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A new book, “Why Mexicans Think & Behave the Way They Do!–The Cultural Factors that Created the Character & Personality of Mexicans,” should be of extraordinary interest and use to business people, immigration officials, law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and those planning on visiting Mexico as tourists.

Written by Boyé Lafayette De Mente, internationally known for his business and cultural-insight books on China, Korea and Japan, the book not only points out the cultural pitfalls and misunderstandings most people encounter when dealing with Mexicans, it provides pointers on how to avoid these problems and turn the experience with Mexicans into a plus.

Mexicans have a saying: Como México, no hay dos! (There is no other place like Mexico!), and author De Mente not only agrees, he recounts in vivid detail the cultural factors that created the unique character of Mexican men and women.

He writes: “Mexico’s traditional values and morals were forged in a caldron of aggressive racism, religious intolerance, male chauvinism, corruption and an elitist political system that connived with the Catholic Church to keep ordinary people ignorant and powerless and deny them the most basic human rights.

“But,” he adds, “the reality of Mexico has always been obscured behind a variety of masks–of piety, pride, courage, gaiety, indifference and stoicism.”

De Mente relates how the sexual miscegenation policy of the Spanish conquistadors who destroyed the Aztec empire, and the Spanish administrators and military forces that followed them, created a new race of mix-bloods–mestizos–whose only source of pride and dignity–for mestizo men in particular–was an extreme form of machoism and personalism that was to plague the country down to modern times.

“Personalismo or personalism was and still is the foundation of Mexican society–in business as well as in social relationships,” he says. “It still rules the lives of Mexicans to a degree that is both fascinating and frustrating, especially to Americans.”

De Mente also explains the traditional Mexican view and use of time, of truth, of respect, of face, and the simpatico syndrome. He says that the historical Catholic Church-inspired taboo against criticism of any kind–of anybody about anything–was the primary factor in the continuation of the negative facets of Mexican culture down to recent times.

He goes on to say that despite the fact that the traditional character of Mexicans is a mixture of medieval Catholicism, traditional Indian and Spanish authoritarianism, machoism and self-serving personalism, it has another face: an inherently joyful nature that manifests itself in music, singing, dancing and art.

“For Mexicans life is very personal, very intense,” he adds. “One is always on a stage; with every action, every word, subject to careful scrutiny that must measure up to cultural standards of courtesy, dignity, pride and self-respect in a virtual world based on situational ethics and morality instead of principles.

“But,” he continues, “the same character and personality attributes of Mexicans that often frustrate foreigners in their attempts to understand and deal with Mexico can also make life there deeply satisfying emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.”

“Why Mexicans Think & Behave the Way They Do” removes the masks that have traditionally obscured the realities of Mexican culture, and in doing so provides invaluable insights that make it possible to both understand and deal more effectively with Mexico.

Other books on Mexico by De Mente include “There’s a Word for It in Mexico!–The Complete Guide to Mexican Thought & Culture” and “Romantic Mexico–The Image & the Realities!”

8 Responses to “Why Mexicans Think & Behave the Way They Do!”
  1. Eddie B. says:

    Must be a really slim book.

  2. Mountain Man says:

    De Mente relates how the sexual miscegenation policy of the Spanish conquistadors who destroyed the Aztec empire, and the Spanish administrators and military forces that followed them, created a new race of mix-bloods?mestizos?whose only source of pride and dignity?for mestizo men in particular?was an extreme form of machoism and personalism that was to plague the country down to modern times

    The spainish really know hw to screw up a Continent don’t they?

  3. Jimmy says:

    a new race of mix-bloods?mestizos?whose only source of pride and dignity?for mestizo men in particular?was an extreme form of machoism and personalism that was to plague the country down to modern times

    Yea, they are a plague alright.

    First they plague the perfectly good real estate that is called Hispanistan,
    opps mejico. Now they plague our’s. Of course in their sick minds, what
    is ours is really theirs.

    ‘Pride’. Laughable, and oh so sick………

  4. Vincent Narodnik says:

    The absence of a correspondence between THOUGHT and BEHAVIOR is what I am most interested in pertaining to Mexicans.
    I have extreme difficulty seeing any of their behavior having root in thought of any kind
    The seem to be mostly big balls of quivering and undisciplined emotion-ready to take offense and fly off the handle at even the slightest real or imaginary provocation.
    It seems also that even their “thought” is rooted in emotion, which is always suspect. Not all emotion, mind you, but only those of the red color spectrum (so to speak) Rage, Fury, Lust, Pride, etc. These are the emotions that form the seed of Mexican “thought”. Again; I aint buyin it.
    Long story short:
    As soon as Mexicans begin to recognize: A] a NECESSARY correspondence between thought and behavior -and B] recognize that Thought is the boss of the human person, and that all other things are subject to it >behavior especially

  5. Sandman says:

    Situational ethics rules the road south of the border no doubt. In Razaland an unlocked bike means that you don’t care enough about it to bother locking it, THEREFORE the thief deserves the scored merchandise and will brag about how easy it was to take. Its you know, MACHO! It also serves the purpose of sticking another knife in “Whitey” before the takeover is complete.
    At the same time we have these far-left Nanny-Staters who would be more than happy to go bankrupt to support the invasion. These types seem to ignore all the negative effects of a 3rd world invasion and demonize American citizens who protest it. Mexicans are fine…IN Mexico, This cultural soup the Globalists are churning has wAAAy too much spice. Its getting harder to swallow every day.

  6. seven_staarten says:

    ?But,? he continues, ?the same character and personality attributes of Mexicans that often frustrate foreigners in their attempts to understand and deal with Mexico can also make life there deeply satisfying emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.?

    ergo, they are happy living in sh!t, and spread it every where they go.

  7. Educated American says:

    I think I need to read that book. It’s that whole exaggerated sense of machismo that I have found to be the most frustrating thing. The mention of Catholicism contributing to a sort of groupthink is interesting. That is a touchy thing to bring up with Catholic friends, but I believe there is something to that historically. I.E. once Luther’s spiritual revolution was complete, applying the same questioning of central authority was then brought to the realm of political philosophy. At least in America - a mostly Protestant nation in the 1770’s. (I’m not saying Protestants are “blessed” or anything like that. Just a “right philosophy, in the right place, at the right time” sort of thing.) Of course, the French Revolution sort of blows my little theory out of the water because France was a Catholic nation. But hey, they had guys like Voltaire, Montesquieu, and others pointing towards the light. The disdain among SOME Mexicans for academic knowledge is another riddle for me. As a teacher, I’ve seen the whole spectrum among kids of that background from best student in the class to lazy bum/wanna-be gang members. We should be careful not to generalize too much, but I HAVE noticed a trend over the years.

  8. The Watchdog says:

    I’ve noticed that Salvadorans and Guatemalans don’t seem to have the same inflated arrogant sense of themselves that Mexicans do. In general, people who identify themselves as “Mexican,” when they are not even citizens of Mexico are complete jackasses.

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