Essay on Guido Style and Social Identity

Essay on Guido Style and Social Identity

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Today there are many styles and subcultures that are known in society, from punk to hip-hop, and from hipster to gangster. However, there is one that has become widely acknowledged and popularized in the recent years. This is the “Guido” lifestyle. Made popular by the hit MTV television show “Jersey Shore”, the term Guido was not always accepted in the positive tone that the it is given in popular media today. Some consider it an inappropriate slur and racist term (Cohen 1-2). While that may be the case in the past, today “Jersey Shore” and other mass media have most certainly contributed to the mainstream acceptance and popularity of the Guido style and have changed the direction of the term from that of a racial slur to a term representing a subcultures identity. Subcultures being characterized by symbolism and expression ("Fashioning an Italian-American Youth Style" 1-6), the Guido style does much to become a youth subculture through their grooming, cars and music, and furthermore through their attitudes and demeanors("Fashioning an Italian-American Youth Style" 1-6).

The term Guido is associated with Italian-Americans living in the North-Eastern United State ("Identity Politics of Guido" 1-53). Its history originates from an urban, working class youth known as “greasers”, which was applied with derogatory intent (Brooks). The early origins of the term Guido were associated with gangs, graffiti, and turf wars ("Fashioning an Italian-American Youth Style" 1-6). This would explain why many still take offense to the term. However today there are many different signs associated with the term. Guidos are identified through the extensive number of signs and symbols that they incorporate into their identities. The social codes of...


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... Shore' 'Guido' Controversy - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. Time Inc., 12 Dec. 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. .
Cohen, Patricia. "Discussing That Word That Prompts Either a Fist Pump or a Scowl." The New York Times 23 Jan. 2010: 1-2. Print.
Tricarico, Donald. "GUIDO: FASHIONING AN ITALIAN-AMERICAN YOUTH STYLE." The Journal of Ethic Studies 19.1: 1-6. Queensborough Community College. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. .
Tricarico, Donald. "Youth Culture, Ethnic Choice, and the Identity Politics of Guido." (2005): 1-53. The National Italian American Foundation. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. .

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