Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Advisor(s)

Giuliana Fazzion

Abstract

Cultural integration is a continuous process which affects not only the immigrants arriving in a new country, but also the people native to that country. When Italian immigrants began arriving to America in larger waves they had to fight for acceptance into their new culture. In pursuit of the “American Dream,” many moved to large cities and took unwanted jobs in factories or in construction companies. They worked under hazardous conditions for low wages. In attempts to preserve their own heritage many Italians settled in groups, forming rich cultural centers. First generation Italian Americans fought to overcome prejudice and to dissolve the negative associations with anarchism and organized crime groups. Second generation Italian Americans struggled for acceptance into American society which, to the dismay of their parents, sometimes meant forgetting their roots. Eventually, as the Italian people began making significant contributions to their new home, aspects of the Italian culture were gradually integrated into mainstream American culture. Italian Americans have made great strides in fighting for acceptance. Their struggle to find a balance between preserving their native culture and adopting the culture of their new home proves to be an ongoing process.

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