Language acquisition of 1980 Cuban immigrant junior high school students


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Language acquisition of 1980 Cuban immigrant junior high school students
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xiii, 311 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Fradd, Sandra H., 1941-
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Subjects / Keywords:
Language acquisition   ( lcsh )
English language -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Spanish students   ( lcsh )
Bilingualism   ( lcsh )
Einwanderer   ( swd )
Schüler   ( swd )
Spracherwerb   ( swd )
Amerikanisches Englisch   ( swd )
Kuba   ( swd )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1983.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 287-309).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sandra Homlar Fradd.
General Note:
General Note:

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University of Florida
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aleph - 000365933
notis - ACA4761
oclc - 09952288
sobekcm - AA00004895_00001
rvk - HF 617
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Full Text







Copyright 1983

Sandra Homlar Fradd

To all the Cubans who came here in 1980--may you

someday know and love the people of the United States

as I have grown to love those of you whom I have known.

To the Cuban-Americans who allowed me to step

through the transparent curtain that divides our worlds.


I am grateful to the following people for their encouragement

and assistance in this endeavor:

Dr. E. Paul Torrance, who gave me the seeds for this research

and encouraged them to grow.

Dr. James Cummins, who developed the theory upon which this

research is based and who was willing to share his ideas with me.

Dr. Betty Mace-Matluck, who provided many ideas on language


Dr. Clemens L. Hallman, who made this research possible.

Dr. Allan F. Burns, who opened up a new world of understanding

for me.

Dr. Arthur J. Lewis, who always took the time to ask me questions.

Dr. Patricia T. Ashton, who helped me find those awkward phrases.

Dr. Catherine V. Morsink, for whom all people are special.

Dianne Downing, who always provided editorial assistance and never

failed to "type it just once more."



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.... ................................. .. .... ..... .... iv

LIST OF TABLES.. ... .............. ............ ... .......... x

ABSTRACT.................................... xii


ONE RATIONALE FOR STUDY.................................. 1

Problem Statement................................. 1
Introduction..................................... 2
Nonaffiliation ............. ...................... 3
Historical-Demographic Overview................. 3
Hypotheses and Research Questions.................. 6
Hypothesis One................................. 6
Hypothesis Two.................................. 6
Hypothesis Three ............................... 7
Delimitations..................... ............ 7
Definitions....................... ... ..... ....... 8
Justification............... .. ...................... 9

TWO REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE................................ 12

Introduction......................... ............ ... .. 12
Ethnography in Second Language Acquisition........ 13
Education and Ethnography....................... 14
The building of stereotypes................. 15
The removal of barriers...................... 16
Sociolinguistics in Education and Second
Language Acquisition ........................ 18
Process and motivation..................... 18
Measuring language proficiency.............. 22
The relationship of language and intelli-
gence/academic achievement ............... 24
The relationship of first language
proficiency to second language
acquisition .............................. 26
Summary of Important Findings in Ethnography
and Sociolinguistics in Second Language
Acquisition............ ........ ........... .. 28


Immigrants in the United States................... 30
Accommodation, Adaptation, and Assimilation..... 31
The Role of Culture in Assimilation............. 34
Ethnic group identification.................. 34
Conflict Perspective ........................... 37
Emotional Adjustment............................ 40
Summary on Immigrants in the United States...... 42
The Metamorphosis from Cubans to Cuban-Americans... 43
Demography ................................... 44
Stages of Emigration........................... 46
Reasons for Immigration......................... 47
Indicators of Integration Within U.S. Social
and Economic Systems......................... 49
Transcending Ties with the Past................ 52
Cultural patterns.................. ....... 53
Patterns of Emotional Adjustment................ 54
Mothers and sons............................ 55
Female Cuban-Americans....................... 56
Teenage Cuban-Americans..................... 57
Educational Achievement........................ 57
English Language Acquisition and Retention of
Spanish............. .... .................. 58
Summary of the Metamorphosis of Cubans to
Cuban-Americans............................. 59
Life in Cuba....................... ............... 61
Difficulties in Data Collection................. 61
Cultural Change................................ 63
Negative image of United States............. 64
Changes in the Educational System.............. 65
Integration of education into total system... 65
Conflicting opinions on educational
integration .............................. 66
Educational achievements .................... 68
Vocational education......................... 71
Juvenile delinquency....................... 72
Use of unpaid labor as an educational tool... 73
Changes in Female Roles............... ........ 74
Changes in Religious Practices.................. 75
Problems of Rationing.......................... 76
Summary of Life in Cuba....................... 78
The 1980 Immigrants............................... 79
Historical Background........................ 79
The North American Reception................... 80
The media.................................... 81
The government.............................. 82
Reception by the Cuban-Americans................ 84
Comparison with Previous Cuban Immigrant Groups. 87
Adjustment Problems............................. 89
Educational Comparison.......................... 93
Summary of the 1980 Immigrants.................. 94
Summary .......................................... 95


THREE METHODOLOGY........................................... 98

Introduction............................ ..... .. 98
Organization ..................................... 99
Instrumentation......................... ......... 99
School Program............. .. ................. 101
Student Population Description..................... 102
Data Collection................................. 103
Test Validity and Reliability..................... 109
Inter-American Series Reading Test.............. 109
Language Assessment Battery.................... 110
Language Assessment Scales..................... 111
Data Analysis................................... 113

FOUR RESULTS............................................... 115

Hypothesis and Research Questions One.............. 116
Quantitative Measures of Expressive Language.... 117
Discussion of findings on expressive
language.............................. 117
Teachers' Ratings of Oral Proficiency........... 119
Discussion of teachers' ratings.............. 120
Composition of Language Scores.................. 122
Measures of listening..................... 123
Discussion of listening scores.............. 123
Measures of reading.......................... 125
Discussion of reading scores................ 125
Correlations of written measures by age
and sex................... .. ...... 125
Correlations of oral and written measures.... 128
Comparison of Male and Female Students.......... 130
Entire Cuban Group............................. 130
Stanine scores......................... ....... 134
Writing subsection.......................... 138
Discussion of Findings Regarding Hypothesis
and Research Questions One.................. 138
Conclusions Regarding Hypothesis and Research
Questions One........................... 146
Hypothesis and Research Question Two.............. 146
Students and Parents........................... 147
Description of the students.................. 148
Student surveys............................. 151
Results of student survey.................... 151
Results of parent survey.................. 154
Students' and parents' self-rating of
language.............................. 180
Correlations of students' and parents' self-
ratings................................. 180
Discussion of results of students' and
parents' surveys.......................... 181



Student interviews............................ 183
Parent interviews.............................. 194
Discussion of interviews....................... 197
A View of the Community System..................... 199
Process through time............................ 199
View of the ecological change................... 200
A perspective of cultural transmission.......... 201
View of the social structure of the area........ 202
A look at language and ideology................. 204
A View of the School System....................... 206
The ecological change.......................... 206
A description of the school teachers and staff.. 209
A view of language and ideology within the
school................................... 210
Observations of Cultural Differences and Cultural
Transmission.................. ...... ......... 211
The Cuban context.............................. 211
The North American context..................... 215
Differences in sexual roles..................... 216
Cultural similarities and continuity............ 218
Discussion of Findings Regarding Hypothesis and
Research Question Two................. .... 220
Conclusions Regarding Hypothesis and Research
Question Two.............................. .... .. 224
Hypothesis and Research Question Three................ 225
Language Ability and Participation in Physical
Education.................................... 225
Discussion of Correlations of Physical Education
Ratings and Language Scores..................... 226
Individual Differences............................. 228
Group Differences................................. 232
The low group.................................. 233
Individuals within the low group................ 235
The high achievers................... ..... 237
Discussion of Findings Regarding Hypothesis and
Research Question Three........................ 239
Conclusions Regarding Hypothesis and Research
Question Three................................. 240

FIVE CONCLUSIONS.............. .......................... 241

Problem Statement................................... 241
Discussion of Hypotheses and Research Questions....... 242
Hypothesis One.................................... 242
Hypothesis Two........................ ............ 246
Hypothesis Three.................................. 252
Conclusions... ... .................. ..... ........ 255
Recommendations... ....................... .. ......... 257
Recommendations for Additional Research............... 259




A INTERVIEWEES AND INFORMANTS.......................... 260

B STUDENTS' LETTER OF PERMISSION....................... 262

C PARENTS' LETTER OF PERMISSION........................ 264



F ORAL PROFICIENCY RATING SCALE........................ 280




BIBLIOGRAPHY..................... ............................. 287

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH............................................ 310




4-1 Language Assessment Scale (LAS) Oral and Written
Measures in English and Spanish; Correlations
with Total English and Spanish Scores............... 118

4-2 Teachers' Evaluations of Oral Proficiency............. 121

4-3 Measures of Listening Proficiency.................... 124

4-4 Measures of Reading Ability......................... 126

4-5 Correlations of Written English and Spanish Scores.... 127

4-6 Correlations of Rank on Total English Scores and Rank
on Total Spanish Scores by Sex and Component........ 129

4-7 Comparison of Male and Female Scores in English and
Spanish ............................................ 131

4-8 Comparison of Students by Rank on Total LAB Scores.... 133

4-9 Comparison Between Groups and Seasons on the Language
Assessment Battery, Stanines...................... 135

4-10 Comparison Between Groups and Seasons on the Language
Assessment Battery, Writing Subtest................. 139

4-11 Provinces Where Students Last Attended School......... 149

4-12 Provinces Where Parents Were Born..................... 149

4-13 Sex and Range of Birthdates of Students.............. 150

4-14 Results of Student Survey........................... 155

4-15 Results of Parent Survey............................ 169

4-16 Students' Self-rating of Language Proficiency......... 184

4-17 Parents' Self-rating of Language Proficiency.......... 185


a-18 Enrollment ... ...... ... --- ...... .. ..... ....... 208

4-19 Correlations of Rank on Total Enclisn Scores and
Rank on Total Sanish Scores and Ra;ncgs by
Ptysical Education Teachers........................ 227

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


Sandra Homlar Fradd

April 1983

Chairman: Clemens L. Hallman
Cochairman: Allan F. Burns
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction

This is an ethnographic study of the influences of first language,

school, peers, and home on language acquisition among 1980 Cuban

immigrants in a junior high school.

Participants were seventh- and eighth-grade students who came to

the U.S. during the 1980 Cuban exodus. These students spoke Spanish

and were in the process of learning English. Forty-one students agreed

to individual language testing; 63 students participated in the group

tests. Tests in English and Spanish were the Language Assessment

Battery III, the Language Assessment Scales II, and Inter-American

Reading Comprehension Test III, in Spanish. Students completed language

use surveys and participated in individual interviews. Thirty-nine

students returned language surveys completed by parents. Four parents

were interviewed. Bilingual and ESL teachers rated students' language

competence in English and Spanish. Physical education teachers rated

them on participation.

Participant observation revealed that females who avoided inter-

action in English were the lowest achievers in oral English. Males

and females who were the highest achievers in oral English preferred

to speak Spanish, but communicated freely in English.

First language ability was significantly correlated with second

language acquisition. Parents' self-rating was significantly correlated

with Spanish oral proficiency. Physical education ratings were

correlated with English achievement for females, Spanish achievement

for males.

Results of the study indicate that those who establish and implement

second language program policy should consider the relationship of first

language fluency to second language acquisition. First language in-

struction can be an important component of the language program for

limited English proficient students. Schools with populations of these

students should consider the entire faculty responsible for these

students' progress. Further research should focus on the role of

culturally prescribed sex roles as determiners of language acquisition.

Additional study should also include the effect of students' previous

experience in Cuba as an influence in English acquisition.



Problem Statement

One of the critical questions which recent researchers in second

language acquisition have begun to address is the relationship between

first language ability and second language acquisition. Considering

the diversity of opinion which exists concerning the best method for

enabling students who speak another language to become fluent in English,

the importance of this question is apparent. There are educators, ad-

ministrators, and politicians who believe all-day instruction in English

is the only method which will enable children to achieve mastery of

English. Other educators and professionals believe the same goal can

be achieved more effectively by building on students' first language

fluency. Because little research has been done on the relationship

between first language fluency and second language acquisition, most

educational decisions are based on opinion rather than knowledge of

research (Carrison, 1983; Troike, 1983).

The learning of a second language can also be influenced by other

factors in addition to first language fluency. In order to fully

understand the relationship between first language ability and second

language acquisition, other influencing factors must be analyzed and

documented. The purpose of this research is to study the relationship

between first language ability and second language learning and to

explore and observe some other factors which influence the learning

of a second language.


Ethnography is the research method used in this study. In anthro-

pology, ethnography is a method by which the researcher gains under-

standing of the participants of the research by studying them within

the context of the community in which they live and interact. For

purposes of this work, I am using the definitions of Geertz (1973)

and Wolcott (1980).

Geertz sees ethnography as a process of interpreting the ecological

webs of significance in peoples' lives. From the textbook perspective,

Geertz (1973) sees doing ethnography as ". establishing rapport,

selecting informants, transcribing texts, keeping a diary .

(p. 6), but argues that while these activities may be methods used by

the ethnographer, they do not necessarily make an ethnography. The

primary characteristic which distinguishes ethnography from other re-

search methods is the requirement that the researcher utilize the

participants' understanding in interpreting the results (Geertz, 1973).

The responsibility of the ethnographer is to impose a cultural

framework of interpretation on what he or she observes as occurring in

the culture. Wolcott (1980) believes, "we are fast losing sight of the

fact that the essential ethnographic contribution is interpretive rather
than methodological" (p. 57). He emphasizes that the difference between

doing descriptive fieldwork and doing ethnography is that ethnography

seeks to apply a cultural context and a cultural interpretation to an

observed event. Observational fieldwork does not.


Cubans and Cuban-Americans have very strong, persuasive feelings

about the Cuban Revolution. Much of what they say is colored by their

experiences, as well as their political perspective. While the dominant

position of the Cuban-Americans in the U.S. is one of opposition to the

Cuban Revolution, there are also pro-Revolutionary forces within the

Cuban-American and the larger U.S. population (Azicri, 1981-82). These

opposing political positions act like opposite polarizing magnets

within the Cuban-American community. Because field research brings

one into close, direct contact with the research population and other

significant people, the researcher soon becomes aware of these con-

flicting political positions. In spite of the tendency to identify

with the group in which one is working, this researcher maintains a

politically neutral position and seeks only to report and interpret

the research evidence in the most comprehensible way possible. Any

political interpretations placed on this work are erroneous. The purposes

of this research are to study the relationship between first language

ability and second language learning, to explore some other factors

that influence the learning of a second language, and to share this

knowledge with other interested persons.

Historical-Demographic Overview

Cuba is by far the largest island in the Caribbean in terms of:

population with 9,865,000 inhabitants; land mass, 43,533 square miles;

and length, 745 miles (Lowenthal, 1982). It has about the same amount

of land under cultivation as Japan, but only one-tenth the population

(Black, Bluestein, Edwards, Johnston, & McMorris, 1976). Its location

makes it one of the U.S. closest noncontiguous neighbors. However, in

terms of ideology, for the past 24 years the historical, political,

social, and educational evolution of Cuba has been very different from

that of its neighbor to the north.

When compared with the amount of research collected on other

Hispanic groups, little is known about the Cuban students in the U.S.

school systems (Diaz, 1980), even though they comprise about 6% of the

Hispanic population in the U.S. and are the third largest Hispanic

single group in the U.S. (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1981). According

to Diaz (1980), the number of Cubans in the U.S. has increased over the

past two decades by 1,500%. His report was completed before the 1980

immigration which added approximately another 125,000 Cubans to the

U.S. population (Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services,

1982). There are several reasons for this lack of information. Cubans

have concentrated in a few major locations within the U.S. and are not

widely available for research; few sociologists, anthropologists, or

educational researchers have chosen to observe and study Cubans in

the U.S. (Diaz, 1980).

The people from the first wave of Cuban refugees to arrive after

Castro's takeover in 1959 were labeled the "golden immigrants" because

they represented the wealthy, well-educated elite who already had close

ties with the economic and social establishment within the U.S. For a

period of more than 5 years, the Cuban immigrants in the U.S. were not

at all representative of the island population. The wealthy and well-

educated Cubans in the U.S. represented a much larger proportion of the

total Cuban immigrants than they did in Cuba (Fagen, Brody, & O'Leary,

1968). As Cuban immigration continued, the Cuban population in the

U.S. began to take on characteristics more closely resembling the

island population in terms of race, economic and social levels (Clark,


The most recent and massive immigration, termed by the press as

the "Freedom Flotilla" or the "Mariel Boatlift" because most immigrants

left from the northern port of Mariel, began in April 1980 and

officially terminated in September of the same year. Although some

reports are conflicting, until recently most of the information about

these people has been negative, categorizing them as Castro himself

labeled them, "the scum of Cuban society, 'gusanos,' or worms." With

the exception of the work of Rivero (1981), little is known about the

special needs, problems, or abilities of the Cuban children who entered

the Florida public school system in 1980. These children who have been

raised in a socialist society have attitudes and habits which differ

from those who came in previous migrations. Because of the lack of

research, little is known about the way these students are adapting

to the new social and educational environment.

This study was designed to collect data on a specific population

of 1980 Cuban immigrant junior high school students, their parents,

and other significant family and community members. It investigates

students' Spanish proficiency and their progress in learning English.

Data have been collected through participant observation, linguistic

measurements, surveys, and interviews. Correlations have been performed

which indicate some of the factors which facilitate or inhibit second

language acquisition for these students.

Because of the sensitive nature of the data collected, no references

are made to the specific location of the community, school, or students

where the study was conducted. All information gathered through

interviews and participant observation remains anonymous. It is

presented in such a way as to preclude identification of informants

or other participants.

Hypotheses and Research Questions

Hypothesis One

Using standardized written and oral measurements, students judged

to be more proficient in Spanish will be found to make significantly

more progress in learning English than students who are determined to be

less proficient in Spanish. Research questions: For these students,

is there a relationship between first language ability and second

language acquisition? Does greater ability in first language facilitate

the acquisition of the second?

Hypothesis Two

Students whose parents, family members, relatives, and other

significant community members are reinforcing learning by their

behavior will make more progress toward acquiring English skills as

measured by ethnographic means than students whose parents, family

members, relatives, and significant community members do not. The

research question: What is happening at home and in the community

and the school environment that is inhibiting or facilitating the

acquisition of English?

Hypothesis Three

Students who utilize English communication opportunities will

make more progress in mastering English as measured by ethnographic

means than students who do not. Research question: Are there

measurable behavioral differences which can be observed in the school

environment that distinguish students who score higher on standardized

written and oral tests from students who score lower on the same



This research has been limited to the Cuban students who arrived

in the U.S. between the months of April and October 1980 and who were

enrolled in one junior high school in a county in south Florida.

Included in the formal student interviews and oral language sample

phase of the study were 41 seventh and eighth graders--19 males and

22 females. These 41 students and 39 of their parents participated

in the survey phase. Four parents participated in the formal parent

interviews. A total of 63 Cuban students--the entire enrollment for

this junior high school--participated in the written language tests

and informal interview phase of the research.

Formal and informal interviews were conducted with 15 teachers,

6 administrators, 8 aides and other staff, 41 students and their

parents, and 15 other students at the school where the study was con-

ducted. Merchants and others who work in the community where the re-

search was conducted were also interviewed, as were other Cubans

and Cuban-Americans from earlier immigrations who had settled in the

area. Formal and informal interviews of 1980 Cubans and Cuban-

Americans were conducted in the Little Havana district of Miami,

Hialeah, and in other parts of Florida. A total of 141 formal and

informal interviews were conducted for this research. A list of

interviewees, by occupation, is available in Appendix A. All inter-

views are anonymous to protect the confidentiality of the informants.


1. Cuban-Cubans--Cubans who were born in Cuba, continue to

retain residence there, and who may visit the U.S., but have not sought

to become permanent inhabitants, are,for the purpose of this research,

identified as Cuban-Cubans.

2. Cubans--Cubans who have recently migrated to the U.S. and

still retain a sense of identification with their homeland which sets

them apart from Cubans who have been in the U.S. for longer periods of

time are in essence still Cubans. They have not experienced the accul-

turation process which moves them toward ties with the host country.

Although many people who were born in Cuba have become naturalized

U.S. citizens and still refer to themselves as "Cubans," for purposes

of this study, the word Cubans is used to mean people who migrated to

the U.S. in the 1980 cohort.

3. Cuban-Americans--The term "Cuban-Americans" is primarily an

Anglo-American word used by people speaking English. It is seldom

used by immigrants from Cuba in the U.S. who usually refer to themselves

as either "Cubans" or "Americans." However, for purposes of this

research, Cubans who have experienced, at least in part, the accultura-

tion process which links them with the customs and culture of the U.S.

are termed Cuban-Americans. They represent the group of Cuban im-

migrants who arrived in the U.S. prior to the 1980 "Freedom Flotilla"

or "Mariel Boatlift."


The second language research by Rodriguez-Brown (1979), who

looked at primary Mexican students in Chicago, along with the work

of Cummins (1981), Cummins, Swain, Nakajima, Handscombe, and Green

(1981), and Cummins, Swain, Nakajima, Handscombe, Green, and Tran

(in press), who looked at the relationship of first and second languages

across ages, indicates that first language proficiency is related to

second language acquisition. Cummins et al. (in press) point out that

the theoretical assumption of "common underlying proficiency" is a

construct which ". appears counterintuitive to many policy makers

and educators" (p. 2). Cummins et al. (in press) state that research

in behavioral and language use patterns across languages is an innova-

tion in second language study that requires a great deal of further


The controversy regarding the use of primary language instruction

to enhance second language learning has continued for the past decade,

yet most second language research has been focused on elementary school

students and adults learning a second language (Hatch, 1978). Hatch

documents that between 1913 and 1976, 75 second language acquisition

studies of children 12 years or younger were conducted. During the

same time period, 30 studies of adults and 11 studies of teenagers also

occurred. Both Genesee (1978) and Snow and Hoefnagel-Hohle (1978) agree

that adolescents learn the rule-governed parts of language--those aspects

of language generally taught at school--more quickly than younger

children. Therefore, if the primary language is important for

knowledge transfer to the second language, that importance should

become more rapidly evident in studies of adolescents than in studies

of younger students. Because adolescents form social groups and main-

tain social contacts more independent of authority and direction than

do elementary students, it is theorized that adolescent second

language acquisition should also provide fruitful ground for observing

the social aspects of language learning.

Often, adequate exposure time to the target language is inter-

preted to mean the number of minutes of classroom instruction within

the school day. However, classroom exposure is only one facet of

language learning. Fillmore's (1976) use of the term "adequate ex-

posure time to the target language" points to the need for linguistic

interpersonal interaction as one of the major determiners of language

acquisition. The social influence of language learning must seriously

be considered if schools are to fully integrate the limited English-

speaking student into the English-speaking population. Expanded

understanding of "adequate exposure time to the target language" can

be translated into improved training programs for all school personnel

where there are large populations of second language learners. It can

also be useful in working with parents to plan more effective programs

for their children and for bridging the cultural and linguistic gulf

which may exist between the minority language community and the larger

English-speaking community.

By looking at these limited English-speaking students as in-

dividuals, as well as members of a specific cultural and linguistic

group, this research seeks to remove some of the stereotypical ways

of thinking about them which may currently exist. In summary, it is

anticipated that this research will provide the school systems and

those charged with the responsibility of educating students with

limited English proficiency, additional information on which to base

educational decisions regarding the relationship of students' first

language and second language acquisition. Additionally, it will give

educators and policy makers information on the behaviors which students

display in learning English as a second language. This information can

be utilized to train teachers, structure programs, and encourage

additional research.



Because this research is interdisciplinary in nature, it requires

an understanding not only of the findings in the field of second

language acquisition, but also of the process of assimilation and

acculturation. To understand the factors which influence English

learning for a group of 1980 Cuban students, it is important to con-

sider the way in which previous groups of Cuban immigrants have adapted

to life in the U.S., the conditions under which they lived in Cuba,

and circumstances of their arrival and adjustment in the U.S.

This review is therefore divided into five subsections: the

first is an overview of the use of ethnography and sociolinguistics in

second language education; the second is a review of assimilation and

acculturation of immigrant groups within the U.S.; the third is a review

of the data on previous Cuban migrations that have occurred since the

Cuban Revolution; the fourth is a review of significant sociopolitical

and economic factors in Revolutionary Cuba that may have affected the

1980 migrants; the fifth is a review of data on the 1980 immigrants.

Because of the broad scope of this review of the literature, no

one section is considered to be an exhaustive analysis of all available
information. Each section is written for the purpose of presenting an

overview of background information relating to the current language

learning of this specific population.

Ethnography in Second Language Acquisition

The current movement for bilingual education is largely the

result of the struggles of linguistic minorities for equal educational

opportunity (Guthrie & Hall, 1981). The underpinnings of the movement

came with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Elementary

and Secondary Act of 1965 established federal policy. The Bilingual

Education Acts of 1968 and 1974, the 1970 Memorandum, and the 1974

Lau v. Nichols Supreme Court decision all expanded on those first two

enactments (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Clearinghouse, 1975).

Until recently, educators, as well as most of the population,

viewed cultural and linguistic differences as limitations within the

students and as the underlying cause of minority failure in school.

While this view is slowly changing, it is still accepted by some

educators today.

For purposes of this research, culture is defined as ". what-

ever one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner

acceptable to its members ." (Goodenough, 1964, p. 36). Culture

provides group members with a common social heritage. Although for

some anthropologists, language is not considered relevant to the under-

standing of culture, for purposes of this research,it is considered an

integral element. In the words of Sapir, ". they talk like us,

they are like us" (1958, p. 16). The language and culture which recent

Cuban immigrants share with immigrants who entered the U.S. during

previous waves, unite, and at the same time, separate the two groups.

Education and Ethnography

Cultural knowledge is more than just a stock of information people

must know about everyday life. It consists of attitudes, beliefs,

expectations, preferences, and values. While this type of knowledge

may not always be obvious in everyday behavior, transmission of this

information is crucial for cultural continuity (Hansen, 1979). When

groups of people with different cultural knowledge enter the community,

a cultural conflict will exist until the differences are accommodated

or resolved. Hansen (1979) reminds us that ". .the transmission of

cultural knowledge is subject to both conservative forces and to

tendencies toward continual redefinition" (p. 6). Hansen believes that

all social interaction, including cultural transmission, requires inter-

personal communication and is subject to individual interpretation. Each

individual interpretation is based on that individual's background of

cultural knowledge and personal experience. This interpretative process

affects the understanding of shared meanings and precludes total agree-

ment of bodies of knowledge by all participants involved in the inter-

action. These individual differences in interpretation provide ". a

crucial mechanism for the gradual modification of shared understanding

in the course of social life, as people reinterpret their experiences

in light of changing circumstances" (Hansen, 1979, p. 2). Individual

interpretations also are the vehicle for cultural conflict and stereo-

typing, or cross-cultural understanding.
Herskovits (1964) distinguishes between two facets of the process

of acculturation by viewing "socialization" as the method of integrating

the individual into the social group and "enculturation" as the means

by which the individual obtains competence in the customs and knowledge

of the social group. Hansen (1979) believes these distinctions imply

gradations in learning comprehension and commitment to the social group.

The building of stereotypes

A recent trend in education is the teaching of the culture of the

linguistically different children as an instructional element of the

bilingual curriculum. This type of cultural instruction is quite

different from either Hansen's or Herskovits' conceptualizations of

acculturation. Students are more often taught about the manifestations

of culture, the cultural artifacts such as clothing, food, and music,

rather than being assisted to understand the culturally oriented ex-

pectations they hold which may be in conflict because they differ with

those of the host society. Instruction in some of the ethnic manifesta-

tions of culture can be motivating and interesting to the students, but

emphasis on the overt aspects of culture tends to obscure the more subtle

differences which may be at the very foundation of the learning dif-

ficulty (Guthrie & Hall, 1981).

Harrington (1978) finds that as a society becomes more pluralistic

or culturally diverse, people tend to simplify their world by making

groups and mentally lumping people together. Thus stereotyping begins.

One of the major difficulties which ethnographers face in presenting

information about other cultures is the formation of new stereotypes

which may add to or replace the old ones. In discussing cultural dif-

ferences, Harrington observes three different levels of understanding:

how all people are unique, how all people are the same, and how some

people are similar to or different from others. "In thinking of

children, whatever culture a child is from, he or she is human, able to

learn, able to think, and able to feel, and cultural differences are

small compared to these similarities" (Harrington, 1978, p. 2). In

thinking of culture in terms of educational planning, Harrington

believes that knowing something about a particular culture ". does

not excuse educators from their obligation to know the child as an

individual, unique from other individuals, and to respond to the child's

own special needs with a personally designed plan of instruction" (1978,

p. 2).

The removal of barriers

Members of the dominant culture tend to think of culture as being

observed only in other groups of people and to believe there is only

one unifying culture per group. Mehan (1981) stresses the need to

analyze language and culture in the classroom from the viewpoint of the

participants. This analysis may require several perspectives--that of

the dominant culture and that of participants who are not members of the

dominant group. The researcher must therefore be fluent in the language

or languages spoken in the cultures to be studied.

The anthropological researcher from the U.S. involved in educational

research in the U.S. must devote a great deal more thought to research

design and the presentation of the results than has been done when

anthropologists went on a frontier expedition to study an unknown cul-

ture (Burns, 1976). The researcher raised in the culture where the re-

search takes place has cultural expectations which can obscure the

cultural significance of an event as it is viewed by the participants.

It is necessary to make the familiar strange rather than making the

strange familiar, as occurs in studies of unknown cultures.

Overreliance on educational tests permits researchers and edu-

cators to know students only psychometrically. Test performance does

not reveal a full view of students' skills and abilities. No one

measure is an adequate assessment of competence. The importance of a

greater awareness of the cultural norms within and outside the specific

community being studied can not be overrated. It is necessary to use

the school community as a wider context in which to focus attention

because there is greater potential for understanding behavior by com-

paring that behavior or event with cultural events of the broader

community (Gilmore & Smith, 1982).

