Marketers today have accepted, for the most part, the fact that U.S.-born, bilingual Hispanics, a.k.a Biculturals, need "special treatment", and that by appealing to their unique nature, they can be more successful in engaging with the fastest growing Hispanic segment.
But is the bicultural "magic" being passed on to a new generation of Hispanic children? Are these Bicultural Hispanics raising children that will continue to honor and celebrate their biculturalism or are the children of Fusionistas destined to become a typical third generation that will continue to recognize its Hispanic heritage but feel, and act, more and more American?
We had the nagging suspicion that many marketers might think that this new generation of Hispanic children would be less and less Hispanics. That even though they are being raised by Bicultural parents that love and celebrate their Fusionista spirit, these kids will grow up to be even more similar to the "general market" and that their attachment to the Hispanic culture will get weaker, more diluted, less defining of who they are.
We set up to find out if this was true. We reviewed and analyzed data, facts and trends on Hispanics today and we conducted primary research, using an online community, to go directly to the source: Fusionista Moms. We wanted to know how they identified themselves as moms --Hispanic, American or Bicultural, and what the "label" meant; how important, if at all, was to raise Bicultural kids; and how they negotiated roles and responsibilities with their partners, who, in many cases, don't share the same cultural background as them.
After five weeks of conversations with 24 Fusionista moms, we learned that there's nothing typical about them or their children. They do view themselves as Bicultural moms that love their dual heritage and even consider it an advantage for them and their children. As moms, being Fusionista gives them access to an arsenal of values, traditions and languages that they feel complement and enhance each other, and make them better moms. As for their kids, they believe that by teaching them about their Hispanic heritage and how it can beautifully come together with American values and lifestyle, they will not only inherit the best from both cultures, but will be open to understanding and incorporating other and multiple cultural influences onto their own style of Fusion. Even further, the rise of intermarriage is contributing to push and evolve the Fusionista spirit by making negotiation and conciliation essential parenting tools that Fusionista moms are teaching to their kids by "leading by example."
These moms corroborated that, despite the generalized notion that third generations are bound to "assimilate", Hispanic culture and the Fusionista Spirit are alive and well among this new generation of Hispanic children, a new generation we like to call Fusionistas 2.0. And furthermore, they reminded us that the future of the Hispanic market is bright and that those who really understand it will be better suited to win with this important group.
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