Material Nation: A Consumers History of Modern Italy

Hardcover | April 17, 2011

byEmanuela Scarpellini

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In this fresh, unfamiliar, and sometimes surprising picture of modern Italy, history is refracted through the prism of the nation's consumer culture. What were Italians eating and drinking over this period? Where did they live? What did they do in their leisure time? What did they choose to spend their spare money on? And how did this differ between different economic classes and over time? From the battle against poverty conducted by the firstliberal governments of a united Italy, to fascist autarchy, up to the emergence of welfare policies and today's multifaceted society, Scarpellini looks at how the material culture associated with consumption has structured Italian life and defined the boundaries of class, gender, generations, andregional differences, inspiring government policies, and influencing the worlds of art and literature. Keeping a constant eye on wider historical trends, both in Italy and internationally, the book looks at how the basic triad of consumer culture (food, housing, and clothing) slowly developed into a more complex pattern, incorporating transport, domestic appliances, and then electronics,communications, and fashion. Combining economic and cultural history with a vivid narrative style, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of modern Italy and of consumption more generally in the last century and a half.

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In this fresh, unfamiliar, and sometimes surprising picture of modern Italy, history is refracted through the prism of the nation's consumer culture. What were Italians eating and drinking over this period? Where did they live? What did they do in their leisure time? What did they choose to spend their spare money on? And how did this ...

Emanuela Scarpellini is Professor of Modern History at the University of Milan. She was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and Cambridge University, and has also been a Visiting Professor at both Stanford and Georgetown universities.

other books by Emanuela Scarpellini

Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pagesPublished:April 17, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199589577

ISBN - 13:9780199589579

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Table of Contents

PrefacePart I: Liberal Italy1. Italian Society from Unification to the Belle Epoque2. The State and Public Consumption3. The World of Production4. Commercial SpacesPart II: Fascism5. The Regime6. Daily Life Under FascismPart III: The Economic Miracle7. Society During the Golden Age of Capitalism8. Politics, Culture, and Welfare State9. Advertising and Production10. Large-scale Distribution and 'American' SupermarketsPart IV: The Affluent Society11. Impact of the Consumer Society12. Everyday Life TodayIndex