The purpose of ethnography in educational research, according to

Wilson (1977), is to allow the researcher to investigate events as they

occur in the everyday setting and to thus generalize the research

findings to the larger world where similar events and participants exist.

Wilson (1977) believes, however, the presence of the researcher in-

fluences the participants and may cause them to have a ". .. sus-

piciousness of the intent of the researcher, a sense of the behavior

that is either appropriate or expected, a special interpersonal re-

lationship with the experimenter, and a desire to be evaluated

positively" (p. 49). The researcher must be aware of these influences

and consider them in interpreting data gathered through interaction

with participants. Additionally, the researcher must interpret feelings,

thoughts, and actions as the participants involved would, as well as

from a perspective of an outsider by seeking a variety of sources of

information upon which to establish internal and external reliability

and validity (Le Compte & Goetz, 1982).

Sociolinguistics in Education and Second Language Acquisition

The study of the relationship of language to society is defined as

sociolinguistics (Hudson, 1980). Although the study of dialects and

relationship of culture to word meaning have customarily been a part

of the field of linguistics since the 1960s, sociolinguistics has

received widespread interest because of its potential for understanding

of the nature of language and society (Hudson, 1980).

Process and motivation

Ervin-Tripp (1978) observes that the process of second language

acquisition is like learning the first, and dispels the myth that

younger children are better second language learners than teenagers or

adults. In natural language settings, second language learners tend

to pass through the same stages as first language learners. Rate and

stage will not be the same if students come to the second language task

with prior knowledge, or if they receive instruction. Second language

learner strategies, according to Ervin-Tripp, are "quite like those

mother-tongue learners employed in both interpretation and translation

tasks" (p. 205).

In observing students' second language acquisition strategies in

a naturalistic setting, Fillmore (1976) finds the students able to use

their new language in meaningful social settings prior to exhibiting

evidence of the understanding of the grammatical rules governing such

speech. Creative speech is expressed only after students acquire an

understanding of the structure governing their utterances. Fillmore

finds that the social elements of language acquisition are intricately

interwoven with the cognitive elements. Learner success ". depended

not on cognitive skills alone, but also on having the social skills

that enabled him to participate in the situations in which the new

language was used" (Fillmore, 1976, p. vii).

Krashen's (1978) focus is on adult second language acquisition

and what he calls theory of the Monitor Model. His model posits that

conscious language learning is available only as a monitor which cor-

rects speech production, sometimes before and sometimes after output.

The Monitor is not always functioning in speech production because

often there is not enough time to think and consciously apply gram-

matical rules. Frequently,the speaker may be more engrossed in the

message than the form. Conscious awareness of grammar is one of the

major distinctions between adult and child second language learning.

Psychological changes that occur with the onset of puberty may also

heighten feelings of vulnerability during adolescence. The combination

of increased ability for abstract thought and a sense of reluctance to

reveal one's self may cause overuse of the Monitor, and result in re-

luctance to speak in the new language. Krashen's findings on adult-

child language learning differences are supported by the work of Snow

and Hoefnagel-Hohle (1978) who find older learners have an advantage

over younger students in acquiring rule-governed aspects of second

language syntax and morphology.

In reviewing research relating second language acquisition to

aptitude, Krashen (1978) finds that integrative motivation, the desire

to become part of the culture of the language, and self-confidence

work together to facilitate the production of naturalistic speech. The

second language learner who is motivated to become a part of the

society of the target language is more apt to listen carefully and

utilize the language he or she hears in the environment for future

linguistic interaction with native speakers. According to Krashen

(1978), motivational variables play a large part in how the learner

makes use of informal language contexts. The integrative motive is

weakest where there are political feelings of ill will toward speakers

of the target language, or there are perceived expressions of contempt

from native speakers of the language toward those who are learning it.

In developing the Acculturation Model, Schumann (1978) presents

a taxonomy of nine factors which influence second language acquisition.

The strongest influence in learning a language is the desire for social

integration. Comparing second language acquisition for children,

adolescents, and adults, Schumann finds that the participant who

remains the most psychologically and socially distant from mainstream

culture in the English-speaking environment acquires the least amount

of English. A corollary of Schumann's hypothesis is that acculturation

is the major causal variable in second language acquisition; all other

variables are minor intervening ones. In typical educational institu-

tions where very few variables such as use of text, teacher, or treatment,

can be controlled, the variables are so weak that they exert very little

effect on total second language learning. The desire for motivational

integration, to be associated with the native speakers, or the wish to

avoid contact with people of the target language,provides the impetus

for inhibiting or facilitating language learning. This force interacts

with the cognitive processes and strategies which the learner employs

in utilizing language input.

Sajavaara (1978) adds to the Monitor and Acculturation Models by

concluding that "Acquisition will take place if language is used for

meaningful communication, the socioaffective filter is lowered, and

there is enough input in context which is communicatively meaningful

for the learner" (p. 67). The focus must be on the message instead of

the form.

In second language research of students learning a marked

language, one considered to have less social value (Fishman, 1976),

Edelsky and Hudelson (1980) find that the political position of the

second language is a more important influence than the amount of daily

or weekly exposure or the length of time spent in study. Even though

the markedness of a language is a sociopolitical factor which originates

outside the school, it is a powerful force which must be recognized

before it can be dealt with effectively. The political factor can

account for policy development and implementation, curriculum organi-

zation, classroom structure, and the allocation and utilization of

staff and resources within the instructional program (Burns, 1981-82;

Shuy, 1981).

In his synthesis of research on bilingual education, Troike (1981)

finds that the use of two languages, the home language as well as

English, fosters greater cognitive gains as well as greater acquisition

of English skills than English-only instruction. Breaking down cultural

barriers which often exist between the home and the school and providing

an educational environment which accepts the child and shows respect

for his or her culture and language are the important factors which

increase language proficiency and academic achievement. Cummins' (1981)

work agrees with that of Troike. Cummins states,

although both sociocultural and educational
factors contribute directly-to the development of
communicative proficiency in minority students, a
large majority of academic and communicative
deficits .. are developed in these students as
a result of failure by educators to respond
appropriately to sociocultural and communicative
characteristics which children bring to school.
(p. 41)

Measuring language proficiency

Canale (in press) reviews some of the recent frameworks for

language proficiency and finds that there is general agreement

regarding general "underlying abilities, knowledge systems, and

skills," but "there is less agreement on the content and boundaries

of this underlying competence, and hence, on what language proficiency

tests do and should measure" (p. 2). While Cummins (1981) accepts the

terms "communicative proficiency" and "linguistic proficiency" as

synonyms, Canale finds that linguistic proficiency is comprised

generally of language universals that are only part of what he terms

individual proficiency. Communicative and autonomous proficiencies

are a result of socialization processes, as well as individual differences

in personal development, learning style, personality, and motivation.

Differential criteria in language evaluation are exemplified in

the research of Damico, Oiler, and Storey (1981) who utilize both

pragmatic and surface-oriented criteria to identify bilingual in-

dividuals displaying language disorders. Results indicate that

pragmatic criteria were more effective than surface-oriented criteria

in distinguishing language disorders from lack of language proficiency.

The research of Rodriguez-Brown and Elias-Olivares (1981) cor-

relatelanguage use at school, at home, and in natural language

situations with language attitudes of the community-at-large. They

believe that presently available language proficiency tests are too

narrow in scope and based on what psychologists, linguists, and

educators perceive about what children should do rather than what

children actually can do.

The assessment of language dominance is reviewed by Burt and

Dulay (1978) who stress the importance of distinguishing between

naturalistic and linguistically manipulative tasks. Measurements on

each of these tasks will result in different sets of linguistic in-

formation. Pedraza and Pousada (1980) find that their ethnographic

techniques for determining language dominance revealed different

information than standardized language tests or self-report measurers.

They conclude that students labeled as alingual by measures used at

school were quite fluent in one or two languages in their home environ-

ment. They emphasize that for bilinguals, labels indicating language

proficiency and dominance may be unstable descriptors that change over

time and within different social environments.

Rodriguez-Brown (1979) finds that educational treatment, instruction

in first and/or second language, is more important than language pro-

ficiency. Language treatment during the instructional year plays a

significant role in reading achievement gains students evidence at the

end of the year. In this study, Spanish-speaking primary students who

entered school with different levels of English and Spanish proficiency

were given different educational treatments in reading instruction. The

students with moderate knowledge of English were provided instruction

in English and Spanish, while students who were still Spanish dominant,

but who were judged to be the most advanced in English,received reading

instruction in English only. Students who had little English ability

and who were also less fluent than the rest in Spanish received in-

struction in Spanish only. By the end of the school year, third-grade

students who received reading instruction in both languages were

achieving at the same level as those who received instruction in

English only, even though they began the school year at a significantly

lower level of English achievement.

The relationship of language and intelligence/academic achievement

The body of research on the theoretical perspective of the re-

lationship of language acquisition and cognitive development is reviewed

by Rice (1980), who places the research findings on a continuum. At

one extreme she finds language and cognition independent of each other,

in the mid area there is agreement that language development is inter-

dependent on cognitive development, and at the opposite end that

cognition is dependent on language development. She concludes that each

theory seems to explain some phenomena of language acquisition, but that

no one theory accounts for all the complexities of children's language

performance or the relationship of language and intelligence.

Language, according to Halliday (1978),performs four basic functions.

It interprets the entirety of human experience, expresses logical re-

lationships, identifies speakers and societal roles, and relates what

is being said to the context of the speech event. In reviewing the work

of Bernstein, Halliday finds that the process of becoming educated re-

quires that meaning must develop along certain lines of cultural content,

especially in relationship to the child's exploration of the environ-

ment and the child's part in it, ". .. certain ways of organizing

experience through language and participating and interacting with

people and things are necessary to success in school" (Halliday,

1978, p. 26).

Oiler (1979) believes that the acquisition of language proficiency

is more fundamental to the acquisition and storage of knowledge than

most linguists, psychologists, and educators realize. He hypothesizes

that what is measured by achievement tests is also measured by tests

of language proficiency.

While Cummins agrees with Oller's premise of the underlying

relationship between language and achievement, Cummins divides

language proficiency into two educational constructs: language

which one uses to relate to others in everyday life, Basic Interpersonal

Communication Skills (BICS), and language which requires an understanding

of deeper meaning, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).

Cummins' studies (1980, 1981) indicate that students master BICS in

about 2 years after immersion in a new language environment, but that

5 to 7 years is required for mastery of CALP. Age of arrival

and length of residence are important factors in achieving language

proficiency at either the BICS or CALP level. While some tests of

language proficiency may test the global language proficiency, as Oiler

suggests, Cummins (1980) finds that most language proficiency tests used

in determining the entry and exit criteria for bilingual programs are

based on BICS rather than CALP. When students have been exited from

bilingual programs because they have achieved linguistic proficiency

but are unable to learn in the regular classroom setting, they are

frequently diagnosed as being mentally, rather than linguistically,


Oiler (1980) believes that the state of the art in linguistic

proficiency testing has not progressed sufficiently to determine

definitely "whether deep language ability and intelligence are really

distinct" (p. 134). He further states that, "existing literature on

testing suggests that any ordinary test of language proficiency is

strongly correlated with general intelligence" (p. 134), and that it

is doubtful whether a language proficiency test of BICS could be

constructed that would not involve some form of CALP. Cummins' (1980)

states that individual differences account for some aspects of the way

the BICS and CALP aspects are acquired, but that individual differences

in CALP are strongly related to academic achievement, while individual

differences in BICS are not.

Cummins (1981) finds that current theories of communicative

competence have not taken into consideration such critical issues as

developmental perspective, contexts of language use, and the relation-

ship between the skills achieved in the first language and the

acquisition of second language skills.

The relationship of first language proficiency to second language

Of major importance in second language acquisition theory is

Cummins' (1980) hypothesis of Common Underlying Proficiency, CUP, as

opposed to Separate Underlying Proficiency, SUP. Cummins believes

that the ". 'common sense' assumptions of the SUP model get expressed

at a policy level" (p. 50). Cummins points out a pattern of results

in hundreds of evaluations of bilingual programs as evidence of the

common underlying proficiency of language acquisition. He further

points to his correlational study (1979) of first and second languages

as evidence in support of the CUP theory in terms of academic skill.

BICS are not so easily transferred across languages. Age of entrance

into the second language learning environment also affects speed and

amount of transfer, with older children mastering second language

morphology and syntax skills, the skills taught at school, more quickly

than younger children. Younger children have an advantage in phonology,

essentially a BICS area of language proficiency. Of importance here is

the fact that students had mastered the second language sufficiently

to score equally, or nearly equally as well, on both first and second

language tests. Cummins (1979) points out the need for empirical

investigation of the relationship of first language proficiency and

second language acquisition.

Cummins et al. (in press) conclude after researching dissimilar

populations of Japanese and Vietnamese students that first language
". cognitive/academic proficiency accounted for a highly significant

proportion of variance in L2 (second language) cognitive/academic pro-

ficiency, as predicted by the interdependence hypothesis" (p. 32).

Older Japanese students continued to develop first language cognitive/

academic skills to a greater degree than younger Japanese children in

the study. According to the researchers (Cummins et al., in press),

their recent work has been exploratory but has allowed them to conceptu-

alize the interdependence theory (of the relationship of first language

proficiency and second language proficiency) on a broader framework

than had previously been theorized. Cummins et al. (in press) view the

interactional style which bilinguals display as interdependent, but

mediated by what they term as "personality attributes" of the in-

dividual. What was not considered in this research was the mediating

affect of culture or cultural expectations for language acquisition.

Cummins et al. (in press) find that first language proficiency is

related to second language acquisition in a variety of ways. Of

interest here is the finding that what children bring to the language

learning situation is more important than their actual experiences

in learning the language. Interactional style, relating information

and responding to questions, is interdependent across languages. First

language cognitive/academic maturity (Cummins' CALP) greatly influences

the speed with which cognitive/academic skills are acquired in the


Summary of Important Findings in Ethnography and Sociolinguistics in
Second Language Acquisition

Bilingual education in the U.S. during the past 2 decades is the

result of the Civil Rights movement and other supporting actions by

minorities seeking equal educational opportunities. These groups have

not been as successful as the majority group in the U.S., in part,

because of differences in language and culture.

Culture has come to be identified with two separate concepts:

shared ways of knowing or behaving that are acceptable by the cultural

group (Goodenough, 1964; Hansen, 1979; Herskovits, 1964) and the identifi-

cation of cultural artifacts as symbols of culture (Guthrie & Hall, 1981).

The educational ethnographer's task is to sort through the highly

visible elements of cultural differences found in the school setting

and interpret the subtle, but highly significant way that participants

view events so those interested in the research can understand (Geertz,

1973; Wolcott, 1980).

The second part of this section reviewed research on socio-

linguistics and second language acquisition. Under natural learning

conditions the process of learning a second language is much like

learning the first. However, adults and teenagers learn the school-

instructed elements of language much faster than younger children

(Ervin-Tripp, 1978). Adults are more conscious of grammar (Krashen,

1978). The social setting is an important motivating factor (Fillmore,

1976) in second language learning. Adults who feel psychologically

or socially distant from the speakers of the target language learn the

language much more slowly, if at all (Schumann, 1978). The political

position of the language in relationship to the learners is very im-

portant (Edelsky & Hudelson, 1980). Troike (1981) and Cummins (1981)

emphasize the need to break down social and cultural barriers to

facilitate second language learning.

