Eh, Paesan!: Being Italian in Toronto
Published: October 1999© 1998
208 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Ebook - PDF
Shouts of 'Forza Italia!' rang out along St Clair Avenue West each time Italy won a game in World Cup 1994. But is a soccer tournament all that almost a half-million Italians in Toronto have in common? What does it mean to be Italian in Toronto? In this book Nicholas DeMaria Harney invites us to explore with him the symbols and sites of Italian culture in Toronto. Ethnic identity, we discover, is a process - it is constantly being remade and reproduced. Do Canadians look beyond the stereotypes that picture Italians as peasant construction workers, members of organized crime, and soccer fanatics to see the diversity of Italian life in Toronto? Second-generation Italian Canadians, familiar with Italy's fashion, sports, and design worlds have new images to confront. In today's global economy, ideas and products arrive rapidly from Italy, targeted at markets among people of Italian heritage and nourishing Italianit+, spaces of Italian cultural life.
While the familiar greeting 'Eh Paesan!' is commonly used by young Italian Canadians, Harney leaves no doubt that their Italianness and that of their parents is rooted in Toronto.
'Eh, Paesan! is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature dealing with various social, cultural, and historical aspects of Canada's post-World War II Italian 'community.' It is also a welcome addition to recent works that attempt to examine local phenomena within the broader context of global issues and movements.'Labour / Le Travail
'An up-to-date account which does justice to this ethnic group's complexity ... Moving beyond the worn images of immigrant poverty, padroni, and alleged mafia activity within the Little Italy of the past, Harney presents us with a richly textured portrait of Toronto Italia's present: the rise of Italian-Canadian bedroom suburbs, the defining role of cultural entrepreneurs, the new positive images surrounding Italian food, fashion, design, and sport, and most significantly the attempt of the Canadian-born to reformulate Italian ethnicity to reflect their own experiences in today's global village.'Nino Ricci