Italian Culture (GNED 1407 - AA7) Essay

Student: Stephanie Foster(100599581)
Hari Venkatesh (100627121)
Professor:Ruth Martin
Due: Sunday February 12, 2017

The Italian culture is such an interesting and amazing culture to learn about. From the view of a sociologist, it has numerous types of material and non-material culture. Some examples of these cultures include the amazing food, beautiful art and architecture, luxurious landscape, religion and etiquette. This paper will inform the reader how exactly a sociologist would view culture, different examples of material and non material culture of Italy, and a comparison of Italian culture to our very own Canadian culture.
Some would say culture could be described as the languages we speak, the foods we eat, how we dress, and the way we do things. A sociologist understands not only what culture is, but how culture affects our lives. We relate to the natural world and to each other through culture. To a Sociologist, common characteristics of a culture, such as behavior and beliefs, form members of a group of individuals or a society. Members of the diverse cultures are able to distinctively define themselves. They are also able to contribute to society and share common goals and values all while staying true to their own. Sociologists would split culture into two major categories: Material and Non- material. Material culture would be described as the physical items that we use. A few examples of material culture would be jewelry, art, tools, clothing, and even architecture. Non-material culture on the other hand consists of the nonphysical products of society, such as values and beliefs. Some other examples would include traditions, language, music, rituals, and any core beliefs of the traditions that is not tangible.
Here are some examples of the material and non-material culture of Italy!
Material Culture
Non-Material Culture
Italians take pride in their cooking. They love cooking and eating as well as feeding others. Popular Italian foods include cheese, pizza, pasta, wine and tomatoes. Italians are famously known for their luxurious 3 course meals during holidays or special occasions such as weddings. Cooking allows time for families to bond. No one leaves the table until everybody is finished eating.

Many Italians are very religious, more specifically Roman Catholic. They take their religion seriously. For example, they never, if rarely, use the Lord’s or Mary’s name in vain. Mary is worshipped as much as God Himself is. It is not uncommon to see a sign of faith within an Italian home such as a crucifix or a photo of Jesus or Mary. In fact, the Vatican is located in Italy. It is the most influential church in the world.

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Italy consists of plenty of history and value. Rome holds the very famous Leaning tower of Pisa and Colosseum.

These famous structures attract attention from tourists. It represents their value and the history of the country.
Christian Holidays
Christian Holidays give Italian families the opportunity to spend time with one another. The most important holidays according to Italians are Easter and Christmas. These Christian holidays give families a chance to attend Mass and also celebrate by having dinner or lunch together. They do not consider gifts as important as spending quality time with each other.

Florence, Venice, and Rome are home to multiple museums, but art can be viewed in churches and public buildings as well. The most notable work of art is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican painted by Michelangelo between the years of 1508 and 1512.
Every country has their stereotypical way of behaving. When being greeted, Italians usually greet with either a hug or handshake accompanied with a kiss on each cheek. During meal times, families sit and eat with one another. Everyone begins and leaves the table at the same time.
Clothing and Fashion
Italy is a fashion forward country. Many fashion icons like Donatella Versace came from Italy. Milan hosts its own fashion week every year where supermodels walk in the fashion shows and celebrities attend and watch.
Women’s roles
Italian women have famous yet traditional roles within the household. They are known for dealing with the cooking, cleaning and maintaining the overall household. Many, if not some, women are stay-at-home partners.

Italy is a beautiful country with many different types of scenery available. Within the cities, land consists of hills with buildings built closely together. Sicily offers beautiful beaches as it is right off of the Mediterranean Sea. Italy also offers plenty of farmland that is vacant.
Soccer is the go-to sport for all Italians of all ages. You will often see young boys playing around on the streets. Men too enjoy playing as well as watching the sport on TV. They take pride in their country whenever they are competing in FIFA. Gatherings are often made to celebrate the sport.

Italian culture is fairly different from Canadian culture. Canada is known as a very diverse country, accepting various religions and cultures varying from Islam to Christianity. On the other hand, Italian culture is primarily Catholic. They are different in terms of food cultures as well. In Italy, all of the food is Italian; pizza, pasta you name it. But Canada on the other hand has such a wide variety of restaurants that you can literally get a taste of all of the cultures of the world. Canada is not just a country where you can mostly get the country’s best food. The society is multicultural and is made up of a variety of cultures we all can enjoy. They are also different in a sense that Italian culture is more based on old traditions and patterns that continued to be followed to this day. However, Canadian culture is always changing and looking for ways to improve and try new things.
Works Cited
Zimmermann, K. A. (2015, January 29). Italian Culture: Facts, Customs & Traditions . Retrieved February 9, 2017, from
Belanger, M., & Carl, J. D. Think Sociology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2014. Print.


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