Spanglish Ws

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Chapter 2: Cultural Diversity: Family Strengths and Challenges


Spanglish, 2004 (Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.)

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual content and brief language
Format: DVD/VHS
Plot Outline: Flor and her daughter Christina immigrate to Los Angeles from Mexico in search of a better life. After 6 years in the familiar and “safe” surroundings of a Hispanic enclave, Christina’s transition to adolescence prompts Flor to seek a job that will make it possible for her to supervise Christina more closely. When Flor gets a job as housekeeper for the family of a successful chef, her interactions with the affluent, eccentric American family challenge her parental and relational values.

[Scenes 1-3 on DVD] The movie begins with a committee at Princeton University reviewing Christina’s letter of application. Christina, describing how her mother, Flor, has influenced her, narrates the story of their emigration from Mexico and their experiences adjusting to a new culture. They settle in Los Angeles, with its large Hispanic population, where they receive help from extended family members. After six years of isolation in the Hispanic enclave, Christina’s transition to adolescence prompts Flor to seek employment that will allow her to quit her second job and supervise Christina more closely. Flor’s cousin, Monica, accompanies Flor to her interview. [Length: 14 minutes]


Review the lists from Marriages & Families Figures 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, and 2.8 that identify strengths and challenges commonly associated with various ethnic groups.
As you watch the clip from Spanglish, compare the items in each list with the experiences of Flor and Christina. Note the following: * How does the clip illustrate characteristics listed in “Strengths and Challenges of Latino…...

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