The Assimilation of Culture and Maintenance of Ethnic Identity in the Italian American Community

In: Historical Events

Submitted By bungaraya
Words 2902
Pages 12
Introduction

Italian immigrants migrated into the US together with many of their Europeans neighbors. When they first came to US most of the migrants had a very hard life. Arriving in a new country, the Italian migrants mostly had very little money and had no idea of their new place apart from US being the land of opportunity. The lack of resources and contacts in the new country prompted many of these immigrants to settle down in the place the first set down.

These immigrants came from various parts of Italy they were scattered all around the US. This paper will look at the common menu of those Italian migrants and look at how it has involved in the community that is now known as the Italian-American. This essay will mainly try to address the significant issues of the process of ethnic identity.

This paper will argue that the role of family is very important in advocating ethnic identity. The influence of a very rigid and traditional family institution helped the Italian immigrants whom in the end were known as Italian American to maintain their identity. This is fascinating because despite undergoing changes from generations to generations their tradition is still very much alive and important to them. The paper will further argue this point by looking, the transmission of ethnic consciousness amongst the Italian American.

Last but not least we will look at the maintenance of ethnic group boundaries and most importantly, the role of food in such process. Overall, this essay aims to look at the evolution of the Italian migrants in America and how this has affected their everyday food.

This paper will articulate all the forwarded arguments and try to answer the main question of whether Americanization disintegrated the original Italian culture and traditions amongst the migrants or have their community managed to stand by their roots and…...

Similar Documents

The Assimilation of Culture and Maintenance of Ethnic Identity in the Italian American Community.

...Introduction Italian immigrants migrated into the US together with many of their Europeans neighbors. When they first came to US most of the migrants had a very hard life. Arriving in a new country, the Italian migrants mostly had very little money and had no idea of their new place apart from US being the land of opportunity. The lack of resources and contacts in the new country prompted many of these immigrants to settle down in the place the first set down. These immigrants came from various parts of Italy they were scattered all around the US. This paper will look at the common menu of those Italian migrants and look at how it has involved in the community that is now known as the Italian-American. This essay will mainly try to address the significant issues of the process of ethnic identity. This paper will argue that the role of family is very important in advocating ethnic identity. The influence of a very rigid and traditional family institution helped the Italian immigrants whom in the end were known as Italian American to maintain their identity. This is fascinating because despite undergoing changes from generations to generations their tradition is still very much alive and important to them. The paper will further argue this point by looking, the transmission of ethnic consciousness amongst the Italian American. Last but not least we will look at the maintenance of ethnic group boundaries and most importantly, the role of food in such process.......

Words: 3263 - Pages: 14

Culture and Identity

...Culture and Identity Outline, what the term ‘Culture’ may be taken to mean and then explain the ways in which it is transmitted by the wider society and the effects that this may have for individual members of the society . Introduction: Society and Culture are interlinked, thus sociology defines society as two or more people who interact in such a manner as to share a common culture. Therefore culture is seen as a vital factor of sociology. Culture can be defined as common beliefs, behavior, objectives or characteristics formed within a group of people or society. People tend to define themselves with to a particular culture. In other words culture is a common set norms formed within a group of the society or a society to which people identify themselves to. This essay aims to explain in which ways culture is transmitted within the society and the effects this may have on individual members of a society. The essay will look at concepts of culture in terms of mass and folk culture. Furthermore it will take into consideration age, gender, social class and ethnicity, which will help to understand the interrelationship between self, identity and socialization. To understand culture in modern world better, the essay will aim to analyze the link between cultural consumption and identity in the modern society. Main body: According to Linton (1945) culture of a society is the way of life of its members; a collection of ideas and thoughts, which they learn and......

Words: 1461 - Pages: 6

American Ethnic Literature

...What makes American literature American? America has long been fans of the superior writers, such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald for their various works including “The Great Gatsby” and “The Old Man in the Sea”, America has been known for its fondness of short stories. American literature aims to embody the values and morals of the American culture. The foundation of American values include the rights to liberty, justice, freedom, equality, love, and family, American literature usually will be centered in one or more of these ideals. American literature incorporates the story of an American character and their encounters with the land and the people, exemplifying the human need to control and understand their environment. “Whitman emerges here both as an exemplar of the dominant literary theory and as a precursor of our contemporary value schema, with its enshrinement of the "me" (San Francisco Chronicle (Pre-1997 Fulltext)). Whitman was known for his fresh perspectives of the past and domination of literary theories. What is literary canon? How does literary canon relate to what is going on in society? Literary canons are the classifications of books and their influence upon the culture and society of a specific region or country. Literary canons outline the influential literature of a culture, society, country, or secular community. Society looks to literary canons to understand cultural influence and to research the issues that are most important to the people of the......