Canale (in press) presents a framework for defining communicative

proficiency. Damico et al. (1981) believe pragmatic and surface-

oriented criteria are important. Burt and Dulay (1978) emphasize the

need for distinguishing between naturalistic and linguistically manipu-

lative tasks. Rodriguez-Brown (1979) finds that educational treatments

greatly influence educational achievements on measures of reading.

In reviewing the relationship of language to intelligence as

measured by academic achievement, Rice (1980) finds that research

supports a broad range of theoretical positions from no relationship

between the two to the position that language and intelligence measures

are the same. Cummins (1980) differentiates between the linguistic

skills needed for interpersonal communication and those needed for

academic achievement.

Of most importance is Cummins' (1980) interdependence theory based

on the theoretical model of common underlying proficiency as opposed to

separate underlying proficiency. He believes that much educational

policy is a result of the mistaken belief that different languages are

organized in the brain in separate repositories, but that as counter-

intuitive as it may at first appear, language is a common construct

with separate manifestations by individual language. Cummins et al.

(in press) find that the cognitive/academic aspects of language are

highly transferable across languages. The transfer of language skills

across languages is mediated by individual variables that Cummins et al.

(in press) label personality attributes. This most recent work of

Cummins and his research partners has been theoretically generative.

Much more empirical research is needed in order to formulate theory

based on grounded data.

Immigrants in the United States

Insights gained from research on immigrant adaptation and

assimilation to life in the U.S. have many theoretical as well as

practical implications. Studying the process of adaptation and

acculturation of immigrants in general can be insightful in understanding

the experiences of the recent Cuban immigrants in the U.S. The process

of acculturation is affected by and affects the rate which immigrants

learn English. A closer look at this process provides important back-

ground information necessary for understanding the research population.

Sassen-Koob (1979) believes that investigating a particular

immigrant group is a necessary step in the more general task of

understanding assimilation and acculturation. "It is then possible

to move from the particular back to the analytical as a means of

formulating general propositions rooted in the actual historical

experience of the immigrant groups" (p. 314). The reverse process can

also be utilized to understand specific groups, by understanding the

patterns by which larger masses have established themselves in this

land of immigrants.

Accommodation, Adaptation, and Assimilation

Richmond (1973) provides an extensive review of the literature

on immigrant adaptation in which she examines definitions of accom-

modation and acculturation. Accommodation occurs when the immigrant

changes behavior simply to avoid or reduce the likelihood of conflict.

Acculturation results in a change in behavior over a period of time

as two different cultures come in contact. Changes occur based on

newly acquired knowledge and understanding. Acculturation is often,

but not always, the first step in the process of assimilation. The

amount of acculturation which a person or a group experiences is

frequently, but not always, in direct relationship to the length of

time in residence in the host country and the extent of interaction

with members of the core culture within the host society. Adaptation

is an intermediate step between the use of accommodating behavior to

avoid problems and the initial stages of assimilation.

The terms acculturation and assimilation are sometimes used to

mean the same or nearly the same process. According to Gordon (1964),

"assimilation" means total, even physical blending, while "acculturation"

means behavioral, social change. Both terms indicate a process whereby

people of different ethnic groups acquire memories, sentiments, and

attitudes in common with others of the core culture of the host country.

By beginning to share the same experiences and history as a part of

their residential experience in the U.S., immigrant groups are in-

corporated into the common cultural life of this country. Gordon's

model of assimilation has seven variables or areas of incorporation.

The first variable--culture--is the most obvious. Cultural assimilation

is synonymous with what others have called acculturation. Yet ac-

culturation can occur without assimilation. Within the ethnic group

there develops a network of organizations and informal social relations

which permits and encourages members to remain within the confines of

the ethnic group for all their primary relationships and some of their

secondary ones. Language as an entity provides a great unifying or

separating force which encourages maintenance of ethnic group ties.

Rogg and Cooney (1980) point out this strong pull for ethnic identifi-

cation within the Cuban community they studied. Maintenance of group

ethnic identity is useful in lessening the difficulties of culture

shock, and for making the adjustment required to live in a different

cultural environment. It is also viewed as a source of political power

for those who find themselves disenfranchised. Safa (1982) points out

that Cubans have maintained strong ethnic ties in order to wield

political power.

Other important variables within Gordon's assimilation model are

structural and behavioral assimilation. He distinguishes between the

two by indicating that behavioral assimilation occurs when the ethnic

group or individual takes on the behavioral characteristics and norms

of the host or core culture. Structural assimilation occurs when there

is socioeconomic equality between the migrants and members of the

majority culture. When structural and behavioral assimilation'occur,

all other variables of assimilation follow (Gordon, 1964).

One of Gordon's major contributions to the theoretical construct

of assimilation is his work with social class as opposed to ethnic class

associations. Stratification based on ethnicity is intersected by

stratification based on social class and results in a group which he

terms "ethclass." Theoretically, ethnic groups could contain

the whole spectrum of socioeconomic classes. In reality, there is only

a partial distribution of socioeconomic subgroups in each specific

ethnic group. Gordon asserts at midcentury that social class similari-

ties are more important than ethnic group differences. Social partici-

pation in primary groups is confined to social class segments of one's

own ethnic group. With a person of the same social class, but different

ethnic group, one shares behavioral similarities but not a sense of

peoplehood. With those of the same ethnic group but of a different

social class, one shares a sense of peoplehood but not behavioral

similarities (Gordon, 1964).

According to Richmond, the immigrant reference group is usually

the group with whom the newly arrived immigrant shares common per-

spectives and defines situations in common. The normative reference

group is the original socializing source, the group with whom the

individual or newly arrived group aspires to associate or emulate.

This normative group provides the newcomer with new categories of

self-identification and meaningful role models. The comparative

reference group is that group which influences the individual or sub-

group in the process of self or group evaluation and which conveys

attitudes of relative status or deprivation. The reference groups are

important in providing orientation to the newly arrived and to further

their efforts in adapting to the host culture.

The Role of Culture in Assimilation

Gordon (1964) views culture as the social heritage of a particular

group or of people in general. It is the ways of acting and the ways

of doing things which are passed down from one generation to the next

by formal and informal methods of teaching and doing. Culture can also

be considered as prescribed ways of behaving, norms of conduct, values,

skills and behavioral patterns, a social heritage or way of life of a

particular society.

Ethnic group identification

Sowell (1978) finds that certain ethnic groups have within their

group consciousness or culture, specific characteristics which enable

them to adapt more easily to some specific life styles, some types of

work, or some living environments and to have difficulty adjusting to

others. In testing children, he found that children from higher

socioeconomic levels within the same ethnic group simply repeat the

same patterns of behavior, only on a more sophisticated level than

patterns produced by children from lower economic levels within the

same group. With added instruction, test familiarity, and familiarity

with the testing environment, patterns change to become more like those

of the general population. This added instruction could be considered

a form of acculturation.

Ethnic groups are often found exhibiting various degrees of

acculturation, as might be visualized by concentric rings radiating

from urban center areas to suburbia. Various segments of the same

group may engage in mutual recrimination over the different degrees

to which they exhibit acculturation tendencies. For example, some

Mexican-Americans today express resentment toward those among them

who seem to be becoming Anglo, while disdaining new arrivals from

Mexico (Sowell, 1981). There is a greater pervasiveness of diversity,

or division of ethnicity, within an ethnic group than may be apparent

to the uninitiated. Black Caribbeans and black Africans do not readily

identify with blacks in the U.S. Italians in the U.S. frequently

maintain mutual associations with other Italians from the same region

of Italy and are often intolerant of Italians from other parts of

Italy (Sowell, 1981).

Sassen-Koob's work (1979) with informal and formal ethnic group

associations among Colombians and Dominicans in New York reveals that

these associations are made predominantly along class or socioeconomic

lines. The Dominicans' associations are made up of working class

people whose purpose for associating is primarily recreational, while

the Colombian associations are primarily made up of the middle class

whose purpose for associating is instrumental in achieving political

and economic objectives. The disparity between the culture of the

home country and that of the current residence is also an important

factor in encouraging the formation of associations. These associations

provide individual members with collective ways of drawing on their

previous experiences to confront new life situations. The transition

from a recreational association to an instrumental association gives

the push toward forging new links with the host society and results in

the pulling away of working class members who do not appear to be

interested in this type of association or who do not view it as


In tracing Dominican family networks within the Dominican Republic

and New York, Garrison and Weiss (1979) determine that the "decisions

to migrate and responses to the difficulties of urban life are frequently

made with both the needs and resources of the kin in mind" (pp. 264-265).

The definitions of kin are not the same for the U.S. Immigration and

Naturalization Service and the Dominicans. The Dominicans consider

themselves to have extended, cooperating family structures. While

loyalty to consanguineous relations is considered important, cross-

generational cooperation and interdependence outside of consanguineous

lines are also used to define family structure for the Dominicans.

Wilson and Portes (1980) document the development of Cuban

immigrant enclaves whose work organization functions differently from

that of immigrants who follow the classic pattern of assimilation or

those who enter already developed secondary labor markets. The

immigrant enclaves may hasten one aspect of the assimilation process

while retarding another. Over the past century, views and value

judgments regarding assimilation have changed. Gordon (1964) finds

that during the 1800s there was a strong political push for immigrants

to take on the perspectives of the dominant culture: white, Anglo-

Saxon, Protestant. That movement gave way to the Melting Pot theory

which was strong from the 1920s to the 1950s and still persists today

(see Arndorfer, 1982). According to that theory, the U.S. is made up

of a number of immigrant groups who have all contributed cultural

characteristics which make the U.S. culture a blend of many different

groups. The net effect of the two theories is that the immigrants must

change to become like the host culture, the second one being a somewhat

modified version of the first in that the host culture is also in the

process of changing to become slightly more like that of the immigrants.

Many scholars and ethnic leaders have called for the acceptance of

cultural pluralism (Dinnerstein, Nichols, & Reimers, 1976; Gordon,

1964; Safa, 1982). Binder (1979) writes that the U.S. is no mythic,

multicultural melting pot and does itself no good in expecting or

forcing total assimilation. Kessler-Harris and Yans-McLaughlin (1978)

find that in the third generation, the immigrant group begins to seek

to regain ethnic identity lost by their parents and grandparents in

the process of assimilation.

Conflict Perspective

Portes (1969) was one of the first to point out the fallacy of

assuming that immigrants necessarily want to become acculturated to

life in the U.S. He suggests the need for reconsidering the belief

that immigrants or foreign minorities are strongly motivated to

integrate as much and as fast as possible to the dominant

cultural patterns" (p. 505).

In reviewing previous research on immigrants in the U.S.,

Portes, Parker, and Cobas (1980) find that up to recent times

immigrant studies have reflected a sociological perspective of

adaptation to the host culture. This body of research has developed

into what is termed the "theory of assimilation." Whether the

immigrants eventually adapt to the host culture is not questioned.

Most works document the length of time and the psychological transition

through which immigrants must pass to acculturate to majority status.

This transition is commonly viewed as a patterned sequence that moved

from cultural dissimilarity to eventual acceptance. Bach (1978)

labels these studies collectively as "the assimilation perspective"

because they focus on the process of consensus building among dissimilar

populations. The assimilation perspective is built on several as-

sumptions: that as immigrants become better educated, their behavior

becomes more reflective of the host culture, and they are able to

obtain higher status and more profitable employment. Thus, education

is a status building element in the acculturation process. The lack

of education can be seen to have the reverse effect. Since public

education is free and available to everyone, lack of assimilation

indicates slothfulness, ignorance, and even an unpatriotic attitude

toward the host culture and language. Essential within the assimilation

perspective is the belief that increased contact with the mainstream

culture and greater social and economic mobility will lead to a les-

sening of discrimination toward immigrants and a more favorable assess-

ment of U.S. society. Portes et al. (1980) suggest that the assimilation

perspective also incorporates the notion of bountiful economic opportu-

nities and reward in accord with individual effort--myths that promote

social control.

The conflict perspective finds that immigrants have not necessarily

come to the U.S. in search for a better life, ". their movement was

often deliberately induced to fulfill labor needs in an expanding economy"

(Portes et al., 1980, p. 203). Many immigrants have difficulty moving

from the peripheral labor force into the mainstream and thus their ex-

pectations may be in conflict with reality. More education, familiarity

with the language, and mainstream culture do not necessarily enable or

encourage the immigrant to become more integrated into mainstream society.

Increased education and ability to speak the language sometimes provide

immigrants with negative experiences and confirm the realities of discrimi-

nation, according to Portes et al. (1980). The difficulties of discrimi-

nation arise from several causes: the majority of recent immigrants come

from Third World countries instead of Northern European countries as did

previous cohorts of immigrants who were able to assimilate more readily

than recent immigrants. The plentifulness of jobs requiring effort but

little technical skill has changed; the labor market is demanding more

skilled workers for all but the most menial tasks. Studying Cuban ac-

culturation, Portes et al. (1980) conclude that as immigrants become

familiar with the host language and endorse its cultural values, they

become more skeptical regarding their place within the economic and

social order. The socialization process does not lead to integration

and consensus building, but sometimes to an awareness of the need for

ethnic solidarity for mutual protection from a hostile culture (for

similar studies see Baskauskas, 1981, for Lithuanians and Haines,

Rutherford, & Parker, 1981, for Vietnamese).

Portes, McLeod, and Parker (1978) conclude from their work with

immigrant Cubans and Mexicans that contrary to popular stereotypes,

immigrant aspirations, ". are neither flights of fantasy nor the

product of purely subjective ambition" (p. 260). Aspirations are

based on past experiences and achievements, and the understanding of

the skills which the immigrants have and perceive as needed by the

host culture.

Some ethnic groups have not found it necessary to acculturate or

learn English to be successful in the U.S. Only when a group lacks

skills or entrepreneurship and depends on the dominant culture for

employment, is learning the language and culture of the dominant society

important (Sowell, 1981). Portes' (1980) findings substantiate Sowell's

opinion regarding acculturation and English acquisition by showing that

the entrepreneurship of the Cubans has allowed for considerable economic

mobility within the first generation, even among those with limited

English fluency. Both Portes and Sowell point out that the phenomena

of entrepreneurship has also occurred within geographic regions populated

by high concentrations of other ethnic groups such as the Japanese, Jews,

and Germans.

Emotional Adjustment

Baskauskas (1981) finds that few studies have attempted to ex-

plore the complex emotional state of the immigrant during the process

of acculturation. This researcher believes the expression of grief

to be an integral part of the-process of adjustment to the host culture.

To adapt, the immigrant has to overcome the impulse to try to restore

the past. A major blocking factor in adjustment is the failure to fully

realize the departure is final. The inability to surrender the past

conjures up feelings of unreality and sometimes marked irritability and

apathy. Returning to the home country after a long absence can also be

traumatic. The memories which have been harbored for so long are ex-

changed for the realization that the immigrants who left are not like

those who stayed behind, nor quite like a member of the host society


Cohon (1981) finds two stages to adjustment to the new host cul-

ture. First, there is a feeling of euphoria at being free of previous

problems. Slowly, the immigrant realizes the differences in culture

and becomes aware of the loss of the past. The past is then idealized.

