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Narratives of Nine Italian-American Women: Childhood, Work, and Marriage

Carol Bonomo Jennngs and Christine Palamidessi Moore

in American Woman, Italian Style

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231751
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241286 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823231751.003.0002
Narratives of Nine Italian-American Women: Childhood, Work, and Marriage

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The author was a participant-observer of some first- and second-generation Italian-American women in New York City. The thematic content of the life stories of these women, who had lived all of their childhood and adulthood in Little Italy, New York, emerged and unfolded spontaneously during meetings with the author. Their stories are the source of a rich psychological narrative that gives insight into the intrapsychic and interpersonal dynamics of these women. This narrative describes their struggle to make lives for themselves within the parameters of their social class and the sexual, legal, and religious mores set for them by tradition. A lesson that can be learned from the narratives of the lives of these women is making the unmastered past conscious, becoming free psychologically to meet the developmental challenges of integrating aspects of feminine identity which have been split and dissociated for centuries.

Keywords: Italian-American women; Little Italy; New York; feminine identity; life stories

Chapter.  6673 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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