Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction

Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction

Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction

Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction

Synopsis

This is an up-to-date, illustrated introduction to the study of modern Italian culture containing nineteen chapters by specialists in the field of language, politics, religious, ethnic, and gender identities, the mass media, cultural policy, and stars. Adopting a unique and accessible interdisciplinary focus, Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction presents a variety of new perspectives on modern Italian culture. Each of the four parts explore diverse aspects of culture in Italy. 'Geographies' questions received notions of the Italian nation, the family, the 'South' and corruption; it also looks at anthropological approaches to culture and at Italy's linguistic pluralism. 'Identities' examines gender,religion, politics, and ethnicity as a means with which people define themselves and others. 'Media' explores the press, literature, television, and cinema. 'Culture and Society' brings together historical analyses of cultural policy, stars and style, and popular music. Each part is followed bysample analyses of visual materials and includes guidance on further reading. A chronology of political and cultural events since 1900 is also provided. Drawing on the expertise of leading authorities Italian Cultural Studies will be essential reading for students and anyone else interested in modern Italy and its culture.

Excerpt

The title of this book, and its bringing together in one place subjects seemingly so diverse as anthropological fieldwork, film stars, gender relations, and the press, marks a new departure in work on Italy. Cultural studies is now well-established in the English-speaking world, both as a concept and as an area of knowledge in educational institutions, whereas in Italy as yet it has no exact counterpart. We hope this book will stimulate a critical reassessment of what 'culture' means in the Italian case and indicate new ways into the study of Italian culture and society.

Cultural studies is not so much a discipline as a cluster of disciplines. In Britain, where the term originated, and subsequently in other countries where it has been adopted, these disciplines have come to include literature, social history, media studies, human geography, cultural anthropology, and the sociology of deviance (for retrospective accounts see Hall 1980 and Turner 1991). Work in these diverse areas has been loosely unified by a common set of concerns: to deal with culture as a set of signifying practices and symbolic social forms; to look at a wide variety of cultural materials and avoid prior evaluative rankings of high and low; to bring new theoretical considerations to bear on the study of culture.

In Italy the term studi culturali is not used except as a rendering of the English term, which has entered Italian academic . . .

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