Compare and Contrast Essay Sample on Italian Identity and African American Identity

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1469 Words
Date:  2022-03-27

Italian Identity

The Italian identity is believed to be linguistic ethnic and cultural inheritors from the ancient Romans who settled in the Italian Peninsula. This identity describes the inhabitants of Italy mainly through their way of life, food, and religion.

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The major values of the Italian identity are the family, respect, trust, time, attitude towards the elderly and beauty (Gordon, 2012). The most important thing to Italians is the family, and they first maintain their commitment and loyalty to family members. The mother is always at the center of the family, and they value having time and taking meals together as a family.

Trust is a value that is essential and trusted in the Italian identity. Italians live by trusting each other, but the trust takes time to earn. Once it is earned, they live to trust each other in their interactions. Respect is an important value that is given mostly to people in authority and individuals of higher social status. The Italians believe that one shows respect by using a proper speech and having good manners.

The Italians value beauty and they always want to look good. They believe that life is beautiful and they should too by extending it to their dressing. The Italians are slow with time, and they do not hurry their activities rather they take their time to enjoy each moment. The elderly are treated with much respect, and they are always involved in all get-togethers to provide guidance.

The Italian identity assumes that life is beautiful and it is mean to be shared and enjoyed. In all situations such as friendship or love, victory or tragedy, eating or working people should experience life fully (Gordon, 2012).

African American Identity

The African American identity is derived from an ethnic group that is because of the interaction and intermarriage between the blacks and whites. It is the African Americans cultural contributions to the United States culture.


The African American identity attaches importance to family, love and respect, elderly, traditions, community support, and decision-making and gender roles (Holloway, 2010). Members of this identity consider the family as the most important thing. Formal marriages are part of their beliefs and family is prioritized above any other responsibility.

Love and respect are treasured values in this identity. The members are always taught to love one another and always assist each other in times of need. They also value respect, as everyone should show respect to the other. The elderly in this identity is important because they have much experience and wisdom. High respect levels are attached to the elderly.

The traditions and way of life are kept and strictly followed by these people. They believe that their ancestors are important and thus they live to appease them. The also follow the different guidelines of living according to their traditions. The identity also values community support in bringing up their families. Their children are the responsibility of one another in the community.

Men and women have different roles in the family. Men should make money and provide for the family. Women are responsible for family decision making and taking care of the children. Therefore, this identity divides the responsibility for men and women.

The African American identity assumes that there are spirits in life. They also assume that every event that happens has a connection to the future. They believe that everything that happens is a result of good or bad luck (Holloway, 2010).

Similarities Between the Identities

The Italian and African American identities have some common values. Both identities treasure and attach a lot of importance to the family. They respect the family, show commitment and love to their family members, and put their families first in everything. They show much respect to one another and especially the elderly in their communities. Trust is a value that they both believe in, and they survive with one another by trusting each other in every aspect of life (Mutch, 2013). Both the identities have the same attitude towards time in that they take their time in handling and enjoying their activities and do not hurry.

Differences Between the Identities

The Italians attach high value to life, and they insist on living maximally and enjoying life. The African Americans believe that life should be lived as it is and that the different lives people live are because of good or bad luck. Beauty is a value treasured by the Italians, but African Americans do not value beauty, and they never consider it as important. The gender roles in the family and community are strict in the African American setting, but they are not considered much by Italians (Mutch, 2013). The African Americans believe in community support and wellbeing, which is not a commonly accepted value by the Italians.

Reconciliation of Differences

The differences between the two identities can be reconciled by encouraging interaction between the two identities. Learning the importance of the values of the other identity is important in the reconciliation process. It helps encourage the acceptance of the other identity, which is important in helping the members of these identities look at the others as equally important. The interaction between these identities will help an identity with inferior and outdated values realize and get values that are more helpful. The main way of reconciliation is to understand the values and beliefs of the other identity and being in a position to accept and appreciate the other identity (Kim, Kollontai, & Hoyland, 2008). Through that, the two identities can be reconciled, and appreciation for one another achieved.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Italian Identity

An Italian professional is likely to have high levels of respect and trust in their professional life. These values enable someone to be at peace in the workplace and earn respect from others. Their view of life makes them work hard in every aspect thus; they have the inspiration to do better in their profession (Roselaar, 2012). Italian is a recognized identity, which gives the members an advantage in any working environment.

However, this identity focus on beauty could inconvenience an individual's profession. It takes time to concentrate on looks, which may consume professional time. The attitude towards time may not attach much need for keeping time for professional activities. The much attention to the family could affect someone's attachment to their profession thus reducing their productivity.

African American Identity

Love and respect play an important role in the professional environment. They allow an individual to work with love with others and earn respect. The community spirit allows an African American employee have teamwork skills. Some traditions that promote ethics will enable the employee to work with transparency and honesty thus earning trust in the profession (Benet-Marteinez, 2014).

However, some weaknesses include the poor attitude towards time, which could make people not keen about time in their profession. The belief in life being as good or bad luck could associate laziness with bad luck, which could affect a career. The focus on family could also leave little attention and time for professional duties. Some traditions involving gender roles could disadvantage some genders by undermining them at the workplace.

The Italian identity is important in achieving a positive professional setting as it insists on trust and respect (Roselaar, 2012). Respect for one another encourages positive relationships and fosters the spirit of teamwork in a professional setting. Trust allows people to work together without doubts and be able to delegate duties and pick tasks from other people. The values from this identity help in creating an interactive and positive working environment. The view of making the best out of life encourages individuals to make out the best in their profession. It promotes hard work, which ensures that an individual receives positive results in their profession.

The African American identity is based on traditions, which promote the wellbeing and positive morals. Through truthfulness and honestly an individual earns respect and trust in their working environment (Benet-Marteinez, 2014). These values lead to positive interaction between workers and an understanding-working environment. They ensure that the professional setting is peaceful with positive integration among workers. Love for others will help in assisting others in case of need, which is the desired value for any profession. Therefore, the identity has important values to be used in creating a positive professional setting. Though it has some weaknesses, if used positively it is an important identity.


Benet-Marteinez. (2014). The Oxford handbook of multicultural identity. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gordon, R. (2012). The Holocaust in Italian Culture. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

Holloway, J. E. (2010). Africanisms in American culture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Kim, S. C., Kollontai, P., & Hoyland, G. (2008). Peace and reconciliation: in search of shared identity. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Mutch, D. (2013). Modern vampire and human identity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Roselaar, S. T. (2012). Processes of integration and identity formation in the Roman Republic. Boston: Brill.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Sample on Italian Identity and African American Identity. (2022, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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