Mid-scale, middle-aged and somewhat ethnically-diverse families living in homes supported by solid blue-collar occupations
In Family Union, a mix of Hispanic and white families live in middle-class comfort within the sprawl of major metropolitan areas. Many of the households contain older, Mexican immigrants and their children who have worked hard, settled in modest houses and established a comfortable lifestyle for their families. They tend to live in multi-ethnic and multi-lingual neighborhoods, some speaking Spanish in shops and cafes, driving used American sedans and minivans, and filling their homes with food and decorations that remind them of their homeland.
The four segments of Family Union are found across the country, especially in the West and Midwest in cities like El Paso, Texas, Albuquerque, N.M., and Los Angeles, Calif. Members of this group typically own small ranch and revival-style houses valued at below-average levels. Compared to past generations who clustered in downtown apartments, almost all of these residents are homeowners and live in established, inner-ring suburbs. On neat streets with landscaped lawns are the signs of middle-class status: boats, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. Half of all households have lived at the same address for more than a decade.
Family Union have only average educations, with one-quarter of household heads having failed to finish high school and about 15 percent having college diplomas. But they earn mid-scale incomes thanks to multiple workers - nearly one in five households contain a young adult living at home - who hold jobs in blue-collar and service-sector occupations, such as construction, manufacturing, transportation and food services. Despite their working-class jobs, they’ve managed to achieve middle-class status through determination and a yearning for personal achievement. They’re most likely to say, "I'm willing to give up time with my family to advance".
Family Union are vibrant and active. At home, many of the Hispanic families speak Spanish, celebrate Latin holidays and keep up with Latin news and music. They go out to movies, bars, comedy clubs and dance performances, and they engage in plenty of sports with their families, including soccer, baseball, basketball and boxing. When they go out to eat, they’re more likely to go to a local eatery or a fast-food chain like KFC, El Pollo Loco, Del Taco or Little Caesar’s. Nearly half have traveled to a foreign country in the last three years, typically Mexico, Cuba or the Dominican Republic.
Family Union like to shop. They like to keep up with the latest fashion and make a unique statement with their apparel. They tend to frequent neighborhood stores where they know the clerks and feel comfortable. However, if they want something with a designer label, they head to discount department stores. With a tendency to buy MP3 players and flat-panel TVs, these family-centered households like to equip their homes with the latest appliances - even if they end up buying discount brands.
Family Union thrive on traditional media. They listen to the radio, especially stations that play salsa, Latin ballads, Mexican music, modern rock and classic rock. They like joining their children to watch Disney, Nickelodeon and MTV2. Though they have subscription rates for newspapers, they do enjoy reading Spanish and English magazines such as American Baby, Cosmopolitan, Hot Rod, Maxim and Popular Mechanics. These households like advertising - whether it appears on buses, in movie theaters or in magazines - to learn about the products in the marketplace.
Family Union belong to informal community networks centered on family and friends. But few are members of more formal organizations like PTAs, unions or arts associations. They have below- average rates for registering to vote, but those households that are politically involved tend to be Democratic, though of a conservative stripe. On economic issues, however, they’re liberal and want few barriers to challenge their desire for upward mobility.
Family Union make only modest use of the Internet. They tend to go online using their mobile phones or desktop computers, and those who can’t afford home Internet access log on at their local schools or libraries. Many go online to communicate, participating in chat forums and message boards and sending instant messages and electronic greetings to their friends and relatives. They also use the Internet to download music, watch videos, visit children’s Websites, shop for cars and check out job classifieds. Favorite Websites include craigslist.org, univision.com, gaiaonline.com and webkinz.com. However, they’re not yet comfortable with shopping online.