As this awareness continues, the immigrant may experience paranoia,

hypochondria, anxiety, and depression. The immigrant frequently ex-

periences impairment of interpersonal skills and contradictory tendencies

to withdraw and to relate to people. During this period there is a

reorientation of values influenced by the internalization of the

original value system--a function of individual age.

Little attention has been given to the process of adaptation and

assimilation as it is experienced by women and children, although women

are typically viewed as adapting most slowly, and children most quickly,

to new language and culture patterns. In studying Portuguese female

immigrants, Smith (1980) finds they personify "marginal man," the person

not integrated into society, more than the male counterparts of the

same cohort. The female is more dependent on maintaining ties with the

ethnic social group in order to obtain information and emotional and

material support. This dependence makes it more difficult to establish

and maintain ties in the new culture. What appears to be female re-

luctance to integrate, learn the new language, and new behavior patterns,

is in reality the mechanism of female immigrant survival system. The

female must tread a thin line not to appear too integrated and uncaring

about former relationships while slowly developing new associations. Too

much or too little commitment can leave the female with no social support

system, according to Smith (1980).

The reception of the host society and the establishment of an

immigrant enclave can be a very important part of adjustment for young

people. Host children's receptive behavior can provide a buffer from

isolation for the new, young newcomers. Rejection can cause further

chaos. Group identity, or the lack of it, can make a difference between

certainty and confusion for the child, as it does for the adult, and can

influence the language learning process (Huyck & Fields, 1981).

Summary on Immigrants in the United States

This section has reviewed research on accommodation, adaptation,

and assimilation, and differentiates between behavior which distinguishes

accommodation as a process of avoiding problems, and assimilation as a

process of taking on the cultural patterns of the host country. Ad-

aptation is an intermediary stage between the two (Gordon, 1964;

Richmond, 1973). Culture plays a critical role in assimilation,

while most research has been based on the assumption that immigrants

sought to become integrated into the majority culture. Bach (1978)

and Portes et al. (1980) present the conflict perspective theory. They

cite as examples groups such as the Cubans who prefer to remain as

ethnic enclaves to avoid discrimination and increase social and political

status. Emotional adjustment and host reception are very important

factors in the adaptational/assimilation process. Little work has been

done on the differences which women and children experience in this

process. Women have been viewed as typically the last to acculturate.

Little research exists on the causes of this tardiness. Smith's (1980)

work provides some provocative ideas regarding the females' need to

maintain traditional support networks for survival in the new culture.

The Metamorphosis from Cubans to Cuban-Americans

In surveying the available literature on Cubans in the U.S.,

Casal and Hernandez find in 1975 that ". a sizeable bibliography

on Cuban exiles has accumulated over the last 15 years. What is

surprising is that most of it remains--because of limited acces-

sibility--almost 'underground'" (p. 25). Eliminating popular books

and articles, they found 163 nonduplicated entries, of which 1% were

scholarly books of wide distribution, 25% were articles appearing in

academic journals or government publications, and 19% were master's

or doctoral theses. Over half of their bibliography was limited

edition reports and special articles. Llanes' bibliography (1982),

one of the most extensive to be published recently, listed 152 entries,

20% from esoteric, not widely distributed sources. While it is beyond

the scope of this research to locate all articles and books on Cubans

in the U.S. that might be available in 1983, it appears that the

quantity has increased, but not greatly, since the Casal and Hernandez'

(1975) survey.


The U.S. Department of Commerce (1981) estimates there are 14.6

million persons of Spanish origin in the U.S. Ehrlichman (1982) believes

the total to be more than 15 million. All reports on population

statistics conclude that Hispanics are now the most rapidly growing

ethnic group, and that by the turn of the century their population in

this country is expected to double.

In terms of primary language background, the number of non-English-

speaking persons is expected to increase from the 28 million counted in

1976 to about 40 million by the year 2000. The Spanish-speaking portion

of this massive group of persons is expected to increase in actual num-

bers and percentage of the group from 10.6 million or 38% in 1976, to

18.2 million or 46% in 2000, according to Oxford, Pol, Lopez, Stupp,

Gendell, and Peng (1981). These authors point out the implications for

educational planning are great in terms of meeting the needs of the

non-English- and limited English-speaking students.

Florida has the fourth largest Hispanic population in the U.S.

(Fratoe, 1981) and the numbers continue to grow, not only from continued

migration from South and Central America and the Caribbean, but from

the internal migration of Cubans who return to Florida as a place of

resettlement after initial location in other sections of the country.

Only three states have a lower percentage of native born residents than

Florida with its 31% native born. Eleven percent of Florida residents

are foreign born, an amount that has doubled twice in the past two

decades. This 11% count is conservative in that it does not count the

number of children born in the U.S. to foreign-born, recently arrived

immigrants. The foreign-born population is concentrated in three major

metropolitan areas of the state--Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa--where

more than 75% live. The Hispanic population in Florida has increased

from 1.6% of the total population in 1960 to 8.8% in 1980. When the

1980 Cuban immigrants are included, it is estimated that Hispanics will

account for more than 10% of Florida's population. About 55% of the

Hispanics are Cubans who were, therefore, about 5% of Florida's total

population in 1980 (McCoy & Gonzalez, 1982). Much of the data from the

1980 census are still in the process of being released and do not re-

flect the Cubans who arrived in 1980.

Diaz (1980) finds that Cuban immigrants in the U.S. have two

characteristics not shared with most other U.S. ethnic groups: their

immigration was motivated by a different set of factors and most--about

80%--of the present population was foreign born, or still first genera-

tion ethnics, facing all the problems traditionally faced by those

adjusting to U.S. culture. Compared with the Hispanic group as a whole,

the Cubans are older, with a smaller proportion of young people (U.S.

Department of Commerce, 1981). There are two causes for this difference:

Cubans have a lower fertility rate than other Hispanic groups and a large

group of older Cubans immigrated during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Cuban group is most like the U.S. population as a whole in a variety

of measures such as age and income. The median Cuban family income--

$17,500--most closely resembles that of families not of Spanish origin,

and is $2,000 more than the next Spanish-speaking group (U.S. Department

of Commerce, 1981). According to the Heritage Foundation (1980), Cubans

and South and Central Americans have more successfully entered the

economic mainstream within the U.S. than have other Spanish-speaking

groups. They have obtained a greater percentage of well-paid managerial

professional positions within a number of different industries and labor

segments of the work force than have other Spanish-speaking groups.

Stages of Emigration

During the past 24 years, the leadership within the U.S. government

has changed seven times, while that in Cuba has remained the same.

Starting with Castro's takeover in January 1959, there have been six

different stages of Cuban immigration--three peaks and three lulls.

These different stages reflect, in some ways, according to Clark (1982),

the political and economic events occurring within Cuba.

The massive migration which began shortly before Castro's takeover

belies the fact that the Revolution had the support of all levels of the

population (Bender, 1973; Portes, 1969). The Early Departure Stage--

January 1959 to October 1962--was the time that most of the wealthy

and educated Cubans left the island, although not all who left at that

time were wealthy or well educated. Those who had pre-established ties

with the U.S. were the first to find the Revolution not to their liking

and left.

The second stage--the Post Missile Crisis Lull, from October 22,

1962 to September 28, 1965--occurred when direct transportation between

the two countries was cancelled as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Immigration again commenced during the Family Reunion period--

September 28, 1965 to April 6, 1973--when Castro announced that exiles

could pick up their relatives at the port of Camarioca. This flotilla

immigration continued through November of 1965 when the boat trips were

halted by the U.S. government. In mid-December of that year the Freedom

Flights air lift began. Although it has been said that the Cubans were

allowed to emigrate for humanitarian reasons, according to Clark (1977),

Cubans were allowed to leave as a means of motivating them to work.

Only those who had spent considerable time cutting cane, often from

3 to 5 years, received permission to leave. The second cohort included

a much larger number of blue collar workers, as well as the elderly,

infirm, and handicapped, than did the previous wave.

The cessation of the Freedom Flights marked the beginning of the

second wane and the fourth stage in immigration. Anyone wanting to

enter the U.S. had to do so by way of a third country. This second

lull continued until the Freedom Flotilla began from Mariel Harbor in

1980. We are now in the sixth stage and third lull in Cuban immigra-

tion. Clark (1977) points out that since the Revolution there have

always been people trying to leave Cuba for the U.S. and that about

16,000 have tried to leave by illegal means such as small boats and


Reasons for Immigration

Clark, Lasagna, and Reque (1981) point out that as the Cuban

Revolution continued, the dissatisfaction which the people felt when

their ideals were not met also increased. This dissatisfaction

encouraged great numbers of blue collar workers to emigrate until

now the population in the U.S. is representative of the population on

the island in terms of socio-economic and racial distribution.

Regarding the motivations prompting the migration, Clark (1977)

states there are two: political and economic. The two are so closely

intertwined that it is difficult to distinguish between them. If the

government requires extensive "voluntary" labor to retain one's present

job, is it politics or economics that motivates a person to leave not

only the job but the country? A statement made by a man who left in

1964 sums up the feelings of many: "There came a time in my life when

nothing else mattered but freedom. It is so valuable, so precious, one

really has to lose it to understand its value and its true meaning."

Although it may appear to be paradoxical since Cuba calls itself

"El primer territorio libre en las Americas" (The first free country in

the Americas), the desire for freedom seems to be the predominant

motivation for emigration from Cuba to the U.S. There are several

interpretations of this motivation. For example, in studying the Early

Departure families, Gibboney (1967) finds the parents' concern for their

children's education and future the reason most given for leaving.

Freedom appears to be defined by this group as the ability to make one's

own choices or the ability for self-determination. In reviewing the

causes for migration, Casal and Hernandez (1975) conclude that prag-

matic factors are more important than ideological ones. They believe

that over time, as the composition of the migratory population changed,

so too, did the motivation for leaving. However, the 1977 work of

Portes, Clark, and Bach indicates 97% of the immigrants came to the

U.S. because of their desire for freedom. Here the definition appears

to be similar to that of 1967. Also important for this group was the

ability to act without restriction. For these Cubans, long-term

considerations were more important than short-term factors such as the

scarcity of consumer goods.

Moreno Fraginals (1982) sees the scarcity of-consumer goods as a

debilitating factor for the Cuban Revolution and as the major force in

motivating the lower economic sector to emigrate. After the Revolution,

the poor had high expectations in terms of their ability to obtain

consumer goods. Those who had these goods prior to the Revolution have

found it easier to do without, while those who have never had them are


Indicators of Integration Within U.S. Social and Economic Systems

The socioeconomic structure of the Cuban immigration has changed a

great deal over the 24 years of immigration. As has been indicated,

the first to leave were the wealthy, the professionals, the well

educated, and those familiar with the U.S.'s social and economic

systems. They were the leaders in organizing the economic base which

the Cuban-Americans have established in the U.S. (Campbell, 1976;

Fagen, Brody, & O'Leary, 1968). Yet not all of these well-educated

people have been able to utilize their skills to the fullest. Many

have experienced extensive downward occupational mobility in the U.S.

(Moncarz, 1973; Rogg, 1974). Over time, there has not been massive

upward occupational mobility, indicating there is an under-utilization

of Cuban skills and resources in the U.S. (Moncarz, 1978; Rogg &

Cooney, 1980). Portes (1969) points out the fallacy of assuming

immigrants necessarily want to become integrated into mainstream culture

and society. In his initial studies of Cubans, he finds the Early

Departure Stage immigrants did not suffer from the problems of hostility

and rejection which other immigrant groups have faced. Yet, many did

not integrate rapidly. Failure to integrate is strongly connected to

idealization of previous ways of life and the expectation of returning

"home" to Cuba. It is also the result of limited access to economic and

social mobility. Portes (1969) reports that those professionals who

were able to establish themselves with employment similar to the level

they held in Cuba were also the Cubans who were most readily assimilated

into U.S. society.

When the first groups of Cubans came to the U.S. after the

Revolution, they lived out of their suitcases because they were certain

they would be going back soon. As the days turned into weeks, the weeks

into months, and the months into years, slowly,these Cubans realized

they were not returning right away. They began to purchase homes and

establish themselves within the Miami community. It took them a long

time to realize that they needed to become established there(Martinez,


Wilson and Portes (1980) analyze the factors which are relevant in

the emergence of Cuban immigrants into the U.S. labor market and find

that, in addition to merging with the mainstream labor force or providing

labor for a secondary labor force operating in the margins of the main-

stream, the Cuban-Americans have established enclaves of separate

socioeconomic power. They have been able to develop these enclaves

through the interplay of several factors: investment capital and

managerial skills, sustained immigration which renews and expands the

labor force, and a demand for products and services from a language and

culture population similar to their own, but different from that of the

host culture. The barriers which prevent immigrants from moving into

the mainstream economy promote ethnic affinities within the enclave and

work to cement ties of solidarity.

Diaz' (1981) work contrasts with that of Portes and Wilson (1980).

He finds that the Cubans in south Florida are integrating into the

mainstream culture and labor force with remarkable speed. He suggests

that a variety of measures be used to observe the patterns of social

integration. His research indicates that the majority of Cubans in

the work force do not work for Cuban employers, and suggests that
"whatever entrepreneurship Miami Cubans have shown, it is in keeping

with prescribed goals and values of the host society and thus a positive

sign of social integration" (p. 7). While he does not deny there exists

a "ghetto economy" which acts as a deterrent for learning English or

integrating into the host culture, he cites naturalization indices as

a counterindicator of social integration. During the decade of the

1960s, the number of Cubans who became U.S. citizens increased ninefold

and the numbers have continued to remain high for the decade of the

1970s. Although Cubans have accepted U.S. holiday celebrations, they

have kept their own customs, many of which are dying out on the island.

Even though Spanish is spoken at home and reinforced through the media,

more than 80% of the Cuban children attend public school where they will

learn English. Diaz (1980) considers school enrollment an additional

indicator of the desire which Cuban-Americans display for social

integration. Diaz (1981) agrees with Rogg and Cooney (1980) that the

residents in the host country play an important role in the integration

of immigrants. If the local residents are themselves supportive, then

integration will be more rapid. If the residents are hostile and, for

example, move away when Cubans move into a neighborhood, then the

process of social integration is retarded.

Gallagher (1974) reviews statistics on crime in Dade County,

Florida, and finds that Cuban-Americans were very underrepresented in

all counts except reckless driving. He does, however, observe an

increase in crime within the Cuban-American community over the decade

of the 1960s. Gonzalez and McCoy's (1980) findings were similar; they

attribute increases in crime to drug trafficking and overcrowded living

conditions. Arguelles (1981) finds that Dade County is the center of

right-wing terrorism and a vast drug trafficking network masked by an

idealistic facade that gives the appearance that Cubans are well

established in the community. Alexander (1970) and the Heritage

Foundation (1980) conclude that in spite of the fact that Cuban-

Americans are resented and unwanted by some elements in Miami, they

have nevertheless established a good reputation as being law abiding,

ambitious, and strongly family oriented.

