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|Title:||The Italian-Canadian Experience in a Changing Hamilton|
|Abstract:||<p>Italians make up 16% of Hamilton's population. These Italians have come to Hamilton for the most part after the second world war. Since then, they have concentrated in a few areas around the city. The areas with the greatest concentration are Jamesville, an old immigrant reception area located in Central Hamilton, and Stoney Creek, a wealthy suburb located to the east of Hamilton. The initial purpose of the thesis was to look at how larger economic trends affected ethnicity. Since the early 1960's there has been a shift from manufacturing oriented employment, which is labour intensive, to the serviceoriented sector, which is less labour intensive and comprised of part-time labour. The thesis also investigated how the Italian-Canadians perceived their lives in Hamilton since their arrival. The data for this study was collected through lengthy, semi-structured interviews from both areas. Thirty-two families were interviewed.</p> <p>It was found that the immigrants who arrived after the second w~ld war (in both areas) were not affected by the restructuring of Hamilton's economy. The male immigrants had since establishing themselves in Hamilton found employment in either the steel industry or in the construction sector. Male workers in Jamesville were for the most part retired. The female immigrants worked only in a minor role in Canada. They entered the work force after they had raised their families, usually in part-time positions.</p> <p>Friends, the church, and associational groups were of little importance in the lives of Italians in both study areas. For many, the central focus was on the family. Life for the immigrant was characterized as a life of sacrifice, pain and sorrow. In general the quality of life of the immigrant was very poor.</p> <p>A case study of a prominent family was conducted through the life history method. Life for those interviewed in the study, appeared to be more fulfilling. The family came to Hamilton in the early 1900's and used education as a path to their success. A strong matriarchal figure was also essential to their success. In the study, twelve members of the family were interviewed. Many of the parents had instilled values of hard work, education and success in their children.</p> <p>From the interviews it became clear that the shift in economic sectors had little impact on Italians. The research continued because I was fascinated with the accounts of these individuals. The most stunning outcome of all the research is that for the most part the immigrant is full of pain and discontentment. Life in Canada for many of them was an unfulfilled promise.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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