Recently, Hispanic farm workers have been settling in small towns in the state of Mississippi, steadily displacing the traditional African American workers and following a trend already reported for all the southeast of the United States. Upon their graduation, students from agricultural related professions at Mississippi State University, a land grant university, find themselves having to manage a “new type” of workforce without appropriated knowledge of the language and culture of these workers.This study sought to discover cultural differences that could affect communication between agricultural managers and the Hispanic workforce in the state of Mississippi. Open interviews were conducted with agriculture majoring students at Mississippi State University, agriculture Hispanic workers, community leaders, crew leaders, and farmers. Interviews revealed Americans assume that everybody is literate in his or her own language, and that Spanish is the only language among Mexicans and Central Americans. American interviewees also had difficulty recognizing hierarchy among workers, and different connotation in alcohol consumption. In addition, they did not understand that in the Hispanic culture respect is more personal than in the USA.
|Keywords:||Agricultural Enterprises, Hispanic Workers, Attitude, Stereotypes, Culture|
Foreign Language Instructor, Department of Foreign Languages, College of Arts and Sciences, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA
Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA
Professor and Associate Dean, College of Education, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA
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