DTS200Y1 Lecture Notes - National Italian American Foundation, Italianamerican, Italian Identity
DepartmentDiaspora and Transnational Studies
ProfessorKevin Lewis O' Neill
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DTS200 Lecture #7 October 23, 2012
Class 2- nationalism
Class 3: modernization
Class 4: internationalism
Class 5: Tourism
Class 6: Affective- remittances
- The way in which people make sense in the world through the metaphor of mapping. The way
you systematize the world in terms of a nation but this gets translated into diaspora
- Ex: Jersey Shore: most successful television show of MTV. Brace relationship and class dynamics
in North America. There is a distinction between Italian Canadians and American Italians. This is
a study about whiteness in the US
- Becoming white
o Italian Americans
o Whiteness is understood by the physical colour of your skin.
o Italian Americans really embody about coming white.
o Class and race and place
- The jersey shore
o Why is this successful? What is pleasurable about this show?
Big party, makes people feel better about their lives- something so dis-attached
o Why could this be successful?
Its framed as if it is unscripted so it feels real, weird appeal that you could look
up to them because of all the parting, and you can also look down to them in
terms of their own personal lack of success as functioning citizens.
Self identifies as an Italian American, Italian – and this could be creating an
- Race and place
o 1. Place understood as both a location in space example new jersey or Italy
Harvey would call it actual space/physical space
o 2. Place as ranks in a system of social categories- as in the expression ‘know your place’.
o Both are tied to race.
o The second is more specific in terms to the hierarchy
- Place a location (Robert Orcy)
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o As immigrant community they started off in Manhattan little Italy, and as they
developed and moved through the American class system they moved from little Italy,
south bronks, to Westchester. They became landowners and so on
o This represents a century long struggle to become the middle class
- Place as a ranking
o David Roediger
o The native born and older immigrants often placed these newer immigrants not only
above African and Asian Americans for example but also below white people
- Race and place
o Look at slide
- The response
o NIAF- national Italian American foundation in the united states
o They were totally upset with the jersey shore
o They are an organization created to respond to things like the jersey shore
o When Jersey Shore first aired in December, NIAF expressed concerns about this program
because it clearly attempted to connect guido culture with Italian American identity.
This was blatant throughout the programs narrative, character development and choice
of background imagery, which depicted a beach house...get slide
o Term guido- American sleer for Italian Americans
- The homeland: season 4 Jersey Shore
o Cohen point 5- the return scenario
o Jersey Shore goes to Italy
o Tool of return and how difficult it is
o The awkwardness of that return and the way it is portrayed.
o The return- how could we think through this?
Strong identity to Americans- example of inbetweenness (Italian identity in
America, and American identity in Italy)
Slipped into a tourist framework
Why Florence and not Milan?
- The color of Italian Americans
o The visual comportment of Italian Americans, how they represent themselves visually
o The number of different ways Italian Americans organize themselves in a way to make
them appear within the middle class and aka white
o We need to understand very difficult African American economies in American. These
two immigrants inter-relates, and speaks to the uglier histories of which our
- The numbers
o 1880-1900: 960,000
o 1900-1920: 3, 200,00
o 1899-1924: 2.2 million returning to Italy
o There was a real intension to return
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