Department

Leadership

Date of Paper/Work

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Bruce H. Kramer, Ph.D., Kathleen M. Boyle, Ph.D., and Donald R. LaMagdeleine, Ph.D.

Abstract

This qualitative study provides insight into many aspects of the assimilation of the Greek immigrant into American society. The study participants were members of a seniors club which met monthly at a Greek Orthodox Church. The seniors participated in activities that blended elements from both Greek and American traditions to have fun, catch up with friends, celebrate life's events, and navigate the changes associated with aging in a safe, controlled environment. Data were collected through: participant observations over a three and a half year period, conducting interviews, listening to seniors present their life stories and documenting the discussions that followed.

The theories of John Dewey, Fesmire's work on Moral Imagination and Aesthetic Representation, and Fasching's and deChant's,

Comparative Religious Ethics, were used to explore issues of identity and meaning in social interactions, as well as how cultural settings affect the meaning individuals derive from their experiences. The study identifies critical transitions and adaptations from living a purely Greek lifestyle to one incorporating American elements- a hybrid Greek-American identity.

Researchers and policy-makers alike can apply the methods used in this study to understand how immigrant experience affects the assimilation of immigrant populations into American society and find ways to promote the development of a positive ethnic-American identity.

Keywords

Assimilation of the Greek Immigrant into American society, Greek and American traditions, Hybrid Greek-American Identity, Moral Imagination and Aesthetic Representation, Comparative Religious Ethics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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