Are Chicanos the same as Mexicans?
Here is a "taxonomy" that may be a useful reference for this topic:
This term is used frequently in the United States to refer indiscriminately to any person that speaks
Spanish. As such, it is imprecise and often inappropriate in that it includes people from more than two
dozen countries, spanning all of the American continent, the Caribbean and Spain. The term does apply
specifically, however, as the proper name for the native people of Spain, and for this reason it is as
incorrect to use it to refer to any and all Spanish-speakers as the term "English" would be to refer to
citizens of New Zealand, Australia or the United States.
This term is often used to refer collectively to all Spanish-speakers. However, it specifically connotes a
lineage or cultural heritage related to Spain. As many millions of people who speak Spanish are not of
true Spanish descent (e.g., native Americans), and millions more live in Latin America (cf., "Latino"
below) yet do not speak Spanish or claim Spanish heritage (e.g., Brazilians) this term is incorrect as a
collective name for all Spanish-speakers, and may actually be cause for offense.
This term is used to refer to people originating from, or having a heritage related to, Latin America, in
recognition of the fact that this set of people is actually a superset of many nationalities. Since the term
"Latin" comes into use as the least common denominator for all peoples of Latin America in recognition
of the fact that some romance language (Spanish, Portuguese, French) is the native tongue of the majority
of Latin Americans, this term is widely accepted by most. However, the term is not appropriate for the
millions of native Americans who inhabit the region.
Specifically, the nationality of the inhabitants of Mexico. Therefore, the term is used appropriately for
Mexican citizens who visit or work in the United States, but it is insufficient to designate those people
who are citizens of the United States (they were born in the US or are naturalized citizens of the US) who
are of Mexican ancestry. The various terms used to properly designate such people are described below,
however, it is important to explain why these people feel it is important to make such a distinction. US