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Staying Italian

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Staying Italian

Urban Change and Ethnic Life in Postwar Toronto and Philadelphia

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Staying Italian by Jordan Stanger-Ross
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Despite their twin positions as two of North America's most iconic Italian neighborhoods, South Philly and Toronto's Little Italy have functioned in dramatically different ways since World War II. Inviting readers into the churches, homes, and businesses at the heart of these communities, "Staying Italian" reveals that daily experience in each enclave created two distinct, yet still Italian, ethnicities. As Philadelphia struggled with deindustrialization, Jordan Stanger-Ross shows, Italian ethnicity in South Philly remained closely linked with preserving turf and marking boundaries. Toronto's thriving Little Italy, on the other hand, drew Italians together from across the wider region. These distinctive ethnic enclaves, Stanger-Ross argues, were shaped by each city's response to suburbanization, segregation, and economic restructuring. By situating malleable ethnic bonds in the context of political economy and racial dynamics, he offers a fresh perspective on the potential of local environments to shape individual identities and social experience.

Author Biography

Jordan Stanger-Ross is assistant professor of history at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.
Release date Australia
January 8th, 2010
Country of Publication
United States
20 halftones, 19 line drawings, 14 maps
University of Chicago Press
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