John F. Longres and Eugene Aisenberg
This entry emphasizes diversity among Latinos/Hispanics with reference to national origin group, geographical distribution, language use, racial identity, family life, sexual orientation, immigration and immigration status, and socioeconomic circumstances. It also calls attention to the special dilemmas confronted by Mexican and Central American immigrants and their children.
Carmen Ortiz Hendricks
Latinos are a heterogeneous and highly complex population that presents the profession with one of the greatest challenges in understanding diversity and what constitutes culturally and linguistically competent social work interventions. At this point in history, Latinos are the fastest growing racial and ethnic group in the United States. This has given rise to strong anti‐immigration sentiment, English only legislation, and increased discrimination and racism, which Latino newcomers must contend with upon arrival in the United States. Social workers need to work to reduce both external and internal institutional barriers to service delivery for Latinos while responding effectively to their interpersonal and familial needs.
Maria Vidal de Haymes
In 2004, an estimated 1,614,000 individuals of Cuban origin were residing in the United States, placing Cubans as the third largest Hispanic ethnic group in the United States, constituting ∼4% of the nation's Hispanic population. 84.1% of the Cuban-American population is concentrated in four states: Florida (67.1%), New Jersey (6.2%), California (5.8%), and New York (5.0%). Although Cuban immigration to the United States dates back to the mid-1800s, 68.5% of Cuban Americans are foreign-born and, as a group, represent a wide spectrum of social realities and political interests.
According to the 2010 Census, 308.7 million people resided in the United States on April 1, 2010, of which 50.5 million (or 16%) were of Hispanic or Latino origin. The Mexican-origin population increased by 54% since the previous Census, and it had the largest numeric increase (11.2 million), growing from 20.6 million in 2000 to 31.8 million in 2010 (Ennis, Rio-Vargas, & Albert, 2011). The current U.S. Census demographic information was used to project the social needs of Mexican-origin Hispanics. An estimated 11.2 million unauthorized Hispanic-origin migrants reside in the United States. Select provisions of the failed 2007 Immigration Reform Act are discussed in context of the Reagan Administration’s 1986 Immigration Reform Act. Key words are defined to facilitate understanding of issues presented that affect the well-being of the Mexican-origin population. Best social work practices for working with Mexican-origin Hispanics are proposed in the context of issues identified in the narrative. Future trends are speculative predictions with suggestions based on the author's social work practice experience, research, and knowledge of the literature.
Angel P. Campos
The 2000 census counted 3,406,178 Puerto Ricans living in the United States, bringing the total for those living in Puerto Rico and the United States to 7,333,403 million (U.S. Bureau of Census. (2000). Overview of race and Hispanic origin. We the people: Hispanics in the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office). The label “Puerto Rican” is not a race but a self-identifier. A Puerto Rican might be born in Puerto Rico or in the United States from Puerto Rican parents. A Puerto Rican might be first-, second-, third-, or even fourth-generation in the Unites States or 20th-generation in Puerto Rico. As long as they identify themselves as Puerto Rican, they are Puerto Rican. The label Puerto Rican has many different connotations to both Puerto Ricans and non–Puerto Ricans. For the purpose of this entry, Puerto Ricans, whether born in Puerto Rico or in the United States, are defined as a multiracial and multicultural ethnic group with more than 500 years of history. The discussion in this entry provides a brief overview; for more in-depth reviews please see the following references: (Anderson, R. W. (1965). Party politics in Puerto Rico. Stanmford, CA: Stanford University Press.; Fitzpatrick, J. P. (1987). Puerto Rican Americans: The meaning of migration to the mainland (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; Lewis, G. K. (1963). Puerto Rico: Freedom and power in the Caribbean. New York: Harper & Row; Morales. (1986). Puerto Rican poverty and migration: We just have to try elsewhere. New York: Praeger).
Deana F. Morrow
This entry will provide an overview of psychosocial issues and social work intervention relevant to working with lesbians. Practice issues related to the impact of heterosexism, coming out, lesbian identity development, and lesbian couple and family formation will be discussed. Assessment and intervention methods appropriate for social work practice with lesbians will be addressed.
Rhea Almeida, Diana Melendez, and José Miguel Paez
The process of decolonizing is a precursor to liberatory transformation and the foundation for the creation of liberation-based practices. Decolonizing strategies call for changing the lens and the language and debunking the myth of healing through diagnostic codes; and the rigid compartmentalization of mind-body of individuals, and of individuals with regard to their families, their context, and their healing spaces Decolonizing strategies encompass the multiplicity of personal and public institutional locations that frame identities within historic, colonial, economic, and political life. People in various global localities are unwittingly situated within a range of broad and nuanced descriptors, such as indigenous hosts, nationality, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or religious preference or a combination of these. These personal economic, social, and political intersections are largely unacknowledged by early-21st-century Western models of psychological practice in social work and allied disciplines. Postmodernism and poststructuralism as epistemological frameworks still reproduce a particular form of coloniality. Alternatively, liberation-based practice locates the complexities of these frameworks within a societal matrix that shapes relationships in the context of power, privilege, and oppression. Accompanied by tools for identifying and decolonizing lived experiences within culture circles, liberation-based practice builds on the foundations of critical consciousness, empowerment, and accountability.
Jordan I. Kosberg and James P. “Ike” Adams Jr.
Growing up a male comes with challenges that can influence the quality and length of one's life. Attention is directed to gender role socialization that can result in gender-related physical, social, and mental health problems that can be exacerbated by poverty, ethnicity, advanced age, and minority group background. Understanding how men can cope with their problems, as well as reasons for their failure to utilize community resources, should be of concern to social workers. A balanced approach in the portrayal of men, and the creation of effective interventions that reach and assist men, seem consistent with social work values.
Laurens G. Van Sluytman
Through the efforts of individuals and groups, America has made significant strides in affording civil rights to a majority of its citizens. It has not, however, eliminated individual, institutional, and structural discrimination, and in fact, some efforts to eliminate inequality for certain members of society have elicited subtly coded forms of discrimination. These subtle forms are referred to as microaggressions. This entry defines microaggressions and explores the existing literature concerning its taxonomy. We discuss the impact of microaggression on individuals and groups (for example, social, cognitive, political, and economic) based on race, and extend this discussion to gender, sexual orientation, class, disability, and religion groups. The article makes use of examples within American history, such as the presidency of Barak Obama, voter ID laws and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Accumulated recommendations on best practices for countering microaggressions on the micro-, mezzo- and macro- level of social work practice are presented.
Richard Wolff and Karen Dodge
This entry discusses migrant workers in the United States and the unique circumstances and conditions they face. Included in the discussion are social problems faced by migrants with respect to health, housing, working conditions, child labor, and education. Policy issues are addressed, including relevant national, international, and corporate laws. Migrant patterns, demographics, and definitions are presented. Finally, social work programs, responses, and interventions are identified.