Allport's Theory of Contact in the Godfather Film Review

Pages: 3 (1076 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Allport's Theory of Contact in the Godfather and the Godfather Part II

The Godfather and the Godfather Part II examine the conflicts that Italians were faced with when they immigrated to the United States and investigate extenuating circumstances that prompted the immigration of Vito Corleone, the head of the Corleone family. Additionally, through the application of Allport's Theory of Contact, the factors that allowed the Corleones to prosper are identified. An examination of the factors that prompted mass emigration to the United States by Italians will also be undertaken.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Film Review on Allport's Theory of Contact in the Godfather Assignment

While the Godfather provides insight into the success of the Corleone family, the Godfather Part II provides background on Vito Corleone, and defines the impetus for his departure from Italy. In the Godfather Part II, it is revealed that Vito was forced to flee his home in Italy to avoid being killed by the Sicilian mafia. In order to escape the threat of death, Vito immigrates to the United States in 1901. Historically, four million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1880 and 1915 (Marger 296). Of those four million, two million immigrated between 1900 and 1910 -- the same time period during which Vito immigrates in the films -- and approximately 25% of the Italians that immigrated from the southern region of Italy were from Sicily (296). Evidence also suggests that many of these Italian immigrants did not intend to stay in the United States, but rather were looking for an opportunity to earn enough money to return to their homes and become landowners (296). Unfortunately for Vito Corleone, returning to his home village was not an option as his life would forever be in danger. While Vito Corleone was pushed from Italy reasons related to self-preservation, other Italians were pushed from their homes due to poverty, and economic and political exploitation; these Italians were subsequently pulled to the United States due to high demand for unskilled labor that arose due to industrialization (296). What is more, when these Italians immigrated to the United States, they often settled in impoverished and/or depressed areas out of economic necessity and since much of the Italian migration was "network driven," Italian immigrants often settled with people from the same region or town from which they emigrated (296). While Vito Corleone's exodus is prompted by different reasons than most immigrants, he still had to overcome the same economic and social adversities as his fellow immigrants. For instance, when Vito first arrives in New York, he works in a grocery store -- and after he is fired due to pressure placed on the store owner by a member of the Black Hand, an Italian mob outfit -- turns to a life of crime. Vito's first crime, stealing a rug, leads to bigger crimes which will eventually lead to social mobility within the Italian community. This social mobility not only results in Vito Corleone becoming the head of the family/"family," but also allows him to become an equal member of the New York crime syndicate known as the Five Families.

It is within the context of the New York crime syndicate that Allport's Theory of Contact can be best applied. Allport's Theory of Contact holds that prejudice and discrimination is reduced through interpersonal… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Allport's Theory of Contact in the Godfather" Film Review in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Allport's Theory of Contact in the Godfather.  (2012, April 17).  Retrieved May 11, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Allport's Theory of Contact in the Godfather."  17 April 2012.  Web.  11 May 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Allport's Theory of Contact in the Godfather."  April 17, 2012.  Accessed May 11, 2021.