Words: 1099 - Pages: 5

Ethnic Identity Construction

...Abstract The point of this paper is to help the reader grasp the different aspects of human identity construction with regards to ones race and/or ethnicity. This is a topic that is incredibly important to all races of people regardless of economic class or whatever else is seemingly more important. It is quite impossible to go throughout life without forming an idea of who you are or where you have come whether you care to make it a part of your daily life, have no choice or acknowledge it when it is convenient; without that knowledge I find it difficult to fully make the most of life. Through the readings from the semester and class discussions I have come to the conclusion that White ethnics choose to either assert their ethnicities thickly or thinly, or they chose to incorporate it into their lives symbolically. Blacks on the other side of the spectrum lack choice in their racial identity because their race is visible and so it is assigned to them. Asians have both the ability to choose to assert their specific ethnicities but they are racially assigned. The issue with racial and ethnic construction is that it is born of social construction-what others believe of your race to be true. This can make the identity construction process much more difficult depending upon your racial or ethnic background. Regardless, I find this to be an important part of the identity construction journey. How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. ...

Words: 5152 - Pages: 21

Ethnic and Ego Identity

...24 (2000) 777–790 The relationship of ethnic identity and ego identity status among adolescents and young adults Curtis W. Branch*, Priti Tayal, Carla Triplett Columbia University, New York, USA Abstract A multi-ethnic sample of 248, ages 13–26, was used to examine the effects of age, gender, and ethnic group membership on ethnic identity and ego identity scores. Subjects were recruited from college and public schools in a large northeastern metropolitan area. The multigroup ethnic identity measure (MEIM) was used to assess ethnic identity and ego identity status was measured by the extended objective measure of ego identity status (EOMEIS). An age by ethnic group design was employed. Consistent findings of significant ethnic group differences in levels of ethnic identity were observed. Age and ethnic group were found to contribute differently to ethnic identity and ego identity status. The relationship between ethnic identity and ego identity status was found to be pronounced among subjects of color but not as dramatic as hypothesized. # 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Ego identity status; Ethnic identity; Adolescents; Adults 1. Introduction The ways adolescents attempt to resolve their identity crises are idiosyncratic to each individual and their life circumstances. Despite such diversity of approach to the ‘‘Who am I?’’ question, some variables seem to consistently contribute to the adolescent identity resolution process. Family type (one-......

Words: 6211 - Pages: 25

Italian Americans

...Italian Americans I loved my native Italy. I loved everything about the ties and the bonds we had with our families. We enjoyed each other and worked to keep the family as one. All we had was each other because as southern Italians, we had little resources and were disrespected by the northern Italians. There was a separation of classes and the southern regions were considered the less fortunate, and we suffered within our own country. The Italian government was predominately made up of northern Italians which made life difficult for the southerners. Our taxes on northern goods were hiked up and our property taxes were very high (Mintz 2007). Time had passed and my father decided that we had to leave Italy and re-locate ourselves in a new country. The state of southern Italy was the reason we had to leave. The poverty, the disasters, the bad conditions of living was no longer acceptable by my parents and my father’s decision was to move to American where we could start a better life. Starting a new life I can agree with, but a better life, I beg to differ. Coming to this new land called America was a shock to my system as I had never expected. To begin, my family and all the other families that came across the ocean were not welcomed with open arms. We were piled through like animals, being tested for diseases and being called strange names. The American people could not pronounce our family name correctly and suddenly our names were pronounced in an American......

Words: 980 - Pages: 4

The Italian American Cinema

...AN ! ! The Italian American Cinema ! ! The crucial and influential part of the American Cinema represents the Italian American Cinema. The Italian American Cinema can be defined as films made by Italian Americans about relationships between Italians and Americans in the United States (Moliterno 2002:433). The Italian cinema has been appreciated and adored in the United Stated from its beginnings. Especially valued were its artistic and cultural quality, as well as the ability to transmit the values of the European history into films (Brunetta 2009:9). The reciprocal influences between Italian and American cinema date back to 1912 and have a Polish accent: in that year George Kleine, a film distributor from Chicago, purchased distribution rights to the film Quo vadis? based on the novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. After 1912 numerous Italian films flooded America: frequently used motives were Napoleonic campaigns and Homeric battles. Popular titles of movies from that period include Cajus Julius Caesar, Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (The Last Days of Pompei), Spartacus among many others. Historicalmythological films became inspirational for such directors as David Llewelyn Wark „D.W.” Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. After World War I popularity in the United States of America gained stars of the early Italian cinema: Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli and Pina Menichelli (Brunetta 2009:10). Another crucial moment in the relationship of American and Italian film industry......