Transcending Ties with the Past

It is interesting to observe that some of the same behaviors which

Smith (1968) documents as occurring within the Cuban-American group

which arrived in the 1960s have also been documented by Rogg and

Cooney (1980) as occurring in the 1970s. Smith finds in his work with

the Early Departure immigrants that these newly arrived immigrants

manifested a strong desire to retain the culture of the island they

left,because they anticipated returning again within a short time, as

soon as the government had changed. "Girls and boys are strictly

chaperoned, social events are structured by close observance of

etiquette, and constant reference is made to 'the way things are done

at home'" (p. 123), meaning Cuba. When this group began arriving in

Tampa, they were at first greeted with hearty welcomes. Within a short

time, they were considered "different." Resentment spread as the

already established Cuban-Americans were portrayed as provincials by

the new arrivals, and the new arrivals were looked on as always talking

about the way things used to be in Cuba. Even today, Cuban-Americans

refer to themselves as "la gente de los tubos" (the people of the

tubes), a play on words using the word "tubo" which sounds like "tuvo"

meaning "he or she used to have." The new arrivals,who have since

become Cuban-Americans themselves,were seen as people who talked about

how good everything used to be and how much they used to have in Cuba.

Cultural patterns

Cuban-Americans are still concerned about their children's welfare,

as Gibboney (1967) and Smith (1968) indicate. Rogg and Cooney (1980)

find that Cuban-American parents believe U.S. children have too much

freedom. Rogg's 1974 study finds 84% of parents in her metropolitan

research area believe chaperoning girls on dates to be very important;

in studying the same population 10 years later, Rogg and Cooney (1980)

conclude that although 15% less Cuban-Americans believe chaperoning is

important, nevertheless, the majority of the community continue to

believe strongly in the custom.

Cuban-Americans are still striving for economic success and social

acceptance and are fearful of anything that may impede their progress.

"Each new wave of Cubans arriving in the U.S. has been traditionally

accused of being composed of persons who accepted communism as a way

of life. This is a cross which all new refugees have had to bear. ."

(Gonzalez & McCoy, 1980, p. 6). Although each wave of immigrants has

had to adjust to the opinions which already established Cuban-Americans

have held about it, the Cuban-American community has been instrumental

in enabling the newly arrived to adapt to life in the U.S. Rogg and

Cooney (1980) believe that the warmth and hospitality of the community

base into which the immigrants enter is also a powerful influence in

lessening the trauma of cultural adjustment. They find living in a

Spanish-speaking, Cuban-American culture within the U.S. does not

appear to inhibit the trend toward assimilation either on the cultural

or English language acquisition dimensions.

Patterns of Emotional Adjustment

In his book on Cuban-American survival in the U.S., Llanes (1982)

sums up the feelings of many Cuban-Americans with the quotation by a

fictitious character, representative of many of the Cuban-Americans he


When you lose a limb to an operation, let's say,
the body adjusts to the loss gradually, but
certainly. The mind may never adjust. So it
is with the refugee. The refugee is a "national
amputee." He can work and function, procreate and

swear allegiance to a new flag, but his mind may
never adjust to the loss of the other life. To
what it might have been. To what it can never be.
(p. 109)

Gallagher (1974) sees the exile as living in a schizophrenic state

within two worlds. To understand the exile's situation, one must

understand the social milieu of immigration.

Sandoval's study (1979) on the use of Santeria, a syncretic system

of African and Catholic rituals and beliefs, as a mental health care

system, and Wetli and Martinez' (1981) work with Santeria and forensic

science, indicate that the reliance on Santeria has not only survived

immigration but has increased as an aid in the acculturation process.

Sandoval suggests that those in the mental health care field who work

with Cuban immigrants and Cuban-Americans should be familiar with

Santeria as an auxiliary mental health support system and should work

collaboratively with it to provide more effective care for these

patients. She finds no conflict between Santeria, which works with

the soul, and traditional mental health care which works with the mind.

Mothers and sons

This sense of loss and process of adjustment has received a great

deal of attention by those professionals working in the field of mental

health within the Dade County area. In studying the acculturation

process of Cuban-American adolescent males and the mothers of adoles-

cents, Szapocznik, Scopetta, and Tillman (1977) conclude that there are

great intergenerational differences in behavioral acculturation within

the Cuban immigrant families with adolescents because the adolescents,

especially males, acculturate more rapidly than the older family members.

It is curious that the longer Cuban immigrant mothers in this study

lived in the U.S., the more help-seeking and less self-reliant they

became. Those mothers who appear to be less acculturated tend to

exhibit more neurotic personalities, and those with more neurotic

personalities are less acculturated. This neurotic adaptation con-

flicts even more with the behavior of the adolescent sons, who are

also in the process of adjustment and who take on more uninhibited,

active, even acting-out behavioral patterns. Szapocznik (1979) finds

that frequently as the family problems progress, the members polarize

so that the older members embrace a more extreme Hispanic style and

the younger members a more exaggerated North American one.

Female Cuban-Americans

Richmond (1973) finds that in order to achieve economic goals

Cuban-American housewives have had to enter the labor force. This

adjustment from housewife to working mother has been a very stress-

producing one for most Cuban immigrant females. Gonzalez and Page

(1979) believe prescription drug use is an adaptive strategy to

alleviate tension produced by the cumulative clash between the female's

socioeconomic status in Cuba and in the U.S. A tradition of self-

medication through curative herbs and patent medicines has combined

with the addition of prescription tranquilizers to produce within the

Cuban immigrant community a drug use system outside the formal patterns

of U.S. drug acquisition.

Teenage Cuban-Americans

In studying teenage acculturation and drug use, Page (1980) finds

that Cuban immigrant youth are confused by the ambivalent feelings ex-

pressed by many North Americans regarding the use of hard drugs and

the warnings of Cuban parents that drugs are a terrible vice. Rejection

of parental heritage is stress-producing for the youth because they

have difficulty reproducing the behaviors they seek to emulate, often

finding these behaviors hollow and unfulfilling.

Educational Achievement

A summary report finds that after several years of instruction in

Spanish and English, Spanish-origin, predominately Cuban, students

participating in bilingual programs were achieving at or above national

and local norms on nationally standardized tests (Dade County Public

Schools, 1981).

The 1961 study by Rinn indicates that non-Cuban teachers are unaware

of Cuban culture. This lack of cultural understanding fosters prejudice

and inhibits acculturation among the students. Gomula's work reveals

that the teachers she observed in 1973 were unaware of the distinct

behavior patterns which Cubans and Anglos exhibited. She enumerates

16 significant behavioral differences in Cuban-American and Anglo

elementary school children and recommends that teacher training include

methods and materials for identifying and understanding the nonverbal

as well as the linguistic communication of these two different cultural


In looking at youngsters within the school setting, Szapocznik,

Kurtines, and Fernandez (1980) find that exhibiting a bicultural

perspective rather than remaining monocultural enables children to

achieve a more effective adjustment to the environment in which they

live. When second generation Cuban-American youth overacculturate

and give up their Hispanic roots, it is not uncommon for them to become

hostile to all authority figures. They may generalize this aggression

to the school setting where they may become highly disruptive dis-

cipline problems. Underacculturated adolescents may display the

opposite behavior, isolating themselves from contact with the "foreign

environment"--the U.S. culture. These children appear withdrawn,

depressed, and often neurotic in their behavior. The researchers

suggest learning sessions would be beneficial for these students. In

the sessions students would explore the ethnic values of the Hispanic

and North American cultures. They would discuss differences in

communication styles and cultural differences and similarities.

English Language Acquisition and Retention of Spanish

Different levels of government assistance have influenced the

Cuban assimilation within the labor market and political structure.

Hernandez (1974) and Rogg and Cooney (1980) believe that the large

segments of the Cuban population experiencing downward occupational

mobility and unemployment could be helped by more extensive English-

training programs, greater access to apprentice-training programs,

and increased financial aid for higher education.

Language appears to be related to the socioeconomic status of

Cubans according to Diaz (1980). Those with greater knowledge of

English have less unemployment and are more likely to have obtained

U.S. citizenship. Lyshkov (1981) sees grandparents living in or near

the home of the core family as the principal agents in maintaining

Spanish as either the primary or secondary language of the home.

Sole (1980) points out the correlation between economic and social

mobility and language shift. For the Cuban-Americans in south Florida

the relationship of language maintenance and socioeconomic status is

not linear but curvilinear. Children whose parents are in either of

the highest or the lowest groups maintain Spanish more often than

children whose parents are in the middle income group. The retention

of Spanish is not surprising for those children who come from the lower

socioeconomic levels, because their parents' position within the labor

force requires little competence in English. At the highest occupational

levels in south Florida, Latins, who are most frequently Cuban-American,

serve their own linguistic community and other Latin American groups.

For this reason Cuban-Americans in the higher socioeconomic levels re-

tain their linguistic and cultural ties. Within the Cuban-American

community in south Florida, the white collar workers in the middle of

the socioeconomic spectrum are the ones who have the most contact with

the dominant society. It is within this middle group that Sole finds

the most language shift toward English.

Summary of the Metamorphosis of Cubans to Cuban-Americans

A variety of demographic data indicate that the Hispanic population

within the U.S. is growing rapidly and that the Cuban-American part of

that minority is becoming an increasingly important subgroup, especially

in the state of Florida. Cuban migration to the U.S. has experienced

six stages, three lulls and three peaks since it began just prior to

the Cuban Revolution of 1959 (Clark, 1982).

The Cuban immigrant experience in the U.S. has been unique in

several ways. The first to leave Cuba were the wealthy and well-

educated. At first many of this group were reluctant to establish

roots because they expected to go back to Cuba as soon as the govern-

ment changed. When the anticipated change failed to materialize, these

Cubans established business relations in the U.S. which enabled them to

integrate into the economic and social systems of this country more

rapidly than other Hispanic groups. Not all Cubans have made the

successful transition to Cuban-Americans, however. They have ex-

perienced underemployment and unemployment. Some have preferred to

remain in ethnic enclaves (Portes, 1969; Portes et al., 1980) rather

than enter mainstream competition. These enclaves are seen as aiding

the immigrants in adapting to U.S. culture (Rogg & Cooney, 1980) by

providing a place of transition between the two cultures.

There are still problems with acculturation. The older females are

seen as the slowest in accepting the cultural patterns of the U.S.,

while young males are seen as the group that acculturates the most

rapidly (Szapocznik, 1979). These differences have brought about in-

evitable generational conflict. Acquisition of English skills has been

difficult for some adults. It is related to the downward occupational

mobility experienced by Cuban-Americans (Diaz, 1981). The Dade County

School System (1981) reports Cuban-American students are achieving at

or above local and national norms. Spanish retention is related to

socioeconomic status also, with the highest and lowest status groups

retaining Spanish most frequently (Sole, 1980).

Life in Cuba

The evolution of the Cuban sociopolitical and educational systems

over the past 24 years since the Cuban Revolution has caused Cuba to

become a very different place from that which the first emigrants left

at the inception of the Revolution. In order to understand the 1980

Cuban immigration and the students on whom this study focuses, it is

necessary to understand the factors which caused the exodus and some

of the elements of the environment in which the students lived before

entering the U.S.

Difficulties in Data Collection

It is to be expected that the majority of the Cubans who have

chosen to live in exile rather than in their homeland would be

negatively biased regarding the Revolution and the current government

of Cuba. This research is based on the writings of both the Cubans

living in exile, as well as those still living in Cuba, because reports

from both groups reveal information on events which have influenced

the students who participated in the research.

Montaner (1981) points out that while the objectivity of the

Cuban exile is frequently questioned, "the first voices which should

be taken into account for an analysis of any historical event are

those of the main actors. Ana priori rejection of the player's

opinions solely because he forms an integral part of the drama is

dangerous" (p. 1).

Although Mesa-Lago's 1969 work points out the unreliability of

the statistics on Cuba since the Revolution, his 1979 work indicates

a willingness, even a desire, on the part of the Revolutionary

statisticians to improve their data collection and dissemination


Travel barriers are a problem both in obtaining permission to

enter the island, and in having access to a research population.

Travel on the island is very limited and extended interaction between

a foreign researcher and a typical group of Cubans is unusual. Most

foreigners are taken to showcase locations and interview only those

who will respond according to government expectations (Mesa-Lago,

1969). Many other authors (Butterworth, 1980; Comin, 1979; Nicholson,

1974) concur on these last points. Mesa-Lago (1969) also states that

the government's screening of visitors is a biasing factor for those

searching for the truth. He finds that almost all publications either

present a very limited amount of information or are strongly biased

against or in favor of the revolution. The work of Black et al. (1976)

also confirms this bias. The 1980 Cuban immigrants interviewed as

part of this research confirm that anyone visiting the island during

the past 20 years could not possibly know what life is like there.

Butterworth (1980) states that the research he was conducting with

Lewis was confiscated and destroyed even though the government had

given permission for the work. Statistics from an underdeveloped

communist country are often more of a tool for propaganda in the

international ideological struggle than a reflection of reality,

according to Mesa-Lago (1969). The problem of living within the

shadows of a hostile superpower has exacerbated this problem for

the current Cuban government (Fuerst, 1981).

Any review of relevant literature on Cuba, or any collection of

interview data must be undertaken and accepted with consideration for

the above constraints.

Cultural Change

In reviewing the changes in political ideology in Cuba, Montaner

(1981) finds that since the Revolution, "there has been a veritable

bombardment of eastern European and Oriental culture" (p. 129),

completely foreign to the natural temperament and character of the

Cuban people. Two factors, he writes, have caused this deviation

from the previous Latin American traditions which Cuba has held:

a wish to imitate the Soviet bloc and a desire to erase from Cuban

memory all traces of their previous sociocultural surroundings (p. 130).

Montaner's observations can be confirmed, in part, by listening

to Cuban radio. The interactions of the communist bloc countries are

lauded and Russian language instruction is provided via the air waves.

Most Cuban publications include the date of publication and a time

marker such as: 1974, "Year of the XV Anniversary"; 1976, "Year of

the XX Anniversary of Granma"; or 1977, "Year of the Institutionali-


Negative image of United States

Montaner continues, "When the U.S. is mentioned, it is done only

to talk about its gangsters or its crimes in Vietnam" (1981, p. 130).

In all the speeches and pronouncements by Castro, Guevara, and other

officials this research reviewed, there was a continuous thread of

denunciation of the U.S. in general, and specifically, Yankee im-

perialism and the blockade. For example, in a 47-page speech which

Castro made at the Second Congress of the Federation of Cuban Women

(1974), six pages were devoted to the problems caused by the U.S.


In reviewing Cuban children's literature and reading texts available

in the U.S., the constant stream of negativism toward the U.S. is highly

visible. In one book designed for very young children, the U.S. is

represented by an eagle dropping bombs on the heads of the Cuban people.

Another, written for older children, glorifies the "war" of the Playa

Giron (Bay of Pigs) and describes in detail the shooting down of U.S.

planes. Wald and Bacon (1981) find that while politics do not intrude

in the nonpolitical literature books they reviewed, "there is a social

point of view in the very air that writers breathe and they cannot

help transmitting it" (p. 255). They also find that historical books

are definitely political. All books are used to express a spirit of

cooperation and to inform children about many cultures and races.

