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Navigating Latino Marriage and Family Roles

Aug 3, 2023 | 0 comments

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Aug 3, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


In sociology marriage is a legal union inform of a contract between two people and is based on love and sexual relations. Different cultures have a different understanding of the term marriage, to some; it does not have to be legal to be called a marriage (Face, 2012). Some marriages are done traditionally. In other cultures, marriage can be a union between two and more people (polygamous marriage). Marriage is considered important because it brings about family and family to make up a society. Face (2012) points out that health research in primary care. family description has greatly changed in this century. In the past, people knew a family consists of a father, mother, and children but many households nowadays have single parents, same-sex couples with no children, and other forms of family. Family sociology about what a family continues to be an area of debate. The family system theory explains the emotional attachment for the family members and the need to support and give each other attention depending on the nature of the family (Hammond et al, 2015).


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The Latinos really value a family they normally say that it is their source of joy and support (Olsen and Skogrand, 2009). For them, the family provides emotional, social, and financial support. Most of the Latino lives in extended families that can also include close family friends. The family members are normally very close and this is evident during their family celebrations. The family gives power to the older male in the family. Latino’s value honesty and dignity (Olsen and Skogrand, 2009).

Women point of view

The wife in Hispanic marriages assumes the role of a homemaker or a caretaker. Machismo is a term that means men have power and rights over women in making decisions. This has been used in the past to put Women in America. (1990). The Black women behind the scenes in every decision made in the family (Olsen and Skogrand, 2009). Nowadays in Hispanic marriages, women follow their traditional roles but are included when it comes to making decisions in the family.

However, despite the ethnic background that one comes from, women are really fighting for equality from marriage to political positions. Equality can be well explained in the egalitarianism doctrine that says people should be equally treated without considering race, gender, social and economic class, or political side (Philosophy Basics, 2018). When we focus on gender egalitarianism also known as zygarchy it talks about a family structure where power is equally shared between the father and mother.

From the functionalist approach for gender, many will argue that women are different from men, that is why they cannot be treated equally. Yes, they are different, biologically speaking but this does not mean they are inferior (Lorber, n.d). Many communities globally have linked roles such as providing security and care for children as well as emotional support to be mothers’ role. But to challenge this, some families have single parents, as mentioned earlier; you will find that the single father plays all these roles and the children turn out fine.

When it comes to feminism there are really equality issues that need to be seriously looked into. Feminists all over the world are playing a very important role in creating gender equality in society. Issues such as education, job position, leadership, and political positions, courses, and training, inheritance are not to be taken lightly (Marcano, 1997). However according to my own point of view when it comes to marriage, we should not focus on tradition or culture or modern life, it should be the agreement between couples. Some couples decide the wife should stay at home and take care of the children as the husband works, or the other way round. There are households where the husband is also involved in doing the domestic chores interchangeably. But considering today’s economy it is wise if both parents become breadwinners and fend for their families as they look for a nanny to take care of the children

Men Point of View

The husband of a Latino family assumes the role of a protector, mediator, and provider. Macho is a term used to define the role of a Latin man and was used to enforce their prestige. A man with this title in Mexico earned respect for himself and his family and also had a high level of dignity. Men in the Hispanic family are expected to be reliable, courageous, and have a sense of purpose to be able to protect and defend their families. Men are supposed to be loving, caring, and faithful to their wives. The male role extends outside his family, they should portray upright moral behaviors. They make sacrifices such as public humiliation just to defend their families (Castex, n.d).

Marriage and Race

Interethnic marriages are common in America especially Latino / white couples. They are more common than black/ white marriages. However, the divorce rate for Latino/ white marriages is higher compared to monoethnic ones. This divorce rate might be due to the stress that is accompanied by the disapproval of these marriages by family. Latino does not get much support from family and friends when they decide to marry a person of a different ethnicity (Nixon, 2015). For example, when a lady from Argentina marries a white man and lives in America the lady will definitely feel left out by the spouse family especially if she is not familiar with their native language. This may lead to a breakup of the marriage. This is why many Latino opt to marry their Latino men to obtain family blessing and emotional support (Nixon, 2015).

Hispanic nationalities especially women, experience a different kind of racial discrimination due to their cultural behaviors and believes. This is one more reason why Latino prefer marrying from their countries.


Marriage and family are indeed very important to people all over the world. Who we are today is because of the values and believes of the families we were brought up in. Tradition and culture are also very important as long as they are relevant in today’s lives. In some communities, the women are very comfortable in maintaining their roles being passive and patient as men play superior. However, women should not be made inferior in their marriages and should be given equal rights in making decisions. As much as women should have equal opportunities, according to religious teachings, they should be respectful and submissive to their husbands, and men on the other hand should unconditionally love their wives.


Caster, G. Hispanic-American Families – Latino Family Roles. Retrieved from http://family.jrank.org/pages/777/Hispanic-American-Families-Latino-Family-Roles.html

Face, C. (2012). What Is Marriage? What Is a Family? | Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-herkimer-sociology-1/chapter/what-is-marriage-what-is-a-family/

Hammond, R., Cheney, P., & Pearsey, R. (2015). Sociology Of The Family: 03 Sociological Theories Of The Family. Retrieved from http://freesociologybooks.com/Sociology_Of_The_Family/03_Sociological_Theories_Of_The_Family.php

Lorber, J. The Variety of Feminism and their Contribution to Gender Equality. Retrieved from http://diglib.bis.uni-oldenburg.de/pub/unireden/ur97/kap1.pdf

Marcano, R. (1997). Hispanic Female Education – The Feminist eZine. Retrieved from http://www.feministezine.com/feminist/international/Hispanic-Female-Education.html

Nixon, D. (2015). The Relationship Experience of Latino/ White Couple. Retrieved from http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1014&context=cpcf_etds

Olsen, C., & so grand, L. (2009). Cultural Implications and Guidelines for Extension and Family Life Programming with Latino/Hispanic Audiences. Retrieved from https://projects.ncsu.edu/ffci/publications/2009/v14-n1-2009-spring/olsen-skogrand.php

Phylosophy Basics. (2018). Egalitarianism – By Branch / Doctrine – The Basics of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_egalitarianism.html

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