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Today's Big Idea: Estrangement

The Big Idea for Thursday, December 20, 2012

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 Myth of the Jersey Shore
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Caravaggio is Italy Incarnate
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  3. 3 Why It’s Weird That We Honor Snooki
    Kwame Anthony Appiah
  4. 4 Reality TV Is the Modern Equivalent of Freak Shows
    Mike Leigh

Today's Big Idea: Estrangement

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