Social-Cultural Identity, Athens-Greece, Americans
According to some, Astoria is the largest city of the Greek outside the Athens-Greece. The New York's Queens Neighborhoods of Astoria, New York conjure up the image of a Greek immigrant community that has lived in it for over forty years (Hantzopoulos, 2005). For the Greeks and their diaspora outside of New York, it is a home outside of the homeland, where Greek banks, political societies, newspapers, and Hellenic folk and dance are heavily represented (Halsall, n.d). The cafes and bouzouki-glaring nightclubs that are named just like the neighborhoods in Athens and the tasty Greek cuisine are the other evidences of Greek influence in Astoria (Hantzopoulos, 2005).
This research tries to reveal the social-cultural identity of the Greek American. It will further describe the metamorphosis of the Greek American from the time of their first immigration into the United States and the efforts to retain and preserve the Greek culture in America. Also in discussion is the significance of the Greek language and language identity in a multi-culture country like the US. A special focus has been given to Astoria because of its great significance to the Greeks living in America.
[...] The churches own and administer big private schools and act as the centers for cultural activities such as Greek language education. Despite most Greek-Americans' are a second or third generation, a significant number still maintain the culture and language which is attributed to the Church influence. There are also some Greek- Americans who have become non-religious or atheist, but still, almost exclusively retain the culture and the ties to the Church in which they had been raised. The Greek immigration to the US has been on the decline in the recent years while the immigration from other world's regions has been on the rise. [...]
[...] The commission also called for increased spending on teaching resources and high pay for Greek teachers. However, this needs a major change in attitude among the people and cultivate a new corporation between them, the church and the education system (Elen, 1999) In order to protect the Greek language, it is a must that it be taught during early stages in life, especially to those families that have interfaith marriages. Achieving this goal requires a collective effort from the public, private and business sector together with the media if at all good results are to be achieved. [...]
[...] Greek in New York. In O. Garcia & J. Fishman, (Eds.), The multilingual apple: Languages in New York City (pp.143-166) New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Elen, D. (1999). Will the Greek Language survive in America? Orthodox observer (Vol. 64-No. 1162). [...]
[...] After all, the Greek culture is known to be notoriously political (Constantakos & Spiradakis, 1997). It also may be argued that given the opportunities available for the Greeks in this world's super power, it is unimaginative and incompetent to marginalize themselves in a cultural cocoon (Laliotou, 2007). The Greek in Greek Americans is rapidly dissolving. The number of individuals identifying themselves as Americans of Greek descent rather than Greek Americans has also been on the rise. Literally speaking the community life of Greek American revolves around Orthodox Church. [...]
[...] This localized language-cultural identity goes beyond the specific community sphere to the wider realm of the general society. One of the principal aspects of maintaining the language and culture is its economic functionality 2012). For the case of Astoria, the dominant language and culture of the patrons and most of the clients of the Greek-themed establishments is Greek, therefore, it is essential, or at least more advantageous, that the ones who work in these establishments also learn the language and a bit of the cultures. [...]
using our reader.