Normativities and dynamics across cultures can perhaps be best defined in terms of their basic common structures and investments. This is to say that cultures can be distinguished according to various phenomena that orient their greater social discourse. In the case of Latin-American culture, it would seem that this structure is above all centered around the family. This is a significant difference from contemporary mainstream American culture, to the extent that the latter perhaps has different points of emphasis, for example, on economic success and occupation.
This hypothesis becomes feasible when we consider that life experiences in Latin-American culture, such as education, are still centered around the family. Education is made to conform to familial normativities, for example, structuring lunch time breaks at specific times so that the entire family can gather together and share the meal. This demonstrates that non-familial activities in the social sphere are ultimately reconnected to the family dynamic, as the latter are still expected to meet the expectations of the former.
Furthermore, most children do not leave home until they are married, suggesting once again the crucial role of the family in Latin-American culture. In other words, the break from one’s family can only occur when one has shown the commitment to start one’s own family. This shows the permanence and centrality of the family in Latin-American cultural and social life, its basic organizing and structuring principle.
In essence, there is a clear hiearchy in Latin-American social structure, whereby all social norms are made compatible with the preservation of family. Social forms such as education, which in other cultures may represent a certain »maturation« or movement away from the family, are instead thought from within the paradigm of the family.