The Varieties of Ethnic Experience: Kinship, Class, and Gender among California Italian-Americans - The Anthropology of Contemporary Issues (Paperback)Micaela di Leonardo (author)
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Taking a novel anthropological approach to the issue of white ethnicity in the United States, this book challenges the model of uniform ethnic family and community culture, and argues for a reconsideration of the meaning of class, kinship, and gender in America's past and present. Micaela di Leonardo focuses on a group of Italian-American families who live in Northern California and who range widely in economic status. Combining the methods of participant-observation, oral history, and economic-historical research, she breaks decisively with the tradition of viewing white ethnicity solely as Eastern, urban, and working class.
The author integrates lively narrative accounts with analysis to give a fresh interpretation of ethnic identity as both materially grounded and individually negotiated. She examines the ways in which different occupational experiences influence individual choice of family or community as the unit of collective ethnic identity, and she considers the boundaries at which individuals, particularly women, work out their personal ethnic identities. Her analysis illuminates the political meanings that the images of ethnic woman and family have taken on in popular discourse.
A provocative study that sets the reflections of a broad range of Italian-Americans in the context of their varied life histories, this book provides an informed commentary on family, class, culture, and gender in American life.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 262
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
"Novel and insightful.... Di Leonardo's study is an important reassessment of the ethnic experience in America."* American Anthropologist *
"The work is informed by an uncommonly sophisticated attempt to examine the intersection of attitudes, cultural codes, and political economy. It gives the lie to some popular and prevalent, but mistaken, stereotypic versions of Italian 'ethnic culture.'"-- Peter Schneider, Division of the Social Sciences, Fordham University at Lincoln Center