"Unrecorded lives": oral narratives of a group of first-generation Campanian women residing in Adelaide, South Australia

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Glenn, Diana Cavuoto
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Department of Languages, Flinders University
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This study examines issues of identity and cultural maintenance, as evidenced by the oral testimonies of a generational cohort who were born in the region of Campania in Southern Italy and who emigrated to Australia in the 1950s-1960s. During the post-war period of mass migration by Italians to overseas destinations, an Assisted Migration Agreement was signed by Australia and Italy (in 1951); however, the majority of Campanian migrants to Adelaide were not the beneficiaries of assisted passages. Rather, sponsorship by spouses, relatives or paesani, followed by cluster settlement patterns, were strong features of transnational immigration by Campanians to South Australia in the post-WWII period. As a result, the journeying and resettlement experiences of this project’s sampling of first generation Campanian women were predominantly influenced by family kinship networks operating within a system of chain migration. The paper will consider the ways in which the project informants developed mechanisms in order to survive the difficulties of cultural displacement and marginalisation from mainstream culture. The participants’ “outsider” point of view provides valuable information on the significance of cultural dislocation as a feature of South Australian society in the last fifty years.
Women immigrants--South Australia, Italians – South Australia – Social life and customs
Glenn, D.C., 2006. 'Unrecorded lives': oral narratives of a group of first-generation Campanian women residing in Adelaide, South Australia. Flinders University Languages Group On-Line Review, 3(1), 1-10.