Anthroplogy 101

Anthroplogy 101

Psychological Anthropology

Aimee Gaspari

ANT 101: Cultural Anthropology

Professor Geoff Wood

November 2, 2008

Our culture and family traditions are what shape us into the people we are today. Those cultural traditions are what influence our choices and lifestyle. The two cultures that I have chosen to research are Italian and American cultures. They interest me because my family’s heritage is Italian, and I live in the United States. This is my chance to learn more about the traditions that surround me. In the Italian culture, there are a wide range of cultural traditions and beliefs that range from the north and the south. However, no matter what part of the country you are from, family is the center of all activity. “Customs and traditions are rooted in the family, whether nuclear or extended, as well as in institutions and organizations in the community.” (“Italy-Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette,” n.d.) The traditions are not just family oriented; they are a lifestyle for the community. When children are in school, no matter what grade level, the communities they live in will up-hold the individual traditions. In the United States, family is important but not the root of all activity. In the United States, education is taught in the schools. Family traditions and beliefs do not come into the classroom. Whereas, in Italy education begins at home and extends to the classroom. In Italy, from childhood into adult hood, you are taught life lessons by your grandparents. In Italy, your elders are important and respected. “The carriers of these traditions were the elders-the nonnos (grandfathers) and the nonnas (grandmothers). They were also the keepers of memories and tellers of tales who were able to recount all of the stories from the home town.” (“Italy-Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette,” n.d.) Often your extended family lives with you. In the United States our elders are...

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