Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Corey


The objective of this study is to examine the assimilation process of first, second, and third, generation Italian-Americans had on three facets of their culture’s everyday life, specifically: food, language, and last names. As Italians immigrated and assimilated into America, so did their culture and native traditions. Over time, the Italian culture has turned into a staple of American life and can be seen integrated into communities across the United States. A culture originally the subject of mockery, ridicule, and discrimination, the Italian culture endured decades, and generations, of change to become praised and appreciated. Although aspects of all cultures’ traditions change over time, the core of the Italian-American tradition has stayed intact for nearly 100 years.

As educators, it’s vital to teach our students the importance of culture. The research found in this study on the direct impact the Italian immigrants assimilation into American culture had on the food, language, and last names of Italian immigrants, can be applied to create a culturally educational curriculum in the classroom. To that end, this study includes ways to incorporate the Italian-American culture into the classroom with different websites, learning opportunities, and educational reading pertaining to food, language, and last names. Students will be able to gain a better understanding of the Italian-American culture and can hopefully relate this information to their own cultures.

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Education Commons