Adopting a Home: Il Circolo Italo-Americano and the Local Network that Opened Doors for Boston’s Italian Immigrants, 1903-1915
CitationProut, Lisa. 2022. Adopting a Home: Il Circolo Italo-Americano and the Local Network that Opened Doors for Boston’s Italian Immigrants, 1903-1915. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractThis thesis investigates how Boston’s Italian immigrants accessed and engaged with resources that would help them navigate their new city during the early twentieth century. Using the archives of Il Circolo Italo-Americano, an organization established in 1903 to bridge the divide between Italian immigrants and native-born Americans while providing guidance to the former, this thesis argues that Il Circolo Italo-Americano opened doors for Italian immigrants in terms of civic, economic, educational, and social opportunities. It conjointly argues that Il Circolo was able to provide these opportunities because it aligned with a robust local network of organizations that forged accessible opportunities for Italian immigrants. A driving focus of this thesis is to unearth the actions of Italian women who interacted with Il Circolo’s local network, because their voices are rarely recorded. This investigation has produced new methods by which to analyze the lives of those who remain on the periphery of historical recordkeeping. Methods include examining identity reformation processes in a new environment, triangulating data via local networks that heavily interact with the subjects in question, analyzing actions of subjects to understand their perspectives, and investigating the family unit to uncover motivations of its female members. This original methodological approach reveals that the Italian women under investigation welcomed work to support their families and had multiple points of access to resources within their community. Il Circolo’s alliance with other local organizations was a major force in helping these women understand how to access those opportunities.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37371539
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