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The Social-Cultural Identity of Greek- Americans

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  1. Introduction
  2. Maintaining the sociocultural identity
  3. Greek-ness in America
  4. Diminishing socio-cultural identity?
  5. Greek-American Language
  6. Conclusion

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. [...]


[...] The goal is achieved by adopting a binational identity as a means of maintaining the Greek identity in America (Dan, 2004). Conclusion In conclusion, the findings of this research indicate that though the community may try as hard to retain the relevance of their culture and language the steady intermingling and associations with other ethnic communities poses the challenge. Despite the current Greek language being focused on the very young with the aim of implanting Greek to Greek Americans as early as possible, the after- school programs prove counter-productive. [...]


[...] With the changing cultures and integration of people from different social-cultural, the cultural identity of the Greek- Americans just like most of the other immigrants is diminishing (Georgakas, 2004). However with the technological developments the Greek Americans can interact with the ones in the Greece homeland and work towards retaining the culture. Conversely, Greek American now confronts cultural identity issues in America just like any other conservative ethnic community in the United States. The questions that arise in this article are what are the underlying differences are there in individuals of a certain language? [...]


[...] Retrieved from: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CFcQFjAG &url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.goarch.org%2Fnews%2Fobserver%2F99- Greek-American Identity 12 JUNE.pdf%2Fat_download%2FissuePDF&ei=x76ZU8XqDOit0QWyjIHQDA&usg=AFQjC NER41ffg10MksyQpt7e5LMDLOvKKQ&sig2=XjjaBNivdOeW4tbqTXOWA&bvm=bv.68911936,d.d2k Georgakas, D. (2004). An Amulet of Greek Earth: Generations of Immigrant Folk Culture (review). Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 111-112. Georgakas, D. (2004). The Now and Future Greek America Strategies for Survival. Journal of Modern Hellenism, Winter 2004-5, 21-22. Dan, G. (2004). [...]

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