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ERIC Number: ED523116
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 272
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-0816-3
Marie Russo: An Oral History of the Italian Settlement House
Beard, Kathryn H.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
The Settlement House Movement in the United States was a response by progressive reformers to meet the needs of urban poor and immigrant families in the early years of the 20th century. Some settlements were outreach services of churches. There are limited accounts of the experiences of the individuals who used the settlement houses. This study provides an historic overview of "The Italian Settlement House" located in Utica, New York, and an oral history of an individual, Marie Russo, whose life was influenced by the programs and services she received at the "Settlement". Russo's, and her unique seventy-year relationship with the "Settlement", provides a perspective of the agency's history that needs to be preserved while first hand knowledge is still attainable. The detail of this history cannot be as thoroughly obtained from other known sources. Using the oral history of Marie Russo, this research seeks to preserve the participant's perceptions of the "Italian Settlement House", and the influence that the "Settlement" had on her, and the neighborhood in which it is located. The "Settlement", now known as the "Neighborhood Center", has served the Utica community for over one hundred years. Many of the "Settlement's" programs were rooted in early career and technical education programs and their accompanying philosophies. Little has been done to preserve the history of this facility, or the people served by its programs and staff. The study seeks to preserve Russo's perceptions of (1) her home, (2) family, (3) public schools, (4) neighborhood, (5) the "Settlement" and programs of the "Settlement", (6) key "Settlement" staff, and (7) the importance of the "Italian Settlement House". To produce a rich and comprehensive description of the development of the "Settlement" and the influences of "The Italian Settlement House" on the participant, Marie Russo, interviews, review of photographs, journals, historical letters, scrap books, newsletters, written testimonies, newspaper articles, reports, document reviews, and participant observation were used to complete this study. The research design of this study followed the three parts that Patton defined as being needed in the qualitative-naturalistic method. First, research questions were defined for the study. Secondly, interviews were conducted with questions developed through emergent design. Based on the responses of the participant, using her words, rich descriptions of the events being studied were created. Lastly, the data was analyzed and coded and is presented in narrative format (Patton, 2005). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York