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European American vs. Socio-Cultural Group: Italian Heritage

Points European American Italian Heritage
A Brief History of the Group
  • The end of the 16thcentury was the period when the first European Americans appeared;
  • Martin de Arguelles could be defined as one of the first official European-Americans (Barkan, 2013).
  • The beginning of the 17thcentury was the period when the first Italians inhabited America;
  • Pietro Cesare Alberti was one of the first official Italians who lived in America.
  • Family;
  • Independence;
  • Individualism;
  • Economic success;
  • Importance of religion.
  • Family;
  • Education;
  • Traditions;
  • Good food;
  • Recreation of old country (Laurino, 2014).
  • To live the lives considering the present;
  • To meet personal needs;
  • To make good use of land.
  • To live the lives considering the future;
  • To respect adults;
  • To provide the people of old age with financial security.
Language and Communication Patterns
  • English is predetermined;
  • Spanish,
  • And others.
  • Italian is predetermined;
  • English;
  • Sicilian.
Art and Other Expressive Forms
  • Art as a chance to express the culture and traditions;
  • Square dancing, literature, and painting are three main art forms;
  • Arshile Gorkey (painter), Jackson Pollock (expressionist painter), Gutzon Borglum (sculptor).
  • Art as an opposition to the American context;
  • Promotion of Renaissance made painting and sculptures the part of Italian traditions (Burgan & Asher, 2009);
  • Respect for such names as Clara Fasano (sculptor), Frank Stella (modern artist), Robert Fasanella (painter) (Burgan & Asher, 2009).
Norms and Rules
  • Equality should be promoted in society;
  • Control of personal actions and decisions is required;
  • Christianity establishes the rules for people to be followed.
  • Respect for adults is a crucial obligation for people;
  • Rights to get an education;
  • Family respect and consideration of family traditions that cannot be broken or replaced.
Lifestyle Characteristics
  • Emotions should be under control;
  • Communication is appropriate in family circles or with close relatives and friends;
  • People respect traditions but support both public and private celebrations;
  • People are reserved and do not spend their time on additional movements without any reasons;
  • Food and lifestyle should not do harm to the organism.
  • Emotions play an important role in human life;
  • People are eager to communicate and welcome everyone;
  • People have to socialize and celebrate all holidays and traditions in families;
  • Gesticulation plays an important role in this group of people;
  • The importance of good food cannot be ignored because food could gather people and unite them with one certain topic.
Relationship Patterns
  • Loving affairs are used to develop adrenaline;
  • Marriage is stability, love, and giving birth to children;
  • Same-sex relations are not always properly understood but are legally approved in many countries.
  • Loving affairs fulfill a human life;
  • Marriage is a chance to create a family and develop traditions;
  • Same-sex relations were legalized at the end of the 1800s, but the majority of actions remain to be symbolic.
Common Rituals
  • Many Euro-Americans prefer to follow American culture to avoid shame;
  • Infant baptism is supported by the majority of Europeans in America;
  • Europe Day is the celebration of peace between nations.
  • Festivals are used to celebrate different religious figures;
  • Sunday dinners cannot be ignored by family members;
  • Columbus Day celebration.
Degree of Assimilation or Marginalization from Mainstream Society
  • Euro-Americans try to take into consideration the traditions of other people and nations they have to live with;
  • They do not want to marginalize from mainstream society.
  • Italian-Americans cannot ignore their roots and neglect family tradition;
  • They can follow the norms and rules of the nation they have to live with but respect personal values and traditions at home.
Health Behavior and Practices
  • Attention to personal health is important;
  • Knowledge of the best health practices is required;
  • Public hospitals are frequently used by people who want to check their health.
  • Health is an important issue but not among young people;
  • Health awareness is the requirement in a family;
  • Private hospitals are chosen to indicate important information.


Barkan, E.R. (2013). Immigrants in American history: Arrival, adaptation, and integration. Santa-Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

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Burgan, M. & Asher, R. (2009). Italian immigrants. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing.

Laurino, M. (2014). The Italian Americans: A history. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

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