Italians, the “Good People”: Reflections on National Self-Representation in Contemporary Italian Debates on Xenophobia and War
Moving among historical material and contemporary debates on xenophobia and war, this paper is an exploration of the self-representation “Italiani Brava Gente”, an image claiming the intrinsic goodness of the Italian people. Originated during the first Italian colonial enterprises, it has been used also for overcoming the horrors of Fascism and is evoked in contemporary Italy too for justifying traumatic and violent events. Functioning as an ideological laundry for reformulating and then setting aside disquieting moments of national shame, “Italiani Brava Gente” is central to the construction of a modern Italian identity.
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