Case prompt: Mr. Perez is a 76-year-old Mexican American who was recently diagnosed with a slow heartbeat requiring an implanted pacemaker. Mr. Perez has been married for 51 years and has 6 adult children (three daughters aged 50, 48, and 42; three sons aged 47, 45, and 36), 11 grandchildren; and 2 great grandchildren. The youngest boy lives three houses down from Mr. and Mrs. Perez. The other children, except the second-oldest daughter, live within 3 to 10 miles from their parents. The second-oldest daughter is a registered nurse and lives out of state. All members of the family except for Mr. Perez were born in the United States. He was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 18 in order to work and send money back to the family in Mexico. Mr. Perez has returned to Mexico throughout the years to visit and has lived in Texas ever since. He is retired from work in a machine shop.
Mr. Perez has one living older brother who lives within 5 miles. All members of the family speak Spanish and English fluently. The Perez family is Catholic, as evidenced by the religious items hanging on the wall and prayer books and rosary on the coffee table. Statues of St. Jude and Our Lady of Guadalupe are on the living room table. Mr. and Mrs. Perez have made many mandas (bequests) to pray for the health of the family, including one to thank God for the healthy birth of all the children, especially after the doctor had discouraged them from having any more children after the complicated birth of their first child. The family attends Mass together every Sunday morning and then meets for breakfast chorizo at a local restaurant frequented by many of their church’s other parishioner families. Mr. Perez believes his health and the health of his family are in the hands of God.
The Perez family lives in a modest four-bedroom ranch home that they bought 22 years ago. The home is in a predominantly Mexican American neighborhood located in the La Loma section of town. Mr. and Mrs. Perez are active in the church and neighborhood community. The Perez home is usually occupied by many people and has always been the gathering place for the family. During his years of employment, Mr. Perez was the sole provider for the family and now receives social security checks and a pension. Mrs. Perez is also retired and receives a small pension for a short work period as a teacher’s aide. Mr. and Mrs. Perez count on their nurse daughter to guide them and advise on their health care.
Mr. Perez visits a curandero for medicinal folk remedies. Mrs. Perez is the provider of spiritual, physical, and emotional care for the family. In addition, their nurse daughter is always present during any major surgeries or procedures. Mrs. Perez and her daughter the nurse will be caring for Mr. Perez during his procedure for a pacemaker.
1.Explain the significance of family and kinship for the Perez family.
2. Describe the importance of religion and God for the Perez family.
3. Identify two stereotypes about Mexican Americans that were dispelled in this case with the Perez family.
4. What is the role of Mrs. Perez in this family?
- Explain the significance of family and kinship for the Perez family.
The family unit is a fundamental aspect of any human being, and this should remain a uniting factor for every individual throughout their lives. In this case, it can be seen that a family can be put together through values such as tolerance, arrangement, and unity. The family relationship is shown to function properly, thus enhancing the cohesiveness of the various individuals involved. Family is an important component, especially in providing financial and emotional support for the Perez family. The family and kinship are pivotal in motivating the patient on the need to remain strong despite the problem that they are facing (Pinto & Ortiz, 2018). They are also responsible for making available any kind of support required by the hospital concerning the care and well-being of the patient. Other roles that a family can play include ensuring that the patient is cleaned up and well-fed at all times. Every individual in the Perez family is shown to get security from the family unit, which is a great virtue that defines the progress a family makes.
- Describe the importance of religion and God for the Perez family.
God and religion have a major influence on the Perez family. The belief in God empowers every individual in the family. The family is strongly catholic, which is the religion they draw their beliefs and values (Moreno & Cardemil, 2018). The Perez family is seen to draw great inspiration and hope from their religion and the ultimate healer, God. The family can be seen going to mass together, and thus religion is shown to fabricate the relationships that exist in the family. God and religion have made couples have a common point of view on issues and thus make it easier to solve any challenges faced. According to the bible, God is regarded as the healer capable of meeting all human needs and anything people desire. It is exhibited in families praying for the healing of their sick ones or even a medical procedure such as surgery. There are greater ties with the neighborhood, considering how the congregation and the neighborhood are.
- Identify two stereotypes about Mexican Americans dispelled in this case with the Perez family.
One of the stereotypes dispelled in the case considering the Perez family is that the Mexican Americans live like gangs and are mainly involved in crime. In this case, the Mexican Americans tend to live together in clusters, which is exhibited by the neighborhood in which the family stays (Thomas & Smith-Morris, 2020). It shows that they are individuals who are peaceful and learned, just like the enrolled medical caretaker in the case. Another stereotype that is dispelled in the story is that the community is wary. It is evident in this case that the community is spiritual and holds Christian virtues quite high. This is exhibited through how the family remains prayerful throughout as they seek God’s intervention in healing the sick.
- What is the role of Mrs. Perez in this family?
Mrs. Perez is pivotal to the family physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She is at the forefront of comforting the family and supporting them in all their needs, including spiritual needs. She can be seen reading bible verses, teaching family values, and praying for her family. She can be considered a pillar for the taking of the family, especially after her husband undergoes surgery and she has to support and take care of him. Her role is reflected in most homes where the mothers remain the pillar of the family and always work best to ensure that the family is catered for.
Moreno, O., & Cardemil, E. (2018). Religiosity and well-being among Mexican-born and US-born Mexicans: A qualitative investigation. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 6(3), 235. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/lat0000099
Pinto, K. M., & Ortiz, V. (2018). Beyond cultural explanations: Understanding the gendered division of household labor in Mexican American families. Journal of Family Issues, 39(16), 3880-3902. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1177/0192513X18800125
Thomas, E. B., & Smith-Morris, C. (2020). Family and family-like relations for transnational migrants: Ideals of care informed by kin, non-family, and religion. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 42(3), 344-362. https://scholar.smu.edu/hum_sci_anthropology_research/27/
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