Culture, in anthropology is defined as the study of all aspects of human life, past and present (Encarta Online Deluxe). Culture also refers to the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create and share. In this sense, culture and society are interchangeable in anthropology. The definition suggests that we all have a culture and that at some point as members of a larger society, we share certain traits. In the case of the Spanish-speaking community in the United States, some of those traits include a common language and shared history. However, when we study the group closely, we realize that its members share a diversity of cultures according to country of origin and other variants. Those cultures, as we will learn through this unit, are unique and its members want society to acknowledge this fact. People are defined by the culture they are in, and every one wants this important aspect of their lives acknowledged.
This unit explores identity issues among the Spanish-speaking communities in the United States by studying some of their history, cultures and races.
I would begin this discussion with students by finding out how much they know about the terms Hispanic and Latino. I would proceed by discussing the latest immigration trends from Spanish-speaking countries into the United States. As I hold this discussion, I will point these countries on a map of Latin America.