maitani » posted to maitani and history
The Jewish ghetto haunts sociologist Mitchell Duneier’s new history of the American one - by Adam Kirsch ‎- maitani
"Today most Americans would be surprised to learn that the original ghettos were inhabited by Jews. That is the experience Mitchell Duneier relates in his new book Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea, when it comes to teaching his own students at Princeton about the history of the ghetto. For the last 70 years, Duneier shows, the word “ghetto” has for Americans become exclusively associated with poor black neighborhoods, especially in big cities like New York and Chicago. Few people know that, for centuries before America even existed, Jews in many European cities were legally confined to walled neighborhoods known as ghettos. (“Ghetto” is the Italian word for “foundry”; the first Jewish enclave in Venice was located on the same island as a foundry, and the word came to refer to the neighborhood by extension.)" ‎- maitani
The first time I heard the word "ghetto" was in the early 1970's in a TV game show in Peru. Players could only use words that appeared in the official Spanish dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). A player tried to use "ghetto," but it wasn't allowed because, as an Italian word, it didn't appear in the official dictionary. [I just checked the online RAE dictionary http://dle.rae.es/ and the word ghetto still doesn't appear.] #perumemories ‎- bentley