According to most, ethnicity usually is displayed in the values, attitudes, lifestyles, customs, rituals, and personality types of individuals who identify with particular ethnic groups. Ethnic identifications and memberships in an ethnic group has far?reaching effects on both groups and individuals, controlling assess to opportunities in life, feeling of well being and mastery over the futures of one's child and future. These feelings of belonging and attachment to a certain group of people for whatever reason are a basic feature of the human condition. These ties are called "ethnic ties" and the group of people that one is tied to is an "ethnic group." In the general sense, an ethnic group consists of those who share a unique social and cultural heritage that is passed on from generation to generation. .
I will begin to examine the Mexican American ethnic group, probing the historical circumstances that impelled them to come to America, focusing on the structure and functioning of their family life to determine or, at least, to raise clues about how and why they have been able or unable to maintain an ethnic identification over the generations, and take a brief look ahead to being to speculate what the future endeavors are for this ethnic group and their constitutive families. .
Historical Background .
The history of the Mexican American people predates by many years the incorporation of the Southwest into the United States. Native to the Southwest, the Mexican American people have a history marked by the Spanish and then by the Anglo Americans. This early history, perhaps because of the proximity of the southwestern states to the Mexican border, has left a legacy of conflict that is present today between Mexican Americans and Anglo Americans. The present position of Mexican Americans as a people, their family life, and effects of their position on their family life can best be understood through an understanding of their history as Mexicans and as North Americans.