The interviewee’s name is CS and she is of Hispanic origin. CS’s paternal family emigrated from Mexico to find a better life in the United States two generations ago and first settled in Texas. CS was born in California, United States. Her father had come to America at the age of 16 together with his parents. Her mother is also of Hispanic heritage but of Puerto Rican origin. CS’s mother was born in New York United States but her family later moved to California. Currently, CS works as a restaurant manager and she notes that her income levels have improved since she finished her community college education.
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CS refused to reveal her middle name on the account that it is too difficult to pronounce. She prefers friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances to call her CS and she often finds it too formal when her boss refers to her as Miss S. When I talk to her, she considers me her peer and she can afford to be ‘loud’ and humorous. However, when she talks to the people she considers important her voice is lower and she makes very little eye contact with them and her English accent is often carefully brought out. CS is very proud of her obscure ‘Latino accent’ but she tends to suppress it when she talks to customers at the restaurant.
Family Roles and Organization
Like most other family settings in the Hispanic culture, CS reiterates that family is very important to her (Landale & Oropesa, 2007). CS reveals that her mother has taken care of her for the most part of her life while her father’s role has mostly been to provide for the family. Her grandmother has acted as her main adviser especially during her teenage years. CS also claims that it is expected for grandparents to live with their children once they get older. Even though she lives away from home, CS’s family stays updated about various developments in her life. At this point, CS’s family is pressuring her to get married, as she is educated and employed.
CS’s current position as a restaurant manager is a source of pride for her, her family, and other acquaintances. Consequently, she is very serious when it comes to her job. She always reports to work early and leaves late. At one point, she was insulted by an employee who wondered how ‘immigrants were now in charge of things’. However, CS remarks that she is no longer bothered by the racism and workplace discrimination that is often directed at Hispanics (Triana, Garcia, & Colella, 2010). On the other hand, CS always finds it awkward when Hispanic customers and suppliers speak to her in Spanish while she is not fluent in the language. According to CS, the issue of sexuality is no longer a big deal to her or in her workplace since Obama clarified it.
CS considers herself an oasis of good health because she can eat almost anything and remain in shape. She is also not under any prescription medication and the only problem for her is her long working hours. Consequently, the last time she went to see a doctor she was only advised to rest. According to CS, her good health is inherited from her father’s side of the family because they do not have a history of chronic diseases. However, her paternal family has a history of both heart disease and diabetes. True to her word, CS is observably healthy and as she calls herself ‘a Latino horse’.
High-Risk Health Behaviors
Although she has a healthy BMI, CS reveals that most of her diet is haphazard as she ‘eats anything’. However, she does not smoke and she rarely indulges in alcohol except for a few glasses of wine whenever she goes out with her friends. In addition, CS does not have any history of hardcore drugs. The interviewee reveals that she was fond of driving first the very first months after she acquired a car but she has now adjusted her behavior after a few close encounters. The interview revealed the CS’s most prominent health risk is that she works for about 60-80 hours a week and she rarely engages in physical exercises (Collins, 2009).
According to CS, working at a classy middle-class restaurant gives her access to the finest foods. The chef at her restaurant is fond of serving her exquisite foods as part of the menu-testing exercise. However, CS is fond of rare meats and spicy foods. When she is off-duty, the restaurant manager mostly eats fruits to balance the meat meals that she has while at work. Because she is quite petite, CS has little motivation to work out or even engage in diets. Her eating habits change drastically when she visits her parents as she finds herself eating large quantities of food.
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Pregnancy and childbearing Practices
CS does not have any children now and she is not ready to be a mother until she is married. Consequently, CS mostly relies on condoms as her contraceptive of choice. If she becomes pregnant after marriage, most of her family would be happy to increase their kin. For instance, half her family ‘camped’ at her brother’s house when his wife got a baby two years ago.
For CS, death is not a subject she is too willing to discuss. She notes that all four of her grandparents are alive and she wishes to live long as they have. In America, the Suarez family travels far and wide to attend burials for their loved ones. Most of the burials she has attended have been through internment and they occur within a week after death. The only reason CS would like to be informed about her impending death is so that she might get a chance to straighten out her affairs with God.
CS is a Catholic although she rarely attends church ceremonies as an adult. However, her faith is dear to her and she prays often. She mostly prays in the mornings but she tends to pray more if she is going through trying times. As a child, CS was taught to recite the rosary a practice she engages in even as an adult. Overall, CS derives strength from her belief in God. Consequently, the interviewee constantly prays to God for good health. In the case of chronic health conditions, CS believes that miracles can deliver cures for diseases such as cancer and HIV.
Healthcare Practices and Healthcare Practitioners
The interviewee only regards health precautions that come directly from her doctor. According to her, most people are in the business of scaring others by telling them not to do this or that under the guise of obtaining good health. CS also prefers the ‘traditional’ healing solutions of her maternal grandmother as opposed to mainstream medicine. Consequently, the interviewee only trusts reputable ‘old’ doctors and she often travels back home for medical appointments. For her reproductive needs, CS can only see a female gynecologist. CS’s mistrust of the biomedical system is common within the Hispanic culture (Mead 2008).
Collins, K. S. (2009). Health concerns across a woman’s lifespan. New York: Commonwealth Fund, 2008.
Landale, N. S., & Oropesa, R. S. (2007). Hispanic families: Stability and change. Annu. Rev. Sociol., 33(1), 381-405.
Meade, H. (2008). Racial and ethnic disparities in US health care: A chartbook. New York: Commonwealth Fund, 2008.
Triana, M., Garcia, M. F., & Colella, A. (2010). Managing diversity: How organizational efforts to support diversity moderate the effects of perceived racial discrimination on affective commitment. Personnel Psychology, 63(4), 817-843.