Words: 1073 - Pages: 5

Community & Identity

...Draft #4 Community and Identity What is identity? To begin, there are two main components to understanding this rather complex and hard to define concept. First, everyone has a fixed identity. These are the aspects of a person in which he or she has no control over and cannot change, such as gender, sexuality, and race. Then there is natural identity, which is assembled by discourses and experiences throughout life. Natural identity is relational and constructed based on one’s own personal beliefs and values, as opposed to one’s fixed identity, which is based on characteristics and culture. Unfortunately, individuals let the unchangeable aspects of their identity limit them from creating their own unique identity. This can be due to societal views that expect an individual conform to the public image associated with his or her gender, race, and sexuality. “Losing Matt Shepard” by Beth Loffreda explores what she calls “The Limits of Identification”, and how these limits may have impacted the anti-gay murder of Matt Shepard. Similarly, “The Naked Citadel” by Susan Faludi could also be described as a text centrally concerned with the limits of identification, by exposing a connection between the image that men are expected to maintain by the general public and the behavior of the cadets in the Citadel. A community has the power to define an individual’s role based on gender, sexuality, or race, ultimately limiting his or her identity. The structure of every community is......

Words: 2114 - Pages: 9

Assimilation, Transnationalism and Ethnic Pluralism

...Assimilation is a process in which minority immigrant groups come to adopt the dominant majority culture and become socially incorporated into majority society. Pluralism can be defined as conditions that produce sustained ethnic differentiation and continued heterogeneity. Ethnic pluralism never entails an absolute separation of groups. Transnationalism represents any social process that occurs across national borders. Transnational migrants are migrants who constantly cross national borders and are not staying in one particular country. There are different types of migrant transnationalism, including economic transnationalism, and political transnationalism. The processes of assimilation, ethic pluralism (multiculturalism) and transnationalism are all connected with the globalization, but they imply some specific features, which make the difference between these processes significantly noticeable. In his work "Race and Ethnic relations" M. Marger points out, "Like assimilation, pluralism entails several dimensions and forms. In all cases, however, the retention or even strengthening of differences among ethnic groups is presumed. Thus, in general sense, pluralism so the opposite of assimilation" (Marger, 172). The similarity between ethnic pluralism and transnationalism is expressed in the fact, that both of them, though in different ways, are tending to show the erosion of central elements of the national state. The concept of multiculturalism emphasizes growing......

Words: 313 - Pages: 2

Italian Culture

...Italian Culture in America John Smith Psych 105 Dr. Diop Spring, 2012 Italian Culture in America America is known to be the country where most people from outside immigrate to, not only bringing their families but also their traditions with them. “According to the 2000 U.S. Census, almost 16 million Italian Americans live in the United States” (Quagliata, 2011, p. 1). Most immigrants that come to America lose their heritage; however, that is not the case for the Italian culture. Not only did Italians incorporate a style of living in America, they also brought their traditions into the country as well. Some of the customs they brought with them include their food, their game of bocce ball, their religion, and their way of greeting one another. Italian Food When thinking of the Italian culture, the first thing that comes to mind is their food. Cinotto (2000) states, “Since food is a cultural artifact, imbued with meanings and values, the cross-cultural consumption of Italian cuisine is a significant marker of the way in which others see and imagine Italy and the Italians” (p. 1). Pasta, parmesan, and cannoli’s are probably the most popular and most known Italian foods. With the way many Americans fell in love with the Italian food, it soon became part of the American culture as well. The Italian immigrants brought over their historical foods and formed new eating habits for the Americans, and most of the Italian food was shaped in Little Italy where the...

Words: 1253 - Pages: 6

Biracial Identities Within the African American and White Communities

...Biracial Identities within the African American and White Communities Black enough, white enough, light or dark enough are just a few aspects to a biracial individual’s physical perception. For many with one ethic background, understanding who and what they are tends to be reflections of the expectations that are held by society. Those who carry a dual ethnic background have dealt with many expectations of identification not only by society but by standards upheld culturally as well as a parental influence in regards to exposure to both ethnicities. From early interactions of blacks and whites, a slave master and his slaves operated with a purpose to erase blacks from society and purify the American race. These actions transitioned the views of biracial individuals into a focus of passing through society as color was essential and being too dark was detrimental. Historically, self identification and association with specific ethnic backgrounds were dismissed to fit society’s standards causing one to identify as more white than black. Passing through the early 20th century became an important component to a person deriving from the African American and White communities. Jim Crow laws and other governmental provisions denied many African Americans opportunities in everyday life because of their darker skin causing a huge jump for those who were biracial; black and white to take advantage of their light skin to “pass” in order to get through society. Light bright skin just...

