in Staying Italian

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780226770741
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226770765 | DOI:

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This book has explored the dynamics of social life in Toronto's Little Italy and Italian South Philadelphia, showing that Italian ethnicity happened differently in the two neighborhoods after World War II. In the patterned use of city space, residents of these two Italian communities set ethnicity on separate courses. Whereas Italian social ties in South Philadelphia remained rooted in locality, those in Little Italy extended outward in the second half of the twentieth century. Stable residential concentration was undermined by dramatic increases in property values in Little Italy that encouraged frequent housing exchanges. At the same time, geographically expansive networks bound Little Italy's ethnics together in social and religious practices. These observations have major implications for the history of ethnic life in North America, recent theorizations of ethnicity that emphasize the ongoing activity necessary to make ethnicity an important facet of social experience, and the dynamic intersection of ethnicity and race.

Keywords: social life; Toronto; Little Italy; South Philadelphia; ethnicity; ethnic life; social experience; housing exchanges; religious practices; race

Chapter.  3844 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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