Italy’s belated completion of political unification in 1861 let the Italian people long retain a regional, provincial, and even local identity. Likewise, the newcomers who arrived in the United States from different places in Italy between the late 1870s and the closing of mass immigration in the mid-1920s found it difficult to perceive themselves as members of the same ethnic minority and shied away from one another not only in areas of residence but also in social and religious life at the beginning of their stay in America. By the late 1930s, however, the emergence and consolidation of nationalistic feelings, following both Italy’s entry into World War I and Fascist aggressive foreign policy, immigration restriction, the appearance of a US-born second generation with loose ties to the forebears’ land, and, primarily, the experience of anti-Italian intolerance and discrimination in the United States made people of Italian descent aware of their common national ancestry and helped them develope an Italian identity that they or their parents had lacked upon settling in the United States. Racial tensions and the backlash at blacks’ supposed encroachments in the postwar decades encouraged many Italian Americans to join forces with other immigrant groups of European origin from which they had previously distanced themselves. They, therefore, acquired a racial sense of belonging as white Europeans and nowadays retain an Italian identity only at a symbolic level, almost exclusively in leisure time activities.
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|Titolo:||Italian Identity in the United States|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.04 - Voce (in dizionario o enciclopedia)|