Wald and Bacon believe that it is regretful that because of the U.S.

blockade, Cuban children are deprived of many good English language

books. The negative effects of the U.S. blockade of Cuba is a con-

stantly recurring theme in most publications sympathetic to the


Changes in the Educational System

Bowles (1971) believes that the problems which the Cuban Revolution

has experienced have been due in large part to the legacy which the

Revolution has had to overcome. He lists four main goals for changing

the system: to expand the nation's productive capacities which had

stagnated for 50 years under capitalism; to eliminate dependence on

U.S. and establish interdependence with socialist countries; to

eliminate classism, sexism, and racism; to place labor in a higher

consciousness of creativity and social consciousness, removed from

the objectives of competition and personal reward. All four goals

have at the very center a need to completely revolutionize the

educational system.

Integration of education into total system

Bowles (1971) quotes Guevara as saying, "To build communism, a new

man must be created simultaneously with the material base .

Society as a whole must become a huge school" (p. 472), and Castro as

saying, "Revolution and education are the same thing" (p. 472).

According to Bowles, the learning process must be organized and con-

trolled as a group effort, a collective action to achieve a common


All phases of education have the "fundamental function of implanting

in students the knowledge, skills, allegiance, and value orientations"

(Valdes, 1972, p. 447) that result in building the "new person,"

usually referred to in the masculine, "the new man." Lavan (1967)

reviews Guevara's statement that the Revolution needs cadres of new

people who are loyal to the government, capable of making the correct

dialectical decisions, and of upholding the moral character for which

the Revolution stands. "To build communism, you must build new men as

well as a new economic base" (Lavan quoting Guevara, 1967, p. 126).

To do this, "Society as a whole must be converted into a gigantic

school" (Lavan, 1967, p. 127). Lavan continues quoting Guevara,

They (the masses) follow their vanguard, consisting
of the party, the advanced workers, the advanced
men who walk in unity with the masses and in close
communion with them. The reward is the new society
in which men will have attained new features: the
society of the communist man. (1967, p. 128)

Most of Castro's speeches contain the same ideas about the new man

who is, ". fully committed to equality, brotherhood, and solidarity,

devoid of selfishness and with no need for material incentives, a

human being ready to sacrifice and constantly filled with heroism,

abnegation, and enthusiasm" (Valdes, 1972, p. 447).

Black et al. (1976) report that the government has accepted the

responsibility of providing all Cubans with work at a decent salary,

free schooling, and medical care so the people can be free of the

tyranny of daily care and dedicate themselves to enhancing the

collective prosperity.

Conflicting opinions on educational integration

Montaner (1981) sees this drive toward collectivism from another

perspective. He finds that although the government tries to educate

everyone through the sixth grade level, and offers secondary school

to most, advanced education is available only for those who are

"integrated." The term "integrated" takes on a different connotation

from the meaning usually prescribed to it by North American educators.

To be "integrated" is to become closely affiliated with the governing

group, to become integrated within the organization of the Revolution.

For a more complete understanding, carefully consider Guevara's

statement as quoted by Levan on page 128, cited on the previous page

of this work. Montaner (1981) states that it is no secret,

the high ideological class is the only one which
has access to a university education. No matter
how brilliant he may be, a "Nonintegrated" young
person who does not belong to some revolutionary
organization or who is a Protestant or a
Catholic--will not have the opportunity to
cultivate his talents. (p. 176)

Clark (1977) writes,
Various screening mechanisms operate in such a
way that the opportunities for securing a college
education for one who is not "integrated" into
the revolution are practically nil. For him or
her, in this category, it will most likely result
in a menial job, regardless of talent. (p. 12)

Clark (1979) continues, "The refinement of control attempts to en-

compass even the most intimate thought. The student knows that his

political attitude is being observed in class and in extracurricular

activities" (p. 30). Clark's accounts of the lengthy, detailed

investigations of potential university students' background coincide

with those of recent immigrants who tell of student investigations

at the conclusion of sixth grade. Not only are the teachers and

principal questioned, but block leaders of the groups called the

"Committee for the Defense of the Revolution," CDR, who are required

to supply a great deal of information about the student who aspires

to continue his education. The students tell of having their records

"stained" if they do not attend afterschool meetings and summer camps.

Clark (1979) concludes that the reality of political discrimination

destroys the myth that all Cubans have equal education opportunities.

The initial changes which the Revolution made in transforming

the educational system were to implement a system of collective rather

than individual study and to minimize individual competition and place

it within the framework of collective spirit. The educational system

has been extended to include every phase of material production, not

only the school system as we know it in the U.S.

The Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) is responsible

for the formation of a socialist perspective within the citizenry.

Through the efforts of the CDR, everyone realizes the importance of

the Revolution (Delgado, 1977). One of the major responsibilities of

the CDR is the moral upbringing and proper patriotic instruction of

the children living in the sector. CDR membership includes almost

everyone. CDR members stand 4-hour watches of their sector day and

night. They catch thieves, report truants, and generally keep records

of everything that happens in their geographic region (Black et al.,


Educational achievements

Evidence from other socialist countries shows that the economic

returns for increased schooling are great. Mathematics and technical

science have been stressed at all levels of education so that economic

production can be increased as rapidly as possible (Bowles, 1971).

Until recent times the largest share of the educational budget has

been allocated to primary education. This emphasis on primary

literacy and computational skills for the entire nation has slowed

the advancement of higher education, but it is believed to be the only

equitable way to provide education for all the people and to achieve

social equality absent during previous forms of government (Bowles,

1971; Canfux, 1981; Prieto, 1981).

One of the most remarkable achievements of the Cuban Revolution

is the National Literacy Campaign of 1961 in which almost everyone in

the country learned to read and write, at least functionally (Kozol,

1978; Prieto, 1981). One of the educational programs that followed

the National Literacy Campaign is the Battle for the Sixth Grade

(Canfux, 1981). Both programs have been highly publicized as remark-

able achievements in an underdeveloped country. The two main prongs

of the Battle for Sixth Grade are the effort to keep the literate

graduates of the Literacy Campaign continuing in the educational

process and to provide for workers educational improvement through

on-the-job as well as television instruction. According to Butterworth

(1980), the adult education program is not as well attended as it

might be because adults are required to work long hours and put in

additional volunteer work time. He concedes that adults may also

invent convenient excuses to avoid comforming to the new system.

The exodus of many skilled workers and professional educators

caused a strain on the government's ability to supply teachers and

texts (Read, 1972). The principle that "those who know more teach

those who know less" (Canfux, 1981, p. 230) was employed to overcome

this problem. Nevertheless, the shortage of teachers has been a

serious problem for improving the quality of education (Paulston, 1980).

According to Valdes (1972), discipline has been difficult to maintain

in many instances because many of the elementary and secondary teachers

are very young and inexperienced and quite often do not receive any

cooperation from the students. This viewpoint was expressed by many

early immigrants, but for the most part, the 1980 entrants believe

that the educational system was one of the greatest achievements of

the Revolution. Even teachers who had returned to visit Cuba agree

that the educational system has greatly improved and is now quite


Of the Cuban schools, Moreno Franginals (1982) says,

We do have some very good schools. The problem is
the overall average is not as good as we would like.
We have some outstanding schools in Havana and Santa
Clara and other places, but that's not important.
What is important is that the overall average is
still very low.

The Revolution has incorporated much from the Russian educational

system, of which Bronfenbrenner (1970) writes,

Since each child's status depends in part on the
standing of the collective of which he is a member,
it is to each pupil's enlightened self-interest to
watch over his neighbor, encourage the other's good
performance and behavior, and help him when he is
in difficulty. In this system the children's
collective becomes the agent of adult society and
the major source of reward and punishment. (pp. 49-

Punishment is often in the form of group sanctions and group

criticism. The worst punishment is ostracism from the group. The

individual is taught to act upon the judgments of the group and to

consider group interests above all else.

Vocational education

The lack of learning aids has been resolved, in part, by having

local communities prepare educational materials. In several instances,

factories and schools have been merged together so that secondary

students can combine work and study, thereby increasing production and

the learning of technical skills. This merger also defrays the cost

of education by providing a source of inexpensive labor. Combining

vocational training with factory or agriculture work is a labor

intensive production model which other underdeveloped countries should

consider, according to Eklund (1977). Cogan (1978) also believes

schools in the country are a solution for providing education in under-

developed countries because most countries are faced with increased

immigration to the cities to receive the benefits of education and

medical attention which are more frequently offered in the urban

environment. Taking the urban students to the country for their

schooling can slow and even reverse this migratory process by

systematically directing attention to the rural areas generally over-

looked by youth. The rural environment provides youth with meaningful

activity and study and encourages greater socialization of the youth

within the socialist system (Cogan, 1978; Eklund, 1977).

While the first six grades are compulsory, a secondary education

is viewed as a moral obligation but not a requirement. Throughout

their school careers, students regularly attend class 42 hours and work

in the fields or factories another 4 beginning in the fourth grade.

Students are integrated into the educational system through the process

of giving each student responsibility for some specific task such as

maintenance of the building, collection and preparation of materials,

care of younger children, or cultivation of the school garden or fruit

grove. Even younger primary school students usually have some type

of chores or responsibilities to perform during or after school hours

(Paulston, 1980).

Juvenile delinquency

Salas (1979) has done an extensive review of youth in Cuba and

the problem of juvenile delinquency there, and finds that data are very

sCarce. However, according to his reports, in 1969, more than half the

youth in the 15- to 17-year-old bracket were neither working or attending

school. Special vocational schools for the difficult children were

established. Children also receive training in proper use of leisure

time through mass youth organizations, Pioneers and Union of Young

Communists. Follow-up data on juvenile problems were not available.

One of the major explanations for the presence of juvenile de-

linquency is that capitalism has had a great influence on the culture

of the Cuban people; capitalistic traditions are hard to eradicate.

Educational emphasis has been on love, an emotional quality which is

viewed as being almost completely missing in capitalist societies. Chil-

dren are also taught positive attitudes toward work and social responsi-

bility. They are encouraged to forget about the profit motive and see

work as a pleasurable activity which provides motivation of its own. The

Cuban Revolution has changed children's attitudes toward their parents

so that now many children see themselves as role models for their

parents. They are encouraged to instruct their parents in new ap-

propriate social behavior. This change in role responsibility has

caused some youth to feel superior to their parents and fostered a

gulf between the generations. Because of the strong emphasis on work

and social responsibility, many children have lost the spirit of

youth, Salas (1979) believes.

Cumulative student profiles include academic data, biological,

social and economic data, personality traits, and political evaluations.

Ideological and political assessments are made by student organizations,

the school council, and other mass organizations. This information is

transferred to the work dossier on which data is continually accumulated

during adulthood, according to Salas.

Use of unpaid labor as an educational tool

Mesa-Lago (1972) writes that in Cuba unpaid labor has been con-

sidered not only a means of economic development but "as an educational

tool in the construction of the so-called communist society" (p. 384).

He distinguishes five types of unpaid labor: work performed by employed

men and women after regular work hours; unemployed women's work; labor

performed by students as part of their education; social rehabilitation

work performed by people who have not been able to conform to the

Revolutionary system; and military service, compulsory for all males.

Most unpaid labor is called "voluntary," although there are many social,

political, and economic pressures placed on the workers to volunteer.

While some of these pressures are not unlike those expressed in some

ways in the U.S., they differ in the degree of overtness with which

they are expressed (Montaner, 1981).

Mesa-Lago calculates that by 1967 unpaid labor represented

between 8 to 12% of the regular labor force. Recent immigrants talk

about being required to volunteer a large number of hours of free

labor to be eligible for raffles in which they have a chance to be

chosen to purchase an appliance such as a refrigerator or sewing

machine. Mesa-Lago (1972) concludes that although the use of unpaid

labor may have educational and sociological benefits, it may also have

a negative effect on production in several ways. Greatest of these

is the fact that it reduces work incentive and increases production

costs. Trends show an increase in the formal organization of unpaid

labor, along the lines of military organization, to maximize the

advantages of unpaid labor.

Changes in Female Roles

Prior to the Revolution, Cuban women were expected to exemplify

the traditional Hispanic virtues of "chastity, subservience, and

domesticity" (Black et al., 1976, p. 114). The new Cuban women are

expected to be the opposite: ". active in the work force and in

politics; expressive and open about their feelings, whether political

or personal; and aggressive in their defense of the Revolution"

(Black et al., 1976, p. 115). In addition to strong participation in

the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, they have formed a

separate organization--the Federation of Cuban Women--that has been

very important in raising women's consciousness, integrating them into

the work force and the political system, and achieving for them equal

rights with men. This organization has also been important in civil

defense and for improving the health conditions and environmental con-

trol of the family. In his speech to the Second Congress of the

Federation (1974), Castro said, "The Revolution has in Cuban women

today a true army, an impressive political force" (p. 50).

Garcia (1980) believes that in spite of the Revolution's desire

to form a new role for women and to elevate them to a position of equal

importance with men, cultural expectations for women's behavior have not

changed much since prerevolutionary times. Women are still expected to

be virginal, reserved, and domestic.

Changes in Religious Practices

Statistics on religious practices are difficult to verify because

much religious activity has become clandestine (Clark, 1975). However,

information on religion is important because many of the students and

other adults spoke of deep religious convictions or church membership,

especially in Protestant faiths such as Jehovah's Witnesses. While

Christians are no longer persecuted, there are a variety of social

pressures to dissuade the practice of any religion (Clark, 1975).

Clark (1979) writes that parents who send their children to Catholic

catechism classes receive visits from the children's teachers telling

them that such practices will impede the child's progress within the

educational system. Religious affiliation is also a cause for dis-

missal from a position. Many political and volunteer work meetings

are planned for Sunday, so there is little time to attend church.

Some elements of the Catholic and Protestant faiths have worked toward

conciliation between the church and state. This activity is not

greatly supported; the communists view the practice of religion as a

subversive activity and Christians view communism as anathema (Black

et al., 1976). Montaner (1981) finds that "any form of religious
militancy is a subtle form of counterrevolution, the Protestant

militancy, or that of Jehovah's Witnesses, are the most dangerous"

(p. 78). While much of the strong Catholicism has faded away through

governmental patience, the evangelical movement has strengthened and

poses a thorny problem for totalitarianism, according to Montaner.

Problems of Rationing

In 1962, rationing of almost all products including food, clothing,

and household items began. Rationing was installed to provide more

equitable distribution of available goods and to allow more products

to be exported, thus improving the economic stability of the country.

One of the advantages of attending school or work is the provision of

meals at little or no cost. Black et al. (1976) find that while

rationing still exists, the availability of food has improved.

Currently, infant mortality rate is 23 per 1,000 persons. Only eight

of the 29 Caribbean countries and territories reported had lower rates.
The U.S. reported 14 per 1,000 (Lowenthal, 1982).

