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A postmodern migrant subjectivity: Reading Italian-Canadian-ness, reading Breaking the Mould

Clara Sacchetti


This article ethnographically explores the ways in which members of an Italian studies book club in the small north-western Ontario (Canada) city of Thunder Bay express their migrant subjectivity by and through a discussion of Penny Petrone’s memoir, Breaking the Mould. It is framed within a postmodern framework that draws attention to how people engage with a local discourse of Italian-Canadian-ness grounded on notions of homeland, heritage culture, and selfhood and challenged by notions of gender, immigrant generational position, and socio-economic class. It draws attention to the problematic of identity and highlights how vexation, tension, contradiction, rupture, and contestation is part and parcel of an Italian-Canadian migrant subjectivity in Thunder Bay and part and parcel of migrant subjectivity more generally.


Migrant subjectivity; Italian-Canadianness; multiculturalism

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