U.S.-Born Latinos Assimilating, Not Yet Assimilated
By George Anderson
New research from New American Dimensions concludes: “Todays young Hispanics may be assimilating, but they certainly have not yet assimilated. Their ethnic identities are
strong, and they are looking for ways to express their unique needs, both culturally and linguistically.”
According to the study’s report, Made in America: Communicating with Young Latinos, a natural product of the assimilation process is evident in the overwhelming majority
of second-generation U.S. Latinos who say they prefer English-language television and commercials to those in their ancestral language.
The research, which involved surveying 1,135 U.S.-born Latinos in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago and Houston, also found this group was more likely to buy a product featured
in an English-language commercial if it included Latinos in the spot.
Seventy-seven percent said that commercials needn’t be in Spanish to address their needs but 75 percent said they would like to see more Hispanics in commercials and television.
More than two-thirds say they appreciate marketing that speaks to them as a “bicultural Hispanic person.”
New American Dimensions’ research broke respondents into three age groups (14 – 18, 19 – 24, 25+) to determine their television viewing habits.
The three groups watched approximately the same amount of television on a weekly basis with the 19 – 24 group watching the most (22.1 hours) and 14 – 18 year olds the least (20.9).
The youngest set watched the least amount of Spanish-language television (five hours per week) while the 19 – 24 and 25+ group watched about the same (6.2 and 6.1 hours respectively).
As with previous groups of immigrants, the study found the use of English grew in predominance with each succeeding generation. For example, 73 percent of second-generation Latinos
say they speak Spanish well or very well. Of third-generation Latinos, only 15 percent are as fluent in Spanish.
Moderator’s Comment: The research cited in this story concludes there are clear opportunities to make a connection with U.S. born Hispanics in their
preferred language(s). Where do you see the most promising opportunities? –
George Anderson – Moderator