Date of Award

5-4-2002

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Abstract

The United States of American is a country full of a mix of vibrant cultures that originate from the inhabitants' diverse heritage. Throughout the 20th century, Italian immigrants have made the journey to the United States with hopes of creating better lives for themselves. As the final destination on their journey across the Atlantic drew near, both Italian men and women knew that they were about to experience a society that they had never before encountered. Because of the contrast of the two societies, early survival was based on the ability to assimilate into American society. In this paper I wish to explore the degree of acculturation and assimilation for Italian women who immigrated to the United States in the first half of the 20th century circa 1930 and in the latter half, circa 1970. I hypothesize that women who immigrated to the US in the 1970s had an easier time acculturating than those who arrived in the 1930s. In addition, I also believe that these women will have more ties to their country of origin than those who immigrated in the 1930s. I also would like to explore the power structure between females and males in the Italian family. This paper is designed to study the way in which assimilation and acculturation occurs in Italian women when immigrating to the United States.

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