December 20

21st Century Living

Thursday’s Big Idea

Today's Big Idea: Estrangement

How is it that a stereotype of Italian Americans -- which is certainly not unique to Jersey Shore-- has persisted for so long, and continues to resonate in today's culture?

According to Joseph Luzzi, Director of Italian Studies at Bard College, Jersey Shore is part of an ongoing myth about Italian American culture that has been produced by the media and repeated again and again. According to a study by the Italic Institute of America, of the 1,200 "Italian-related films" produced since 1928, more than two-thirds portrayed Italian Americans in a negative light.

The study concluded that "the mass media has consistently ignored five centuries of Italian American history, and has elevated what was never more than a minute subculture to the dominant Italian American culture.

  1. 1 Estrangement, Italian Style: The ...
  2. 2 Caravaggio is Italy Incarnate
  3. 3 Why It’s Weird That We Honor Snooki
  4. 4 Reality TV Is the Modern Equivale...
   
  1. Estrangement, Italian Style: The Myth of the Jersey Shore

    Estrangement, Italian Style: The Myth of the Jersey Shore

    How is it that such a persistent stereotype -- which is certainly not unique to Jersey Shore-- has been reproduced for so long, and continues to resonate in today's culture? 

    Read More…
  2. Caravaggio is Italy Incarnate

    Caravaggio is Italy Incarnate

    Italy, says Italian Historian Joseph Luzzi, is a chiaroscuro nation – a land of sharp contrasts.

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  3. Why It’s Weird That We Honor Snooki

    Why It’s Weird That We Honor Snooki

    Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah weighs in on the "Jersey Shore" star.

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  4. Reality TV Is the Modern Equivalent of Freak Shows

    Reality TV Is the Modern Equivalent of Freak Shows

    Snooki and crew are like the bearded ladies and the deformed of the Victorian era. The public has always been willing to pay a couple of cents to see something freakish, says Leigh.

    Read More…