Juan Ramos is a Hispanic, from Honduras, who currently lives in Louisiana. Ramos is a husband to Nina Rodriguez. Together, Ramos and Nina have two sons namely: Ramos Junior who is 21 years old and Hernandez who is 12 years old. All the members of the Ramos’ nuclear family live in the same apartment. The following is a script of an interview with the family about the nature of both the nuclear and the extended families. Ultimately, the paper employs the multi-generational framework to analyze the family.
What is your understanding of a family?
Ramos: A family is a group of individuals who are linked to each other by: marriage and birth among other factors.
Nina: I consider family to be a generational linkage between parents, grandparents, and children. The linkages are distinct from their political, social, and varied economic understanding of their contexts.
Ramos Junior: I consider family to be a group of people that include the father, the mother, and their children.
Why do you live in Louisiana as opposed to other places with Higher populations of Hispanics such as Texas?
Ramos: Louisiana provides as with an adequate interaction with families. When I immigrated into America, I stayed in Texas where I met Nina. It is worth remarking that I migrated solely into the US. That means my extended family still lives in Honduras. From 2011 we moved to Louisiana because of family ties, especially on the side of my wife, and in search for cheaper living standards. I have to mention that I too have friends who live and have families in Louisiana.
Nina: My teenage younger sister lives with my Aunt, Paloma in Louisiana. Originally, I spent so much on travelling to come and pay a visit to them, something that has changed since we moved to our current location.
How is it like taking care of the family?
Ramos: With the financial constraints that we are facing currently, it is impossible to take care of all the economic needs of the family. Socially, my family presents a unique case of generational parity with Junior and Hernandez living in different sets of perceptions if compared to my wife and me.
Nina: Junior and Ramos spend a lot of time with their aunt. Moreover, they both do not have friends since our neighborhood is dominantly inhabited by non-Hispanic communities. We, however, believe that through extensive socialization, they will synchronize into the community. The most difficult part of taking care of the children is on their interaction, which is electronic mainly, and their understanding of the context, which is beyond the attributes of culture.
What do you consider as the primary barriers to a fast integration into your new context?
Ramos: Having spent most of our lives in Hispanic-dominated contexts, it is challenging to perfect integration in aspects of culture such as food, language, and music. The fact that we bear a different set of beliefs in family, basically the emphasis on traditional family structures, makes it difficult. Finally, our children are growing in an age where they do not need extensive physical interactions. That makes it difficult to integrate.
Ramos lives in a multi-generational household. Descriptively, a multi-generational household is one whose family members are of more than a singular generation. If taken into consideration, Ramos’ family qualifies as a multi-generational family by virtue of having baby boomers and millennials all under the same family umbrella (Shorkey, Garcia, & Windsor, 2010). Specifically, Ramos, his wife, and his wife’s sister, and part of his family that lives in Honduras are baby boomers as Ramos’ children represent the millennials.
From the multi-generational framework, Ramos’ family can be analyzed from a range of platforms. Primary to such platforms is how the family developed into a multi-generational family. Based on the age differences between Ramos and Nina with their children, a social factor such as marriage is attributable to be a cause of the differences. As noted from the interview, Ramos is an individual who struggles to fend for his family financially. If such a factor is taken into context, it is worth asserting that Hispanics who barely have well-paying job opportunities spend a lot of time before marriage (Añez et al, 2008). Such a demographic segment marries late in their lives, which leads to the significant demographic disparity between parents and their children.
The prevailing economic conditions are not preferable to most Hispanic families. Ramos is depicted as one of those individuals whose lives have not been aided with the activities in the labor market. From the interview, Ramos has spent his life participating in jobs that have not been able to provide for his family. Such an aspect can be attributed to slower steps towards getting married. Moreover, it is a documented fact that if parents and children contribute economically, chances are high that such a unity will yield faster economic status elevation to such a family (Shorkey, Garcia, & Windsor, 2010). From such a description, Hispanics, with low incomes, spend their time forging relationships with parents or friends to overcome the economic difficulties at the expense of creating new families. Notably, children are encouraged to stay with their parents, and discouraged from marital engagements, until they satisfy particular economic paradigms (Shorkey, Garcia, & Windsor, 2010). Such is the case with Junior who, at 21, still lives with his parents.
Apart from the economic contributions, culture as well contributes to the disparities. For long, Hispanics were among the fewest of any American demographic segment. In as much as the numbers have changed today, the quantities are incomparable to those of other minority races such as the African-Americans. From the cultural point of view, 80% of the Hispanics who live in America currently believe that they will make better families were they to be married to fellow Hispanics (Falicov, 2014). Such analyses lead into conclusions that men and women of the Hispanic community spend so much of their time looking for partners who are scarce. Simply put, before finding the right person to marry, an individual has to wade among many. It is therefore worth noting that the strong cultural attachment with which Hispanics are linked makes it difficult for them to accept intermarriages with other races. In the long run, generational gaps are created out of the quantities of time spent looking for partners.
Socially, there are generational discrepancies that are caused by variations in social understanding. From the Ramos’ interview, it is notable that the family is not only disengaged because of economic reasons, but also because of Social reasons. Hernandez and Ramos Junior live in an age where physical interactions are limited by the evident emphasis on technology. The two individuals in the millennial generation do not engage in extensive mouth-to-mouth conversations with their parents. Instead, they rely on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook to relay their intended pieces of information (Falicov, 2014). It is from such physical disparities that parents can learn of the impacts of generational differences on parenting. If not taken into coerced otherwise, Junior and Hernandez will grow up adopting a context that they do not define by demographic boundaries. Basically, such conclusions are drawn from the understanding that Ramos is losing the authority of determining who their children interact with. According to Ríos-Bedoya and Freile-Salinas (2014), children interact with the people who they believe will make them happy, and not necessarily from their race.
Remarkably, families are developed from the attributes of their extended partners. Ramos’ family has not been lucky with exploiting the contributions of the extended family in developing his own. For instance, his nuclear family and all the extended family stay in Honduras. That creates a lack of enough social contacts to Junior and Hernandez. Currently, the children rely on their aunt who lives in Louisiana. Such a prospect limits children on their exploration of their families, generations, and social developments.
Finally, it is notable that multi-generational families bear both benefits and difficulties to the members. The benefits such as instilling acceptance of diversity within family ranks or exposing different generations to different attributes of life, from the point of view of varied generations, makes multi-generational families adorable and destined to adapting to future socio-political and economic contexts. Multi-generational families could, however, be dangerous, especially when members are not orientated from uniform points of view. For instance, in Ramos’ family, chances are high that Junior or Hernandez can be involved in ills such as drug abuse or robbery because they are not taught the values, are exposed to such contacts, and have their economic situations as excuse to indulge in such activities.