Spanish Reference Library

Mexican Culture & Society

The Family

The family in general is very close knit and a large size. It is pretty much the center of the social structure. Most Mexican families keep many traditions alive, of which the most important is the father is: the head of the family, the authority figure and the decision-maker. Mothers are greatly revered, but their role may be seen as secondary to that of their husband as long as he is alive.

When it comes to helping other family members, Mexicans consider it their duty and responsibility to help them out. For example, they will help find employment or finance a house or other large purchase - sometimes almost going into debt themselves. The extended family is considered just as important as the nuclear family since it provides a sense of stability.

A Hierarchical Society

Mexicans emphasize hierarchical relationships and they are very well aware of how each individual fits into each hierarchy, be it family, friends or business. It would be disrespectful to break the chain.

Mexican society and business are highly stratified and vertically structured. Rank is also very important, and those above you in rank must always be treated with respect. This makes it important to know which person is in charge, and leads to an authoritarian approach to decision making and problem solving. People respect authority and look to those above them for guidance and decision-making.

Mexican Machismo

Machismo literally means 'masculinity'. Mexican males generally believe that nothing must be allowed to tarnish their image as a man.

There are different outward behaviors to display machismo. For example, making remarks to women is a stereotypical sign of machismo and should not be seen as harassment.


1. Facts and Statistics

2. Languages in Mexico

    a. Mixtec

    b. Nahuatl

    c. Spanish

    d. Yucatec Maya

    e. Zapotec

3. Culture & Society

4. Social Etiquette and Customs

5. Dining Etiquette

    a. Table Manners

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