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Subject: Cultural Studies »

Concetta Benn on Italian immigrants of the 1950s

Concetta Benn.

Concetta Benn describes the Italian immigrants of the 1950s.



Date Added:

06 April 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

4.9 MB






The ones who came here, who had a relative of some sort here did well, because Italians are like that with their families, they just take them in. But if you had nobody here I think it would have been very difficult for you in many ways. So, you would tend to cluster probably in places where other Italians were, so as you could at least hear your own language from time to time. And you’ll know those sort of places, I mean Carlton used to be like that. Now they’ve – it was very interesting what many of them did, they’d come to places where the Italians were well-known, they would rent a house, they would work like hell, they would save enough money and then they’d buy – put a deposit on a house well out of the city.


So that they started to live in places on the outskirts of the city, once they got on top of the whole thing. But if – if you came here and you had a member of your family here you did much better because they could introduce you to jobs and places to live and – and also it was nice to be able to talk your own language sometimes. But some of them went back of course, I remember my father’s brother came out for a while, absolutely hated it because he had to work, he’d never worked in Italy.


Where were they from in Italy?



The Isole Eolie, Lipari and their father was a merchant and you know, quite well off and they didn’t work in Italy at all.


End transcript