© 2019

Guido Culture and Italian American Youth

From Bensonhurst to Jersey Shore


Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Donald Tricarico
    Pages 1-30
  3. Donald Tricarico
    Pages 87-113
  4. Donald Tricarico
    Pages 115-141
  5. Donald Tricarico
    Pages 173-205
  6. Donald Tricarico
    Pages 207-236
  7. Donald Tricarico
    Pages 237-270
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 305-332

About this book


From Saturday Night Fever to Jersey Shore, Italian American youth in New York City have appropriated—and been appropriated by—popular American culture. Here, Donald Tricarico investigates how Italian ethnicity has been used to fashion Guido as a distinct youth style that signals inclusion in popular American culture and, simultaneously, the making of a new ethnic subject. Emerging from a wave of Italian immigration after World War II in outer borough neighborhoods such as Bensonhurst, the story of the Guido is an Italian American story, symbolizing the negotiation of a negatively privileged ethnicity within American society. Tricarico takes up questions about the definition of Guido, the role of disco, and the identity politics of Jersey Shore in order to reconsider the significance of Guido for the study of Italian American ethnicity.


Italian American culture Italian studies 1950s Do Wop Jersey Shore Guido culture New York City Italian heritage Italian New York City ethnography ethnic youth subcultures Italian American ethnicity youth agency disco culture constructionist model of ethnicity segmented assimilation model of ethnicity ethnic youth identity Bensonhurst Brooklyn

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Queensborough Community College, CUNYBaysideUSA

About the authors

Donald Tricarico is Professor of Sociology at Queensborough Community College, CUNY, where he has taught since 1977. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Guido Culture and Italian American Youth
  • Book Subtitle From Bensonhurst to Jersey Shore
  • Authors Donald Tricarico
  • Series Title Italian and Italian American Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Italian and Italian American Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-03292-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-03293-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 332
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 19 illustrations in colour
  • Topics US History
    Cultural History
    Popular Culture
    American Culture
    Youth Culture
    Ethnicity Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This book is highly multidisciplinary, understandably, given its multiple vistas. … It explicates the vibrancy and a value that a generation crafted out of on word, Guido, devised to suggest the opposite.” (Nicholas Boston, Italian American Review, Vol. 10 (2), 2020)