This chapter focuses on the erosion of tight-knit ethnic communities in New York City after World War II. It examines how ethnicity persisted in the city well into the late 1960s as reflected by trends in residential concentration, education, economic and social relationships, and organizational affiliation. It shows that Italian, Irish, and Jewish New Yorkers continued to occupy separate spheres even as they participated in the postwar housing and suburbanization booms. The chapter considers the way New Yorkers relied on a powerful combination of religion, national origins, and class to order and understand their world. It also describes the role of the Catholic Church and the school system in determining the character of New York's postwar neighborhoods. Finally, it explains how these differences between Jews and Catholics shaped each community's distinct outlook on ideas such as political dissent, authority, and intellectual freedom.
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