String of decaying ruins: a transnational Italian American experience Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • LaSalata, Cale James
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
Abstract
  • This dissertation examines the ethnography and historiography of the Italian American community and their southern Italian counterpart. It examines the phenomenon of Italian Unification, the socio-economics of organized crime, and the role women played in the social life of rural southern Italy. This project also examines the history of Italian immigration to the United States, the ethnic integration of Italian people into American society, and the state of Italian American ethnic identity and material culture. Through an analysis of the literary production of these two specific groups, this project underlines the existent parallels between southern Italy and the Italian American community and demonstrates that historically and culturally these two groups have shared a common experience of racial prejudice and systematized degradation; that because of nineteenth-century ideologies of race and progress, southern Italians in both Italy and North America were painted with the same brush of innate inferiority and alterity. To this end, this dissertation explores the history of the Italian south and its material culture and how these were reinterpreted within the American context. The aim of this dissertation is to provide Italian Americans with a more historically accurate and culturally sensitive analysis of their ethnic patrimony.
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  • In Copyright
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  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Romance Languages (Italian).
Advisor
  • Rao, Ennio
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