Children have historically been expected to absorb the lesson of that tradition, and mothers have the role of socializing and enculturating children to family norms and structures, which comes down to teaching children their proper role of obedience to their father, although Madsen describes the Latin woman in traditional, conservative households as "a skilled manipulator of her lord and master" (53) on many issue fronts, including but not limited to child-rearing matters.
Fatherly displays of affection to and playfulness with children are confined to the home, since demands on men for public dignidad are so strong. Madsen's analysis is that the main message of childhood enculturation is the authority of the father in particular and male superiority in general. Among the greatest weapons a mother has against disobedient children is that she will "tell your father" (54).
These features of Mexican-American family dynamics are relevant to the present research because they are the dynamics and the culture that children bring with them to the public-school classroom. And the content of what they bring has implications for their experience as users of English, the mainstream culture's language. Hernandez, et al., cite social science research showing that Latinos are more allocentric, or group-oriented, and less individualistic and competitive than non-Latino Whites; sympathetic toward needs of others; familistic,