Vernacular Culture in Italian-American LiveseBook - 2011
Sunday dinners, basement kitchens, and backyard gardens are everyday culture long associated with Italian Americans, yet the general perception of them remains superficial and stereotypical at best. This collection of essays explores local knowledge and aesthetic practices, often marked as "folklore," as sources for creativity and meaning in Italian-American lives. The authors discuss historic and contemporary cultural expressions and religious practices from various parts of the United States to examine how they operate at local, national, and transnational levels. The essays attest to people's ability to create cultural modes that articulate deeply felt values, often at critical moments in their lives, that connect them to the family, the neighborhood, and the transitory community of the annual festa. Italian Americans abandon, reproduce, and/or revive various cultural elements in relationship to ever shifting political, economic, and social conditions. The results are dynamic, hybrid cultural forms such as Valtaro accordion music, Sicilian oral poetry, a Columbus Day parade, or witchcraft (stregheria). By taking a closer look and an ethnographic approach to expressive behavior, we see that Italian-American identity is far from being a linear path of assimilation from Italian immigrant to American of Italian descent, but is instead fraught with conflict, negotiation, and creative solutions.
Publisher: New York : Fordham University Press, c2011.
Branch Call Number: ELECTRONIC BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (ix, 257 p.) : ill.
Call Number: ELECTRONIC BOOK