Italian Culture Analysis

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

It is also characterized by several islands including Sicily, Elba, Capri among other found scattered along its coastline. For close to fifteen centuries of Christianity, it is essential to point out that Italy had no political unit and was governed by petty states. It was not until the rule of Napoleon in 1805 that the first kingdom of Italy was established. This resulted in the formation and establishment of the current political boundary of the country in 1870 (BaraÅski and West 25). Despite the establishment of a political force, the country was primarily under the control of the major religious grouping which was the Catholics. It is, however, essential to note that to date the Catholicism still influences and shapes the culture of Italians.

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One of the areas that one can distinctly realize the influence of religion on Italian culture is the nation's marriage tradition. It is essential to note that marriage is deeply rooted in the religious practice of Catholics. Given that the religion was against divorce, it was not until 1970 that the nation legalized divorce through legislation. Despite the opposition from the Vatican, the law was upheld and divorce was finally legalized (Boston 4). It is, therefore, a country within a country like other states such as San Marino. Before 1870 the pope had control over a huge swathe of Italy including various outposts beyond the peninsula. Currently, he only has control over the Vatican City. Despite the limited authority that the church currently has, it is essential to note that it played a critical role in shaping various aspects of the country.

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For starters, BaraÅski and West (40) argue that the church has been instrumental in shaping the politics of the nation. Despite being accused of working with the mafia, the state played an instrumental role in protecting Italians as well as their property from the mob. It is also through the influence of the state the other religions have managed to take root in the country. By abolishing Catholicism as the official religion of the country, the state managed to welcome and give other religions a chance to establish themselves in the country. It is also essential to note the significance of the cold war in shaping the culture and politics of Italy. As one of the nations in the front line of the cold war, Italians were significantly affected by the war.

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In exchange, the government promised the mafia it would look away as they continued with shaking down landowners. It was the belief of the government that this would only last until Rome gained enough control over the nation. However, the mafia expanded their operations and entrenched themselves into the politics and economy of the country. It is essential to note that even the church was deeply involved with the mafia during this period. The mafia was used by the church to oversee and protect its large tracks of land as well as large volumes of property in Sicily. As such, the Italian mafia continues controlling the policies of the nation as well as its economic decision. The Role Women Played in the Society Traditionally, it has always been held that Italian men were the sole providers of the family while the women major responsibility was to care and manage the family.

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For long women were considered to be second to men and were charged with homely duties such as cleaning, cooking as well as taking care of children. However, at the end of world war II, the tradition started to fade away as gender roles started to change (Cripps 5). It is essential to note that Italians have always taken their relationships with their extended families seriously. However, with effective legislation, the nation has managed to realize significant gains in terms of gender equality. Despite the fact that Italian women are still doing house chores, they are more independent as compared to previous years. The number of Italian women receiving education has since increased and surpassed that of the male population (Italy 1). This change in gender roles can also be experienced with the reduction in population growth as women are increasingly being involved in the development of the society.

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