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ERIC Number: ED390070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Multicultural Texts and the Italian-American Experience.
Biava, Christina
Much Italian-American culture and writing, beginning with the Italians' migration and settlement in the United States from 1880 to 1920, is forgotten today. Italians traditionally did not value literacy and education. Italian-Americans, for economical reasons that they share with other ethnic and racial minorities as well as cultural characteristics that are probably theirs alone, were not as successful as other groups in developing a literature, especially in the decades before the ethnic revival of the late 1960s. Other reasons include a biased publishing industry, influenced by the personal taste and commercial judgments of editors whose reasons for rejection are Italian-American author's lack of sophisticated style, lack of universal themes, or lack of realistic characters. Since 1990, the number of multicultural composition textbooks and multicultural courses have grown, suggesting a common ground for all cultures, rather than making diversity a barrier among cultures. However, Italian-American writers still do not enjoy the broad audience achieved by other cultural groups. Among the reasons why these writers are not being included in the current emphasis on multiculturalism is the absence of sympathy for their ethnic group, extant for other cultures such as Native Americans or African Americans. However, in the 30 multicultural texts examined recently, 4 of 13 published between 1991 and 1993 were Italian-American selections, but of 17 published in 1994 and 1995, there were 9 selections. This seems to indicate more acceptance of Italian-Americans and their literature as an important piece of the American cultural mosaic. (Contains 12 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Acceptance; Ethnic Literature; Historical Background; Italian American Literature