Mexican Americans is one of the largest Hispanic ethnic groups in theUS. It should be said that the large amount of Mexican immigrants in theUSis to a significant extent determined by the geographical position ofMexicowhich is the neighbor of theUS. Taking into consideration the economic advancement of theUS, many Mexicans immigrated to this country. Nevertheless, they have not totally lost their cultural identity. In contrast, they basically preserved their uniqueness, their culture and traditions. At the same time, it should be said that the influence of the local culture inevitable affected Mexican American community.
In general, it should be said that the social position of Mexican Americans may vary considerably since the newly arrived immigrants and the majority of Mexican American community live in poverty or, at any rate, occupy lower position in the socio-economic hierarchy of American society. Nevertheless, there is a growing Mexican American middle class which is basically represented by those who live in theUSfor a considerable period of time and, often are the second or later generations of Mexican immigrants in theUS.
In the result of interaction with local communities Mexican Americans may be characterized as bilingual since younger generations are bilingual or even with a slight dominance of English-speaking, while elder generations are predominantly Spanish-speaking (Hakuta, 2000, p.229).
At the same time, Mexican Americans preserved their religious and family traditions and values. To put it more precisely, Christianity, namely Catholicism is the dominant religion of this ethnic group and plays an important part in the life of Mexican American community. Mexican American families may be characterized by high level of conservatism and devotedness to traditions where gender roles are strictly divided.
It is worthy of mention that in recent years socio-economic and political position of some Mexican Americans started to improve. Along with the appearance of the middle class the representation of Mexican Americans in legislative and governmental institutions, at least on the local level, gradually increases.