Women and the Reinvention of the Political : Feminism in Italy, 1968-1983
This is the first in-depth study of the feminist movement that swept Italy during the "long 1970s" (1968-1983), and one of the first to use a combination of oral history interviews and newly-released archive sources to analyze the origins, themes, practices and impacts of "second-wave" feminism. While detailing the local and national contexts in which the movement operated, it sees this movement as transnationally connected.
Emerging in a society that was both characterized by traditional gender roles, and a microcosm of radical political projects in the wake of 1968, the feminist movement was able to transform the lives of thousands of women, shape a transformation of gender identities and roles, and provoke political and legislative change. More strongly mass-based and socially diverse than its counterparts in other Western countries at the time, its agenda encompassed questions of work, unpaid care-work, sexuality, health, reproductive rights, sexual violence, social justice, and self-expression.
The case studies detailing feminist politics in three cities (Turin, Naples, and Rome) are framed in a wider analysis of the movement’s emergence, its transnational links and local specificities, and its practices and discourses. The book concludes on a series of hypotheses regarding the movement’s longer-term impacts and trajectories, taking it up to the Berlusconi era and the present day.