Category Archives: Economy

Italians in Australia: past and present

Few recent historians or social scientists have written extended studies of Italians in Australia. Several collections – different authors analysing particular aspects of Italian lifeworlds – have appeared but Gianfranco Cresciani’s The Italians in Australia (CUP, 2003, updating his 1985 original) is the only example of an overall treatment. Now Francesco Ricatti’s Italians in Australia. History, