Friendship, Understanding

  • Rogelio Diaz-Guerrero
  • Lorand B. Szalay
Part of the Cognition and Language book series (CALS)


In a recent study of Hispanic and Anglo American cultural differences (Szalay et al., 1978a) we concluded that interpersonal relations is probably the most important and most characteristic domain shaped by cultural factors. It is also one of the least understood domains plagued by considerable ambiguities and apparent contradictions. On certain specifics there is considerable consensus; for instance, Hispanic Americans are broadly recognized as being gregarious people enjoying and cultivating a life of rich interpersonal relations (Gil, 1976; Rogler, 1940; Wolf, 1966). There is also a consensus that Hispanic Americans have little interest in being alone or even in the idea of privacy, while mutual aid and cooperation have broad popular appeal (Kagan and Madsen, 1971; Kagan, 1977; Buitrago, 1970). In contrast to an assertive, competitive posture dominated by self interest, Gillin (1965) observes that Hispanic social relations are inspired by such values as respect for inner worth and dignity of others. Since Margaret Mead’s observation (1951) that Hispanic Americans value interdependence and modesty rather than assuming an aggressive, competitive posture, similar observations have been made again and again.


Interpersonal Relation Competitive Posture Traditional Group Mexican Culture Considerable Ambiguity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rogelio Diaz-Guerrero
    • 1
  • Lorand B. Szalay
    • 2
  1. 1.National University of MexicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Institute of Comparative Social and Cultural StudiesChevy ChaseUSA

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