Just read a great paper by colleagues of mine at DDB Alma. It’s all about a tribe called FUSIONISTAS. Basically these are American born teens of Latin American immigrants. English is their first language but they are deeply connected to their Spanish origins. This bi-cultural tribe is extremely interesting as they are constantly evolving their self identities based on the evolutions of both American and Hispanic cultures. Interestingly, when defining their identity they say they are Colombian American or Mexican American etc. They lead with their parental routes, rather than their country of birth. Some key points from the paper:
Music influences how they dress, who they hang with
“Music is one of the biggest influences in my life..being Latina is even better because i can listen to Duranguense or Banda Nortena with my Spanish speaking friends..I can listen to my hip hop, r&b and urban hits with anyone” Sabrina, 19yr old Mexican American living in Chicago.
“I definitely dress according to the music I wake up to in the morning ,anything urban and you can bet that I will be rocking a sweet tshirt/polo and some Nike Airforces. If im listening to El Rocodo, I’m going to dress up to go out dancing, even if it’s a Wednesday.” Sabrina
They love being informed on both cultures and see themselves as culture creators
They love infusing their Latino heritage into mainstream America and see want to be on the cultural avant garde of the US, but from working class routes.
“We have to be in the loop, on the trend – kicks, BlackBerry, technology, we just want to know what’s up, be in the top of the game. We are not only absorbing what is outside: we want to make it our own” Chuey Martinez, LA Dj of Dominican and Mexican extraction.
“We are at the forefronts of so many fads and trends because we are able to navigate both worlds..it’s really cool to be able to say, you know what, i like everything” Rodrigo
Their ‘fusion’ behaviour comes through as they love celebrating American holidays, supporting American football teams and love American fashion and celebrity. However they are much more culturally aligned with their Hispanic roots when it comes to ‘gender roles’ and ‘family’.
Success defined by giving back to FAMILY
“Passion and determination I get from my family; mom, grandmother, aunts, my Dad..hard core Latino work ethics. We are a working class people. I can pay some of my Moms bills now, and that’s the best feeling in the world. That’s the definition of success, when you can give back to your family” Chey.
The key thing with Fusionistas is that they are influencing both their Hispanic friends and the Anglo friends in America by fusing the best of both cultures. It’s interesting to see how this tribe evolves in the coming years.