Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Allen Fromherz

Second Advisor

Joseph Perry


This thesis examines changing perceptions of the Italian community in the United States from the perspective of the Italian homeland. This work bases its research primarily on historical representations of the Italian American community as appeared in the widely read Italian newspaper the Corriere della Sera. The chronological scope of the work begins soon after the onset of the mass migration of Italians to the United States, starting with the year 1890, and follows the community and its evolution up to 1945. This thesis proposes that Italians in Europe changed their perceptions of Italians Americans in accordance with significant events such as World War II, and that two discursive themes emerged, portraying Italian Americans as both proud of their heritage and subject to assimilation. This thesis argues that such patterns in media representations shed light on the process of ethnogenesis that resulted in the emergence of an Italian American identity.


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