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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Living in Two Worlds: Torn Identities and Gender Expectations of Latinas in the United States


Latino immigrants in the United States are currently living in a bicultural sphere that pulls them in two different directions.  Their success in this affluent country is challenged by the dual expectations of Latino culture on one hand and Western culture on the other.  These expectations create a tear in the identities of newer generation immigrant Latinos, as they must wrestle between their culture of origin and acculturation to life in the United States.  These burdens are further exacerbated by weaknesses in the educational pipelines resulting in poor employment opportunities.  Latinas have additional burdens and expectations placed on them as women.  They must adhere to the “female role” by caring for the household while also supplementing the low wages of their male counterparts, usually with jobs outside of the household.  Thus Latinas have additional strains placed on their already torn identities as a result of being women in both the Latino and Western world.  The following is a discussion of the torn identities of newer generation Latinos in the United States, and the additional burdens placed on Latinas.

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