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Polonia: Chicago's Polish Community

Volume 15: Natalia Dominiak (2009): Polonia: Chicago’s Polish Community

Heartland 15 / WVT 2009

ISBN 978-3-86821-121-4

€ 18,00 • $ 25,00

During the nineteenth and twentieth century, Polonia, the Polish community in the United States of America located especially in Chicago, became a considerable element of American society. According to the American Census 2000, approximately 933,000 persons of Polish ancestry live in the State of Illinois. Currently, the majority of these Poles live in the suburbs of Chicago. The fact that this ethnic community is not only a small group of immigrants, but rather composed of many thousand Polish individuals makes this community an interesting cultural subject, which will be analyzed in this thesis.
The guiding objective of this analysis, which includes historical, sociological and cultural elements, is to portray a comprehensive picture of the Polish ethnic community in Chicago of the twenty-first century, taking into consideration the beginning of Polish immigration into the USA, the development of this ethnic community and key factors leading to its ongoing evolution.

113 pp., 45 fig.

 

    

Contents

 

0 Introduction 1

 

1 Relevance of Cultural Studies in Translation 2

 

2 Research Methods 3

 

3 Polish-American History 3

3.1 First Polish Settlers in America 3

3.2 Polish Immigration in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century 5

3.2.1 “Push” Factors: Reasons for Leaving Poland 6

3.2.2 “Pull” Factors: Coming to America 11

3.2.3 Years of Mass Immigration from 1850 to World War I 14

3.3 Polish Immigrant Groups in the Late Twentieth Century 17

3.3.1 The Polish-American Ethnic Community 18

3.3.2 World War II Émigrés 19

3.3.3 New Immigrants 20

 

4 Polishness in Twentieth Century America 22

4.1 From Polish to Polish-American 22

4.2 A Definition of Polonian Identity 25

 

5 Development of Chicago’s Polonia 29

5.1 First Settlements of Polish Immigrants in Chicago 29

5.2 Second Migration: Transformation of Chicago’s Polish Neighborhoods 32

5.3 Chicago’s Polish Neighborhoods in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century 34

5.4 Significance of the Roman Catholic Church for Polonia 38

 

6 Polonian Organizations 44

6.1 Polish-American Ethnic Organizations 44

6.1.1 Polish Roman Catholic Union of America 45

6.1.2 Polish National Alliance of America 51

6.1.3 Polish Falcons of America 55

6.1.4 Polish Women’s Alliance of America 57

6.1.5 Polish American Congress 60

6.2 Organizations founded by World War II Émigrés 63

6.3 New Immigrants’ Organizations 64

 

7 Essential Elements of Chicago’s Polonia 66

7.1 Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago 66

7.2 Polish Museum of America 67

7.3 Polish American Association 71

7.4 Legion of Young Polish Women 74

7.5 Polish Schools 75

7.5.1 Parochial Schools 75

7.5.2 Polish Saturday Schools 77

7.5.3 Polish Teachers Association in America 80

7.6 Polish-language Media 81

7.6.1 Polish Newspapers 81

7.6.2 Polish Radio Stations 84

7.6.3 Polish Television 85

7.7 Polish American Chamber of Commerce 85

7.8 Alliance of Polish Clubs and Polish Highlanders Alliance 86

7.9 Polish-American Professional Associations 89

7.10 Polish-American Celebrations and Parades in Chicago 90

7.11 Chicago’s Polish Phone Book 92

 

8 Famous Polish Americans 93

 

9 Conclusion 97

 

10 Bibliography 100

 

11 Index of Figures 106

                

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