American stereotype of Italian men may be wrong - U2 Feedback

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Old 06-28-2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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American stereotype of Italian men may be wrong

The Associated Press
Updated: 10:28 p.m. ET June 23, 2005

ST. LOUIS - Forget that image of the swaggering, macho Italian. A new study suggests that American stereotypes about domineering Italian men don’t hold up.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that Italian male university students seemed to have less traditional attitudes than American men when it came to views of masculinity.

“As predicted, the findings of this study cast doubt on the accuracy of prevalent American stereotypes of Italian males as patriarchal, macho, violent and domineering, the type of Mafioso image presented in ’The Sopranos’ and ’The Godfather,”’ the researchers reported. They had compared surveys of Americans to Italians and did not specifically study Italian-American men.
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A group of 152 male students at public universities in Rome and Palermo, Italy, were asked to respond to statements developed in the United States to study traditional versus nontraditional attitudes about masculinity. The Italian group’s responses were less traditional on nine of 11 masculine norms.

The statements involved such areas as risk-taking and emotional control and included phrases such as, “Violence is almost never justified,” and “It is best to keep your emotions hidden.” Those surveyed chose answers that ranged from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.”

Missouri graduate student David Tager collected the data on central and southern Italians while living in Rome in 2003. The findings were compared to a survey by others that looked at 752 American men.

The findings by Tager and Missouri associate professor of health and psychology Glenn Good will appear in the October issue of the Psychology of Men and Masculinity Journal.

Flirtatious, emotional
College men in Italy reported being less threatened by homosexuality and didn’t define their masculinity as much as the Americans surveyed in terms of having power over women, the researchers said.

Good and Tager speculated that the Italians may have reported being less threatened by homosexuals because the gay community is not as publicly visible as in the United States. And they wrote that Italian men “may not perceive themselves as having power over women because of the traditional power of women within the Italian family structure.”

The study did, however, provide some support to the playboy stereotype, “that of the flirtatious and emotional Italian male vying for the attention of a woman.”

Sociology professor emeritus Jerome Krase with City University’s Brooklyn College trained as a social psychologist and served as the former president of the American Italian Historical Association, a group that studies the Italian experience in the United States.

Krase noted the study wasn’t truly designed to prove or disprove stereotypes, but he liked the fact that the researchers had addressed their existence, and that they suggested more study of the topic would be useful.

He said many Americans don’t understand the complexities of Italy, such as a strong tradition of feminism and the nation’s current low birth rate, factors that could have an effect on Italian ideas about society, family and ultimately masculinity.

“It’s a good psychological study. Where I would fault it is if someone tried to present it as a very powerful study of Italian society,” he said.



Lets try and stay away from the gay community thing for at least 5 posts shall we
I think this is interesting....maybe some of you might too
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:55 AM   #2
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there is a new stereotype I have heard

that they are "mommie's boys"
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:57 AM   #3
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Studies to debunk stereotypes?
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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well I was convinced that all italians were pizza eating mobsters
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:02 PM   #5
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bada bing
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:07 PM   #6
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It actually made me think of what other stereotypes americans have for europeans....French, Brits.. blah blah
Ive talked to some of my euro friends and they definitely have a distinct steretype of us
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:49 PM   #7
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i still love the Sopranos.

and Goodfellas.

and the Godfathers 1 and 2.

and pizza.

and tiramisu.

and Naples, Florence, Rome, Capri, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, Milan, Positano, Sorrento ...
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:51 PM   #8
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leave the gun, take the cannoli
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:54 PM   #9
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i also think that all stereotypes are incorrect, yet rooted in certain truths.

my goodness, if i had a Euro for every single time people made assumptions about my likes and dislikes and attitudes when i was living in Europe ... i'd have hundreds of dollars (especially with the current exchange rate).

i could write pages and pages on this.

i found a few things to be universal: bad taste, and stereotypes.

we all do it.
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:01 PM   #10
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I feel like saying, "Well, yeah..." to this study. I've always been fully aware that not all Italian men act the way they've been portrayed. Some take on the persona that's been depicted before, others don't-that's the way it is with all groups that have been portrayed a certain way by the media.

I do agree with Irvine, though, in many a stereotype, there's always a kernel of truth.

Angela
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:39 PM   #11
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I'm not surprised that these stereotypes are screwy.
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:40 PM   #12
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"You have a brought great joy to this old Italian stereotype."

-Simpsons-
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:28 PM   #13
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I had an Italian boyfriend for many years and spent a good deal of time in Italy. I found the stereotype of Italian women having most of the power to be incredibly true. Italian women are very impressive. And oh, my weakness for Italian men is pathetic--probably because I like the fact that they aren't shy about making their attraction known. American men just don't approach me as freely as European men, and Italian men in particular, do and I have to say I really like it. I have never had so many charming and persistent gentlemen pursuing me as I did in Italy, although the Italian I ended up with I met in Peru, lol. Lately I think I will have to leave the country to get a date.

One thing my Italian ex used to say was that Americans have this really romanticized view of Italians. He was shocked by things like pasta sauce commercials that portrayed happy Italian families having big dinners outside in the gorgeous countryside when in fact, he'd say, "Italy is full of single men sitting in front of the TV eating Nutella out of the jar for dinner."
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
Lately I think I will have to leave the country to get a date.
LOL, I think I may have to do that, too. Nothing against American men at all, as I've met a few charming ones in my lifetime and all that good stuff, but seriously, there's just something about a guy from another part of the world with a whole new view on things and an entirely different way of talking...to a small-town American girl, that's sexy .

Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
One thing my Italian ex used to say was that Americans have this really romanticized view of Italians. He was shocked by things like pasta sauce commercials that portrayed happy Italian families having big dinners outside in the gorgeous countryside when in fact, he'd say, "Italy is full of single men sitting in front of the TV eating Nutella out of the jar for dinner."
. That's interesting. Yeah, that image has certainly been projected many a time here, there's no doubt about that.

Hehe, now every time I see one of those kinds of commercials, I'm gonna think about what your ex said .

Angela
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
he'd say, "Italy is full of single men sitting in front of the TV eating Nutella out of the jar for dinner."

hey, when i lived in Brussels i did that.

this was usually after a trip to Amsterdam.

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