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Genuinely American: Croatian-American Race, Manhood, and Nationalism in Postwar Pittsburgh

Authors

  • Scott N. Duryea

    1. Old Dominion University
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    • Scott N. Duryea is a doctoral student in the Graduate Program of International Studies at Old Dominion University. He holds masters degrees in American history and international studies from East Carolina University and a B.A. in history and political science from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Abstract

Especially during the turbulent years of the immediate postwar period, Croatian-Americans found expediency in positioning their ethnic culture within the realm of acceptable white manhood and peaceful civilization. To be accepted was to be white, or to try to be white. Accordingly, Croatian-Americans attempted to qualify themselves as authentic whites whose ethnicity meshed perfectly with the American way. This study examines the Croatian Fraternal Union's Zajedničar newspaper to demonstrate that during the postwar period, which was characterized by converging anxieties over disintegrating gender roles, acceptable whiteness, as structured by Protestant old immigrant Americans, and the perceived communist threat, Croatian-Americans in Pittsburgh qualified themselves as authentically white and genuine American men and women to escape accusations of subversion.

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