Between Two Worlds: The Italian American Immigrant Youth

This powerful excerpt from PBS’s “The Italian Americans” explores the dilemmas that arise when people are pressured to assimilate. Educators can use this film to explore some important questions about identity and belonging:

Reflection Questions

  1. Consider the identities of the children of Italian American immigrants.  You might use the graphic organizer from the ecology of identity to visualize the ways that various forces in society might have shaped the way they saw themselves and the choices they had in their lives.
  2. What dilemmas did the children of Italian American immigrants face?
  3. To what extent are the stories in this short film familiar? How are these issues playing out today? Use the same-different-gain routine to explore the connections between past and present.