Making Space for Youth in Contemporary Italy

Special issue of “Journal of Modern Italian Studies” (23/1, 2018)

Barbara Giovanna Bello and Valentina Cuzzocrea, guest editors


When it comes to youth, can we talk about an Italian case? How is the national societal landscape changing in relation to the factors that put youth in hard conditions? Are existing categories useful for studying the specific conditions of young people in contemporary Italy? How are young people in Italy coping with increasing diversity in terms of social and economic status, opportunities, support from the family of origin – among other factors – and how are they taking these as new challenges?It is vital to identify common grounds for and patterns in the plethora of social conditions faced by Italian youth, and to do so through investigation of the cultures and lifestyles that they embody and the choices they make, which in turn constitute a trait of Italian culture. In fact, considering the conditions of today’s Italian youth as a barometer for the future of Italian society, their ability to cope with structural conditions determines how the country will be able to reproduce itself in the years to come. In this sense, a focus on young people is crucial to all those who want to obtain an in-depth and well-grounded understanding of contemporary Italy.

The special issue ‘Making Space for Youth in Contemporary Italy’ responds to the need to stimulate discussion on these themes. Based on an open call for papers, we departed from an attempt to deconstruct misrepresentations of Italian youth and stimulate an articulated international scholarly debate taking in perspectives from sociology, but also cultural studies, social policy, demography and literature, and interlinking scholarly work done within and outside of Italy.

 Italian modern






Introducing the need to study young people in contemporary Italy

Barbara Giovanna Bello and Valentina Cuzzocrea



Youth as a metaphor. An interview with Carmen Leccardi

Carmen Leccardi, Valentina Cuzzocrea and Barbara Giovanna Bello



The dejuvenation of the italian population

Marcantonio Caltabiano and Alessandro Rosina

Young people’s disadvantage on the labor market in Italy: reframing the NEET category Vittorio Sergi, Ruggero Cefalo and Yuri Kazepov

A generational attitude: young adults facing the economic crisis in Milan

Enzo Colombo, Luisa Leonini and Paola Rebughini

Social practices and lifestyles in Italian youth cultures

Carlo Genova

Young people and drinking in Italy: the good side of familism

Sara Rolando and Franca Beccaria

Young writers: Anthologies as an instrument for exploring Italian Youth

Olga Campofreda