Saturday, June 26, 2021

From the Point of View of College Students: What is a subject worth the attention of Greek American studies (Redefining Greek American identity among the youth, intergenerational cultural distance)

Something that fascinated me is how the younger Greek Americans are redefining their identity nowadays. I think the older generations are noticing a change or general trend of perhaps different priorities or emphasis on other aspects of Greek culture than what they would like. I have been noticing in the Greek community, in St. Louis (my hometown), that the older generations are expecting a lot more from the younger generation Greek Americans as far as the language and religion aspect of being Greek. However, I don’t think the youth has fully embraced their Greek heritage as their grandparents or older generations would want. I think this tension can cause distance between these generations which I have seen with my peers personally. Thus, it would be important to explore how young Greek Americans are defining being a Greek American in today’s society. I personally think this may help the two points of view understand each other better and may show which direction Greek Americans are headed as far as preserving Hellenism in the future. Some specific questions would be what do the youth want to take away from their Greek American community socially and religiously? How do they plan to (if they want to) maintain their Greek background? I also wonder how Greek Americans connect with other Greek Americans whether this is through the Greek community or in school/college. It would also be interesting to find out what specific Greek traditions they will continue if they had any growing up in their household. I feel like as if right now there may not be a general consensus for these questions, but it's still worth it to explore.

2) Ask these scholars a question of your own choice. Please be creative and insightful, devote some time thinking seriously the questions you will be asking.

My grandparents, parents, and other members of my Parish in St. Louis fear that there will be a loss of Greek culture, at least the aspects that were highlighted by Greek immigrants that came to the United States. I personally can see their point as younger generations are redefining what it means to be a Greek American. I know that there are multiple factors as to why this can happen. I was wondering if scholars believe that a loss of some aspects of Greek culture (if not all) is inevitable based on what we know today. I know it can be challenging to predict this, but it would be interesting if there was any research or statistics that supported one way or another. Going off that question, I am curious to know if scholars believe there is a way to potentially change that outcome, if the data supports that the loss of Greek culture and traditions is inevitable.

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