do not care if people think of me as the stereotype of a
Mexican. I would bring both student and Mexican culture together but mainly Mexican because
that is what I really am. Basically anywhere I am, besides school, I am mainly living my
Mexican culture. Such as being at the mall, at restaurant, or at the beach I would be my Mexican
self and be my main culture.
There are many ways we can define ourselves in a culture where each person fits in. For
myself, I could fit into at least four cultures but my main cultures would be Mexican American

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and Student culture. School restricts my Mexican American culture, I am more American at
school, and at home, I embrace more of my Mexican culture. These two cultures are part of my
daily life of what I live in every day. Each day is a new day where I live the same daily routines
mixed with a little surprises that spice up my day.

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Work Cite
"Mexican Stereotypes." The Human Breed Blog. N.p., 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 09 May 2016.
Zimmermann, By Kim Ann. "What Is Culture? | Definition of Culture."LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 19
Feb. 2015. Web. 09 May 2016.