Words: 2587 - Pages: 11

Cultural Identity

...Cultural Identity Project: German-American Liberty University Online PACO 504 European ethnic groups began immigrating into America during the colonial period and immigration continues to this day. As each European culture assimilated to the English American culture immigrants intermarried and developed a so-called “melting pot” or “salad bowl” of culture, traditions, and values (Hays & Erford, 2014, p. 389). German people, as they made their way to a land of freedom and promise, experienced a constant change in their identity with regard to the cultures, values, beliefs, and traditions that some German Americans continue to practice today. As each culture or ethnic group becomes assimilated or acculturated many of their initial cultural qualities are lost and replaced with new ones. Hays & Erford (2014, p.386) assert that acculturation can be considered as bidirectional in that the individuals encountered from both or multiple ethnic groups may experience changes in their primary set of cultural variables based on their interactions with each other. Acculturation and assimilation have certainly occurred with the German American. Brief German History Germany was a fragmented society and full of conflict before 1871. It was made up of approximately three hundred and fifty principalities and one thousand small nation-states until Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed Emperor. His reign led to the unification of the German Empire (Amato, 2006). Millions...

Words: 3217 - Pages: 13

Culture and Identity

...Michael Humphrey 2/16/16 Essay 1 Evolution of identity Throughout this section we have talked about culture and identity and how it ties into all of the short readings we have been assigned to read. In this paper I will discuss how ethnicity plays a vital role in culture and identity, and how it shapes the characters throughout each story or poem. All three of my examples will be coming from “A Raisin in the Sun”, by Lorraine Hansberry, “Everyday Use”, by Alice Walker, and “Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane”, by Etheridge Knight. “A Raisin in the Sun” is about an African-American family who lives in poverty on the south side of Chicago, in 1959. Back in the day we know that African Americans didn’t have it easy, but how exactly did the fact of being black shape the way they lived and the way they processed things mentally? Walter worked as a chauffeur most of his life, but had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. He had a vision of opening up a liquor store since he figured no one would ever stop drinking liquor. The problem he had was that he was a thirty-five year old man that had a son that was sleeping in the living room, and all he had to give him was stories about how rich white people lived. Instantly we see traces of how Walters’ current life situation falter his mindset into thinking he needed to be more successful so that his family could look up to him like a role model. At one point in the play Walter and Benny......

Words: 1826 - Pages: 8

Culture Identity and Organization

...Section 1 Organizational Culture: set of artifacts, values and assumption that emerge from the interaction of organizational members Open social system operating a dynamic environment. CRITERIA to identify something as culture: 1. Deeply felt or held 2. Commonly intelligible 1. Accessible to a cultural group  Organization = Ordered and purposeful interaction among people. Purposeful, because its members produce (supero-rdinative) goal-directed activities. Organizational communication is a continuous process through which organizational members create, maintain and change the organization. (it includes business communication) N.B. All organizational members take place in it; messages are produced to create a shared meaning of messages, but it is not always achieved. Those messages vary in form according to various factors (power distances, roles, goal, method, non-verbal), and to be fully understood have to be considered in their contexts   Culture: "the collective programming if the mind that DISTINGUISHES the members of one group tor category of people from another" (Hofstede 2001) Is both a process and a product; is confining (imitates groups) and facilitating (gives us a way to better understand what is happening) Cultural Symbol = physical indicators of organizational life (Rafaeli & Worline 2000)   ARTIFACTS: visible/tangible, are also part of them norms, standards, customs and social convention. Norms: pattern of behaviors or......

Words: 18112 - Pages: 73

Culture and Identity

...Culture and Identity In today’s society there are a lot of cultural issues that are being taken placed that make it very difficult for people to understand. A lot of people find it very difficult to be able to express themselves in their normal cultural behaviors. I have noticed that people will try their very best to fit into societies norms. The reason for that is that they can blend in and will not look different from everyone else. America is one of the most diverse countries in the world that it is so easy for people to be able to blend in and be who they want to be in this country. When I read the story fiesta 1980 by Junot Diaz, it was a perfect example of how different certain cultures are. In the story it shows that in the culture of Hispanics that men are superiors of women. In the story it shows the mom getting into a lot of trouble with the husband because she was not doing what he told her to do. In a lot of cultures women are portrayed as the person who is supposed to just stay home and care after the children, cook and clean. Also women are often viewed as sexual objects and are not good for anything but sex when it is needed. Having a culture that is similar to the one in the fiesta 1980 is very difficult for other people who are not in that type of culture. America is well known for being a very diverse country because there are many different places that share the same culture. That is the reason why people who finally......

Words: 761 - Pages: 4

Beste overeenkomst | Busty slut is getting naked | فول آلبوم اميد علومي