Italian Americans

Italian Americans

Italian Americans

Italian Americans

Excerpt

Two or three decades ago, when the Italian Americans were still relatively new on the American scene, an extensive literature developed about various aspects of the cultural transition of this very sizeable nationality group. But despite the fact that America's "digestion" of the Italians (as indeed of most of its other ethnic groups) is still in process, very little has been written about them in recent decades.

This book represents a sociologist's efforts to summarize and, where possible, bring up to date our knowledge of major aspects of the Italian Americans' social experiences as they bear on their continuing assimilation. Particular attention is paid to their social and economic conditions prior to migrating to these shores; to their reasons for migrating; their patterns of settlement; their problems of adjustment to the new society as they concern especially family relations and religious participation; difficulties of cultural contact with other nationality groups and with one another, when the regional divisions of Italy are considered. Finally, an effort is made to trace and assess their achievements in terms of education, occupation, and income.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Marilyn Bidnick, Ronald Birkelback, Nijole Benokraitis, and Sue Keir for their careful and accurate work as research assistants. Among other persons who helped in the preparation of the book, I am especially grateful to my wife, Carolyn Lopreato, and to Barbara Picket and Sherri Villemez, who gave generously of their time to typing and bibliographic chores.

My colleague, Walter Firey, took precious time to read the manuscript, make helpful suggestions, and give cordial encouragement. To another colleague, Leonard Broom, and his associates, Cora Ann Martin and Betty Maynard, go my sincerest thanks for their kind permission to borrow from their . . .

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