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Italian Migration to Great Britain

R. KING
Geography
Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 1977), pp. 176-186
Published by: Geographical Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40568731
Page Count: 11
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Italian Migration to Great Britain
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Abstract

Few studies have been made of white immigrants in Britain. This article examines the immigration of Italians, the largest non-coloured alien group (108 930 in 1971). From the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century Italian immigrants constituted an elite group of merchants, businessmen and men of culture who came largely from Northern Italy. At the end of the nineteenth century Italian immigrants were associated with organ-grinding and ice-cream. Recent immigration, particularly since the Second World War, has been primarily of humbler status South Italians, many of whom have found work in industrial and labouring jobs. The link with the catering industry, however, remains. The distribution of Italians in Britain reveak a concentration in the Southeast which is increasing. Although superficially the Italians have been successfully assimilated into British society, in practice their community remains distinctly separate; only the third generation will be fully integrated. Return migration is growing, but the Italian community is unlikely to dwindle markedly.

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