3 Int'l Migration Rev. 3 (1969)

handle is hein.journals/imgratv3 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Three Generations of Italians in

New York City: Their Religious Acculturation

                                               by Nicholas John Russo*



                                Renewed awareness in ethnic groups as well
                                identified, persisting and active participants in
                                the political and social life of American so-
                                ciety imposes a new task on the social scien-
                                tists to define better and more cogently meas-
                                ure the implications of pluralism and integra-
                                tion. This article by Russo-presenting the
                                findings of his doctoral dissertation: The Re-
                                ligious Acculturation of the Italians in New
                                York City-evidences the fast disappearance
                                of the cultural identity of an immigrant group
                                in relation to their rural religious tradition and
                                behavior. At the same time, it notes the sur-
                                vival of social identity. In the light of this
                                evidence, we can ask ourselves if ethnic reli-
                                gious institutions might have led the immi-
                                grants to religious forms more in keeping with
                                their new environment and how the accultura-
                                tion described should be evaluated. Above all,
                                we are forced to search for those variables
                                which maintain the ethnic groups' identity
                                even in the third generation.
                                In this way, the process of the inclusion into
                                American society of different ethnic and reli-
                                gious groups may reveal some clues for the
                                more complex test of inclusion of different
                                racial groups.

     American sociologists have long been absorbed by the processes of
assimilation and acculturation which successive waves of American im-
migrants have undergone. Due to the variety of methodologies, theories,
and concepts applied to study in this area, there are many divergent find-
ings. With regard to the religious practices and attitudes of the immi-
grants and their descendants, it is not certain, for example, whether Ital-
* Fr. Nicholas John Russo, M.F.A., Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at Cathe-
dral College, Douglaston, New York.

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