Clark's (1979) findings conflict with Black et al. (1976). He

states that the caloric intake of the Cuban diet today is less than

that of a slave living in Cuba during colonial times. A comparison

of Clark's rationing statistics for the years 1969, 1971, and 1974,

with reports given by 1980 immigrants, indicates that Cubans are

consuming one pound less rice per month and five ounces less coffee

per month in 1980 than in 1971 or 1974. They did have four ounces

more of beans and two more cans of condensed milk. Eggs have been

taken off rationing and bread is limited to one pound daily, according

to the 1980 informants. Fresh fruits and vegetables remain scarce and

available only sporadically. The 1980 informants state that although

food is supposed to be allocated every 10 days, supplies are limited

and often arrive at 15-day intervals.

Gordon (1982) reports similar findings in his study of 1980 of

Cuban immigrants. He finds that 25% of the children suffered first

degree malnutrition. Fifteen percent of the adults and 12% of the

children suffered from anemia. Black et al. (1976) state that prior

to the Revolution, it is believed that about 35% of the children

suffered from malnutrition.

By the mid-1970s, much of the military costume worn at the inception

of the Revolution was replaced by more conventional dress--short-sleeved

shirts or blouses with trousers or skirts. Primary and secondary school

students wear uniforms indicating their level of study and location of

their school (Black et al., 1976). Clothing choices reflect not so

much personal preferences as availability. The recent immigrants report

that rationing permits men one shirt, pair of trousers, and shoes for

work and one set for dress per year. Women are allowed 4 meters of

cloth, one blouse, one skirt, and one pair of dress pants and shoes per

year. All items are to be purchased according to the ration book and

purchases can be made only when merchandise is available. According to

immigrants, allocated merchandise frequently is not available except

on the black market for very high prices. Because of the rationing

program, it is not unusual to stand in line several hours only to find

that whatever was available has been sold out just as one's turn comes

up. Clark (1979) concludes that contrary to what has been published

by many U.S. writers, Cubans are not living better than they were

20 years ago. While Clark's evaluation may be subjective, the fact

remains that all segments of Cuban society have emigrated when given

the opportunity.

Summary of Life in Cuba

Data on life in Cuba have been difficult to collect because of a

lack of reliable statistics and the difficulty of maintaining objec-

tivity (Black et al., 1976; Mesa-Lago, 1969; Montaner, 1981). The

cultural change which has occurred as a result of the Cuban Revolution

has affected the immigrants who arrived in 1980.

The U.S. has been blamed for many of the negative events that have

occurred in Cuba. The U.S. blockade is considered responsible for the

lack of books and for the scarcity of many items. Education is seen as

fundamental to the Revolution with instructional emphasis on math and

technology. The desired goal of the educational system is the formation

of a new person who is selfless and willing to strive for the good of

the collective group (Levan, 1972; Valdes, 1972). All phases of the

government system reflect educational goals. Not only are the parents

and the schools held responsible for the children, the local government

agency which exists in every sector of every community, the CDR, is

charged with the moral and patriotic upbringing of children. The CDR

monitors and reports on the students' integration within the political

system. Only those who are closely affiliated with revolutionary ideology

progress beyond the lower levels of the educational system (Clark, 1977).

While Castro (1974) believes women's role in society has changed

as a result of the Revolution, Garcia (1980) sees the cultural expecta-

tions for women's behavior as having changed little since the Revolution.

One of the greatest problems which Cubans face is the scarcity of

material goods. Rationing began in 1962 to alleviate the problems

caused by scarcity. Rationing has resulted in more equitable distri-

bution of some basic necessities and has succeeded in decreasing the

infant mortality. Nevertheless, shortages of food and other basic needs

are a source of great frustration for the island inhabitants.

The 1980 Immigrants

The seeds of the 1980 Cuban immigration were sown in the late

1970s and perhaps earlier. Some of those seeds are still in fertile

ground and continue to grow in 1983.

Historical Background

Most press accounts of this migration begin with the storming of

the Peruvian Embassy in Havana in April 1980, by a group of Cubans

asking for asylum. However, the deepening economic and political

problems within Cuba, as well as the return of over 100,000 Cuban-

Americans bearing gifts and stories about the marvelous life in the

U.S., are important causative factors in the 1980 immigration (Azicri,

1981-82; Gonzalez & McCoy, 1980). By allowing the Cuban-Americans to

return to Cuba for family visits, the Cuban government expected to gain

additional tourist money to bolster the economy, to demonstrate to the

exiles the institutionalization of the Revolution, and to improve Cuba's

human rights image in other countries (Boswell, 1982). When the

Cuban-Americans returned to Cuba, they wiped away, at least temporarily,

the anti-American and anti-exile image which the Revolution had created

over the past 20 years of its existence. Many Cubans had family members

in the U.S., but because of military service and other government obli-

gations, had put aside thoughts of leaving Cuba. With the return of

so many Cuban-Americans, it was impossible for the Cubans to keep

thoughts of leaving Cuba at rest.

Approximately 1% of the Cuban population left in 1980. Figures

from a wide range of official and semi-official sources vary from

124,789 to 125,262 (see McCoy & Gonzalez, 1982, for an example).

Testimony before the U.S. Senate (Committee on the Judiciary, U.S.

Senate, 96 Congress, 1980) indicates that unemployment was high and a

large number of Cubans had asked for permission to leave the country

by April 1980. Clark et al. (1981) believe that by January 1980, 1.5

million people, about 15% of the population, had requested permission

to leave Cuba.

The North American Reception

Ironically, 1 month prior to the 1980 Cuban immigration, the U.S.

Congress enacted legislation dismantling the machinery utilized to

accommodate the previous cohorts of Cuban refugees. Previous refugee

policy was replaced with the 1980 Refugee Act, a bill which sought to

address unresolved immigration problems but which gave the 1980 Cubans

an undefined political status because they did not fit the descriptions

of immigrants or refugees according to this new piece of legislation

(Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, 1982).

On October 1, 1980, Congress passed the Refugee Education

Assistance Act of 1980 to help defray the costs of refugees which have

been incurred by the state and local governments (Department of Health

and Rehabilitative Services, 1982). The political debate over the

appropriation and use of these funds continues as of this writing.

Not only did these Cuban immigrants not receive the warm welcome

experienced by the golden exiles of the Early Departure stage, or

even the consideration given those of the Family Reunion stage, they

were rebuffed in a variety of different ways.

The media

Press coverage of this immigration has been notoriously biased

against the immigrants. Lieberman (1982) finds that the newspapers

". exaggerate the health and criminal threats posed by the

immigrants and, therefore, inflame the prejudicial attitudes of native

Miamians" (p. 10). Kelly, Diederich, and McWhirter (1981) and Chaze

and Lyons (1982) document the rise in crime in Florida over the past

decade and attribute it to the recent Cuban influx. It is interesting

to note the graphics and information provided by these articles show

the crime rate in south Florida was steadily increasing during the

1970s. The Cubans who are supposed to have accounted for most of the

increase did not arrive until the point at which the final measurement

was taken. Other news articles attribute the decline in tourism in

south Florida, in part, to the fear of the criminal element, seen as

largely being the 1980 Cubans (see Gyllenhaal, 1981, and Silva, 1981,

for a review of national press coverage). Silva (1982a) finds that

some refugees are so tired of being referred to as the troublemakers,

they have formed groups to patrol the streets and assist the police

in crime fighting. Another response to the problems is the formation

of Miami Citizens Against Crime, a civic group whose voice was

influential in the formation of Vice President Bush's Task Force on

South Florida Crime (Stein, 1982).

The government

Upon entering the U.S., the immigrants were given the status of
"entrant" rather than "refugee," thus removing the possibility of

federal refugee assistance made available to the two previous Cuban

cohorts (Cuban/Haitian Entrant Program Operating Manual, 1981). On

November 4, 1980, voters decided that Dade County would no longer

function bilingually, and voted to cease the expenditure of county

funds to utilize any language other than English. The anti-bilingual

controversy is considered a grass roots movement against the Cubaniza-

tion of the Miami area. This movement has some support in other parts

of Florida. Anti-bilingual legislation continues to be debated in the

Florida Legislature (Melby, 1982; Watts, 1982).

In spite of the fact that Florida has been a recipient of a large

share of the legal and illegal immigration, it received less than half

of the federal funds made available to the states for immigrant assis-

tance during the period of 1980-81. The bulk of the financial responsi-

bility has shifted from the federal government resources to the state

and counties receiving the impact of the Cuban migration. The resulting

financial drain on local and state resources has presented the local

citizenry with another strong reason not to want to accept the new


Martinez (1982a) calls the children of Mariel political pawns and

believes that Florida's Governor Graham is building on political senti-

ment to improve his personal career by saying that all 1980 Cuban

entrants must prove their claim to political asylum or be returned to

Cuba. Florida's allocation of federal welfare funds for immigrants was

for 18 months, while other states receiving large numbers of immigrants

were funded for 36 months (Department of Health and Rehabilitative

Services, 1982). Herald Wire Service (1982) quotes Graham as indicating

that he will provide the 1980 immigrants with a humanitarian gesture by

helping them move to any of the 10 states that still provide welfare

benefits. This move is seen by some segments of the Miami community as

a means of relocating some of the refugees in other states, thus al-

leviating the burden placed on Florida. A Federal Court Order was

required before aliens, including the 1980 Cubans, were considered

eligible for Dade County welfare benefits. The exact legal status of

these entrants and the determination of their rights is still in limbo

(Boswell, 1982).

To replace the administrative machinery developed and refined during

the two previous Cuban immigrations and destroyed by the 1980 Immi-

gration Act, the Cuban/Haitian Task Force was formed under the auspices

of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This task force incorporated

the participation of many volunteer agencies to assist in immigrant

resettlement (Bowen, 1980). Many publications document the bungling

which occurred as a result of this processing system (Bach, 1980; U.S.

Refugee Programs, 1980). Nichols (1982) believes the federal government

does not yet know the actual number of Cuban criminals who entered in

1980. Government statistics range between 2,000 and 24,000 persons,

with private estimates as high as 50,000 (Nichols, 1982). Rivero (1982),

a member of the Cuban/Haitian Task Force, finds substantial evidence.

that only 18 of 1,600 Cubans incarcerated in the Atlanta federal

penitentiary were hardened criminals. Government handling of the issue

of what to do with the criminal element that came in 1980 confounded

the problem. Rivero (1982) believes government behavior was a direct

response to the strong reactions of the U.S. public toward the 1980


Reception by the Cuban-Americans

An obvious reaction to the notoriety of the 1980 immigrants has

been the behavior of some of the previous Cuban immigrants, now con-

sidered Cuban-Americans, who seek to avoid what they consider con-

tamination associated with a negative image of Cubans (see Gonzalez &

McCoy, 1980, for coverage of problems in south Florida; Rose, 1982,

for Atlanta; Wadler, 1981, for New York-New Jersey).

This reaction can be observed in a variety of different ways. One

evident linguistic marker which Cuban-Americans have adopted to put

historical distance between themselves and the new arrivals and to

establish legitimacy to their residence in the U.S. is the use of time

references which show the period in which the immigrant arrived. It

is common to hear Cuban-Americans say, "In all the 12 years I've lived

on this street ." or "Since 1970, when I came here, I have "

Portes, Clark, and Lopez (1981-82) stress the importance the receiving

community plays in assisting the new immigrants in the acculturation

process. These researchers predict that if the already established

Cuban-American community rejects the new arrivals, the new Cubans will

have a far more difficult time in adjusting. Of the previous cohorts

of Cubans, Portes et al. (1981-82) write,

While similar in many background characteristics
such as occupation, education, urban residence,
etc., it is not likely that the relatively mild
adaptation experienced by these exiles will be
reproduced among those coming recently through
the Mariel boatlift. The rapidity and size of
this flow have taxed not only federal and state
resources but also those of the Cuban community
itself. (p. 23)

The researchers are optimistic that the new inflow ". .. can be

absorbed by the enclave economy rather than shifted to the low-wage

open labor market" (Portes et al., 1981-82, p. 23); the latter being

seen as presenting a more difficult economic situation for immigrants

and one in which most of the other migrating Latin Americans find


Domino Park has become the symbol of the Cubanization of the

southwest section of Miami known as Little Havana. It is a symbol of

the old Cuban style of graceful living, a place where old men gathered

to play dominos and share friendships established long ago on a now

distant island, a place where people can pass by and enjoy a vivid,

picturesque, typically Cuban scene. Before 1980, the park and the

business district where it is located were considered safe, low-crime

areas. Cubans from many different areas of south Florida referred to

the park with pride, and considered it a reflection of the improvement

that they have made to a community which was in a state of economic

deterioration before their arrival. Now there are iron bars on the

store windows in the area around the park. Special police patrol on

foot, horseback, and by car to keep order. Currently, there is a

controversy about whether to close the park, fence it in, or limit its

use to registered, card-carrying citizens. But the controversy is

bigger than the park. It is a controversy between the already

established Cuban-American merchants and businessmen and angry, young

1980 Cubans who arrived with high expectations and found little to

accommodate beliefs that the U.S. was a land of plenty. The polari-

zation of the community cannot be resolved with regulations and

identification cards (Dunlop, 1982; Martinez, 1982c). This hostile

community reaction is not so different from that experienced by

various waves of European immigrants who settled in the Northeast

at the beginning of the century (Gonzalez & McCoy, 1980).

Balmaseda (1981) quotes Mariel entrant Martinez as saying, "Many

refugees refuse to say they arrived by Mariel. They are wrong that

way. They are perpetuating the bad image of the Marielito. If the

good ones admit they are Marielitos, maybe the stigma will go away"

(p. 6g).

The 1980 Cubans seem to have received more than their share of

controversy, as exemplified by the confrontation between movie pro-

ducers and elements of the Cuban-American community over the remaking

of an old Al Capone movie, "Scarface," now a story about a 1980 refugee-

turned dope smuggler and gangster. Not confined to the local scene,

the conflict expanded past the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to

the office of the Governor. In spite of attempts to smooth over

differences, articles opposing the movie continued to appear in a

powerful, local newspaper. The film is now being shot on location

in another part of the country (Associated Press, 1982; Fabricio,

1982a, 1982b; Martinez, 1982f).

Comparison with Previous Cuban Immigrant Groups

New and strange values have been attributed to the recent emigres.

One young man said he and his friends expected to be welcomed as heroes

for the bravery they had displayed in leaving Castro's island, and were

surprised that no one here really seemed to care at all. Others have

said that being in the U.S. is like stepping back in time. They see

U.S. society as being very much like prerevolutionary Cuban society

and feel that they are going backward instead of forward.

According to Martinez (1982d), 2 years have passed since the

immigration and about 30,000 Cubans have not been able to melt into

the great American social melting pot. He writes that a hard core of

refugees ". remain as they were on the day they arrived--poor,

unskilled, uneducated, emotionally fragile, and virtually impossible

to assimilate" (p. la). In the same article, Martinez quotes Portes

as saying that this group suffers as no other previous Cuban group

from stigmatization by both the Cuban and the U.S. governments. A

preliminary report by the Miami Planning Department (Martinez, 1982d)

finds these refugees have created the Cuban slums. All previous Cuban

groups have moved into low rent areas and improved the property values

through their industriousness and enterprise. The planning report

states that the group of Cubans who moved into the Little Havana

section lacks a solid educational background, vocational skills, and