Women of Courage: Jewish and Italian Immigrant Women in New York


In the wake of World War I, a diverse group of women emigrated from Europe to the United States under austere conditions and adapted in different ways to life in the new country. Based on a major new study that includes in-depth interviews with 100 Italian and Jewish women who immigrated to the New York City area in the early 1900s, this volume explores family and work lives led by these women and the relative importance of cultural factors to the two groups' adjustment to American life. The interviews trace the process of adapting to life in the U.S. paying special attention to the specific experiences of women immigrants and the challenges they faced in surmounting gender and cultural barriers both within their families and in their new communities. This innovative, interdisciplinary study uses feminist approaches to explore immigrant women's lives from childhood to old age. The result is a nuanced view of the similarities and differences between the two groups, whose distinct family structuresand cultural backgrounds led to different responses to the same pressures and difficulties.


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