Chapter

Italian-Jewish Intermarriage the Italian-American Spouse

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/9780823231751.003.0008
Italian-Jewish Intermarriage the Italian-American Spouse

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This chapter focuses on intermarriage patterns between Italian Americans and Jewish Americans, two groups exhibiting similar patterns. In the United States, intermarriage occurs between members of the dominant group and the minority group; or, there may be intermarriage between members of different minority groups. Most of the non-Italian spouses were either of Irish or German ancestry. In all likelihood Irish Americans supply the largest number of spouses. The report stated that over one-half of recent marriages that involved Jewish Americans were intermarriages. This rate of intermarriage is dramatic given the historical experiences of Jews. Intermarriages were banned and if such marriages occurred they often were treated as crimes. Intermarriage may be seen as a measure of acceptance, integration, and assimilation. For Italian-American parents and for Jewish-American parents as well, a strong resistance to intermarriage between their respective children may be seen as a rejection of American values and ideals.

Keywords: Jewish Americans; Irish Americans; Italian Americans; intermarriage; American values; integration; assimilation; acceptance

Chapter.  4025 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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