Remembering Italian America : Memory, Migration, Identity book cover
1st Edition

Remembering Italian America
Memory, Migration, Identity

ISBN 9780367514693
Published March 12, 2021 by Routledge
274 Pages

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Book Description

Remembering Italian America: Memory, Migration, Identity examines the life of Italians in the United States and the role of migration and collective memory in the history of the construction of Italian American identity.

Employing the concept of communicative memory, the authors explain the processes that gave shape to Italian identity in America and the ways in which a symbolic identity became concretized in Italian American oral histories. The text explores the Italy migrants left behind, transatlantic networks, the welcome received by the Italian newcomers, the socioeconomic fabric of Italian America, and the singular worldview that grew out of the immigrant experience. In exploring the role of memory in the construction of Italian American identity, the book analyzes the commonalities in the lives of immigrants, allowing the Italian American experience to speak to the circumstances of newer immigrant communities and allowing these new immigrant communities to speak to the Italian migrant history. Looking at Italian American culture from a multidisciplinary perspective, this volume brings various theoretical perspectives to bear on "what, why, and how" questions concerning the Italian American experience.

This book will be of interest to students of ethnic studies, immigration studies, and American/transnational studies, as well as American history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Memory, Nostalgia, History  PART I: History  1. The Origins of a Diaspora  2. Exodus  3. Entering the United States  PART II: Socioeconomics  4. Family and Community  5. Little Italy  6. Making a Living  7. The Factory, Labor, and the Body Politic  8. Mafia  PART III: Worldview  9. Folk Catholicism  10. Malocchio: The Evil Eye  11. Saints Fests  12. Stories and their Social Context  Conclusion: Memory, Migration, Identity


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Laurie Buonanno is Professor of Political Science at SUNY Buffalo State, USA. A longtime member of the Italian American Studies Association (IASA), she also served on its executive board.

Michael Buonanno is Professor of English and Anthropology at State College of Florida, Manatee–Sarasota, USA. Laurie and Michael team teach the Italian American Experience.