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Op-Eds | i-ITALY

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Italian American Culture: Illusion or Reality?
TOM VERSO (April 21, 2008)

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LATEST EDITOR'S PICK MOST POPULAR

Italian American Culture: Illusion or Reality?
TOM VERSO

Opinions on the Italian elections
MARINA MELCHIONDA

Folk Performances of the Italian-American Prominenti
JOEY SKEE

A Wake Up Call, 2!
ANTHONY JULIAN TAMBURRI

A Wake-up Call!
ANTHONY JULIAN TAMBURRI

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Italian American Culture: Illusion or Reality?
TOM VERSO

Opinions on the Italian elections
MARINA MELCHIONDA

Folk Performances of the Italian-American Prominenti
JOEY SKEE Melting Pot

Anthony Tamburii: “We simply cannot continue to engage in a series of reminiscences that lead primarily to nostalgic recall.” --- But, in reality, is there anything more to Italian/American culture than nostalgic reminiscences? “Aye now, there’s the rub!”
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A Wake Up Call, 2!
ANTHONY JULIAN TAMBURRI

A Wake-up Call!
ANTHONY JULIAN TAMBURRI

Authoritative sources posit, 'culture' involves at least three components: “what people think” (i.e. ideology- e.g. religion, ethnicity, etc.), “what they do” (behavior), and the “material products they produce” (work). Further, culture is taught/learned; each generation teaches the next generation its ideology, behavior and work skills. In the first half of the 20th century, there was a distinct observable Italian America culture. What Italian Americans ‘thought’, ‘did’ and ‘produced’ clearly defined their culture, and differentiated it from other cultures. Two great sociological works were written describing and analyzing that culture: “Urban Villagers” & “Street Corner Society”. Essentially, that culture was the immigrant’s Italian culture modified by the American urban/industrial environment. In the second half of the 20th century that culture passed. The second generation (children of immigrants) did not learn/teach the culture of their parents. They learned/taught the suburban American “melting pot” culture. By the end of the 20th century, with the exception of nostalgic reminiscences, little if any observable measurable phenomena that could be called Italian American culture existed. There was little if anything being taught to children of Italian decent that constituted Italianita.
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Love Costs: Filipinos in Italy and the Movie, "Milan"
LAURA E. RUBERTO

Carla Bruni, Old World Italian
MARIA LAURINO

A Wake-up Call!
ANTHONY JULIAN TAMBURRI

It Wasn’t Columbus’ Fault. Or Was It?
OTTORINO CAPPELLI

What Do Pizza, Mario Merola, and the

http://www.i-italy.org/1709/italian-american-culture-illusion-or-reality

21/04/2008

Op-Eds | i-ITALY

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In social scientific terms, if one took a random sample of high school students descended from Italian immigrants, the ‘ideology’, ‘behavior’ and ‘work’ they are taught would not differentiate them from other Euro-Americans. Accordingly, the questions that can reasonably be asked: Who are Italian Americans? What are their distinguishing characteristics? Who and what are Italian American scholars and commentators talking about; beyond critiques of fiction and film about Little Italy days? Today in America, there are manifestations of what may be called PhiloItalianoism; i.e. the love of Italian (not Italian American) culture such as food and tourist attractions (Greek, Roman and Renaissance). However, this PhiloItalianoism is essentially a pop-culture. Pop-culture is a mass culture, not identified with any specific group, and is essentially ephemeral (e.g. 1950’s TV westerns, rap music, etc). Also, currently, there are traces of a Nuevo Italian American culture generated by post 1960’s Italian immigrants. However, it already shows signs of meltingpotism. Raised in heterogeneous suburbs and totally encompassing mass media; the children of these recent immigrants have ‘melted’ (as it were) even more quickly than the children of the original pre-WW I immigrants.

Camorra Have to Do with Ikea?
LAURA E. RUBERTO

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Antonio Gramsci art Autobiography

Berlusconi Brooklyn Cinema Clinton College culture Food Giuliani immigrants Immigration italian/american Italian Americans Italian Elections Italian Politics

Italy Little Italy mafia Music Naples
New York Obama politics pope
Rome Sicily Veltroni wine
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Finally, for the number crunchers, consider the pages of i-Italy itself. On Saturday (AM EDT) 4/19/08, 19 of 21 articles on the HOME page were either about Italian things or written in Italian (19/21*100 = 90%). One of three columns ‘above the (virtual) fold’ was devoted to AP Italian. In the MAGAZINE section, 20 of 23 articles were about Italian things or in the Italian language (20/23*100 = 87%). In sum, to my mind, Italian American literati should concentrate on establishing that there is, in fact, such a thing as Italian American culture beyond reminiscence and nostalgia. If so, articulate its characteristics. Most importantly, how and by whom will it be taught to the next generation? Or, should we settle for PhiloItalianoism? “Will you join me and other descendents of Sicily at Harry’s Bar in Venice, where we can celebrate out heritage dining on Carpaccio?” NECTFL / Italian Consul General Francesco M. Talò. The AP Program
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LATEST EDITOR'S PICK MOST POPULAR

Benedict XVI at Ground Zero, NY

Neapolitan Music Society - New York World Premiere

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culture italian/american

Benedict XVI at Ground Zero, NY

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Neapolitan Music Society - New York World Premiere

NECTFL / Italian Consul General Francesco M. Talò. The AP Program
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Mario Lanza: Come Prima

Television Interview with Nancy Peolsi

Mario Cuomo Nominates Clinton, 1992 - (I)

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SPECIALS
LATEST EDITOR'S PICK MOST POPULAR

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21/04/2008

Op-Eds | i-ITALY

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Interview with Gino Bucchino Just Re-elected to the House of Deputies
RODRIGO PRAINO

Risultati per l'America Settentrionale e Centrale

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Interview with Gino Bucchino Just Re-elected to the House of Deputies
RODRIGO PRAINO

Risultati per l'America Settentrionale e Centrale

Pericolose anomalie e ritardi in Venezuela e Cile
DI FULVIO MINICHINI

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Renato d’Agostin. “Yes, I’m an Attentive Observer”
ILARIA COSTA

Luca Buvoli. Art to Return to the Origins
ILARIA COSTA

Eletto alla Camera: Gino Bucchino

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BLOGGERS
LATEST EDITOR'S PICK MOST POPULAR

Italian Immersion only miles away! Scholarships are also available!
ANTHONY JULIAN TAMBURRI

Alla riscoperta di Benedetto
STEFANO VACCARA

Italian American Culture: Illusion or Reality?
TOM VERSO

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Italian Immersion only miles away! Scholarships are also available!
ANTHONY JULIAN TAMBURRI

Alla riscoperta di Benedetto
STEFANO VACCARA

Italian American Culture: Illusion or Reality?
TOM VERSO

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http://www.i-italy.org/1709/italian-american-culture-illusion-or-reality

21/04/2008

Op-Eds | i-ITALY

Page 4 of 4

Pinocchio: Italian vs. American Approaches to a Complex Morality Tale
OTTORINO CAPPELLI

Honoring Giuseppe Garibaldi. A summer evening in the underworld
ROBERT VISCUSI

Sancto Ianne
GEORGE DE STEFANO

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