Traditional Roles and Modern Work Patterns Italian-American Women In New York City

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:
Traditional Roles and Modern Work Patterns Italian-American Women In New York City

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Traditional Italian society long followed gender-based societal patterns. Male and female roles were clearly delineated and integral to the entire family matrix. Such gender roles became part of the cultural baggage the Italian immigrants brought with them. Most Italian immigrants, arriving at the turn of the century landed and remained in New York City. Immigration helped to fuel the expansion of the American workforce and the sons and daughters of the immigrants filled the increasing number of job slots. When compared to all females, Italian Americans do not appear to have a significantly different pattern of employment. They are slightly higher in the executive and managerial category and slightly lower in the professional specialty category. Many Italian-American women internalized the values and beliefs they learned in their childhood. The current generation of women will develop strategies to negotiate their new emerging reality and may serve as a model for future generations.

Keywords: Italian immigrants; gender roles; New York; immigration; Italian-American women; American workforce; work patterns

Chapter.  3359 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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