Women,Gender,and Transnational Lives: Italian Women Around the World

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Scholars in the United States have long defined the Italian immigrant woman as silent and submissive; a woman who stays 'in the shadows'. In this transnational analysis of women and gender in Italy's world-wide migration, Franca Iacovetta and Donna Gabaccia use international and internationalist perspectives, feminist labour history, women's history, and Italian migration history to provide a woman-centred, gendered analysis of Italian workers, and by so doing, challenge this stereotype.

Comparing the lives of women in Italy, Belgium, the USA, Canada, Argentina, and Australia, Iacovetta and Gabaccia offer a realistic and engaging portrait of women as peasants and workers, and uncover the voice of female militants. Most importantly, by using a comparative approach to the study of women's migration over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they treat both women who stayed home during male migration, and the work and activism of those who moved. By pursuing this comparative method, they show how Italian women could become Communist militants, union organizers, or anti-fascist radical exiles in some countries while seeming to disappear into stereotypes in others. Ground-breaking and original, this erudite collection of thirteen essays will bring a fascinating new perspective to women's studies and migration history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802084620
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 12/30/2002
  • Series: Studies in Gender and History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna A. Gabaccia is Charles H. Stone Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Franca Iacovetta is a professor of History at the University of Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Pt. I When Men Go Away: Women Who Wait and Work
1 When the Men Left Sutera: Sicilian Women and Mass Migration, 1880-1920 45
2 Gender Relations and Migration Strategies in the Rural Italian South: Land, Inheritance, and the Marriage Market 76
3 Bourgeois Men, Peasant Women: Rethinking Domestic Work and Morality in Italy 76
Pt. II Female Immigrants at Work
4 Women Were Labour Migrants Too: Tracing Late-Nineteenth-Century Female Migration from Northern Italy to France 133
5 Gender, Domestic Values, and Italian Working Women in Milwaukee: Immigrant Midwives and Businesswomen 160
Pt. III Fighting Back: Militants, Radicals, Exiles
6 Italians in Buenos Aires's Anarchist Movement: Gender Ideology and Women's Participation, 1890-1910 189
7 Anarchist Motherhood: Toward the Making of a Revolutionary Proletariat in Illinois Coal Towns 217
8 Italian Women's Proletarian Feminism in the New York City Garment Trades, 1890s-1940s 247
9 Virgilia D'Andrea: The Politics of Protest and the Poetry of Exile 299
10 Nestore's Wife? Work, Family, and Militancy in Belgium 327
Pt. IV As We See Ourselves, As Others See Us
11 Glimpses of Lives in Canada's Shadow: Insiders, Outsiders, and Female Activism in the Fascist Era 349
12 Italian Women and Work in Post-Second World War Australia: Representation and Experience 386
Contributors 411
Illustration Credits 415
Index 417
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