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Noi Siamo i Giovani : the popular media construction of Italian youth through style, 1965-1975

Brioni, Cecilia


Cecilia Brioni


Rachel Haworth

Clare, 1981 Bielby


This thesis analyses the media construction of the ‘imagined community’ of Italian youth from 1965 to 1975 by looking at representations of young people’s style and bodily practices in magazines, Musicarelli films and television programmes aimed at an audience of young people. The term i giovani is used here to refer to representations of young people in popular media: i giovani were a performatively constructed category, as they were not defined by a specific age, but by specific practices, often connected to the consumption of commercial goods. The first chapter describes the interdisciplinary and intersectional approach used to examine the media construction of i giovani, which includes popular music studies, feminist theory, cultural studies, star studies and the history of 1960s and 1970s Italian society.
The subsequent three chapters chronologically outline the emergence of different trends for Italian giovani. Chapter two analyses the beat trend, which appeared in popular media during the period 1965-1967. Chapter three examines the introduction of the hippy fashion in the period 1967-1970. Lastly, Chapter four investigates the alleged ‘normalisation’ of the giovane style in the early 1970s. These chapters together highlight four main processes that worked together in the construction of Italian giovani. Firstly, they show the naturalisation of a giovane identity through the passage from a unitary construction to a more fragmented representation. The analysis also shows how discourses around the giovane style were influenced by social changes affecting young people in the Western world as well as Italian society in the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, the chapters show how representations of giovani gender identities produced anxieties regarding a change in gendered dynamics of power in Italian post-war society. Finally, the analysis of the transnational inspiration of the giovane style shows how the media construction of i giovani was influenced both by Italy’s relationships with its own past and by the modernity embodied by foreign young people. The definition of a specifically Italian way of being giovani thus ultimately confirms the significant role of popular media in constructing Italian-ness.


Brioni, C. (2017). Noi Siamo i Giovani : the popular media construction of Italian youth through style, 1965-1975. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Publication Date Apr 1, 2017
Deposit Date May 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2023
Keywords Italian
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Italian, The University of Hull


Thesis (1.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 Brioni, Cecilia. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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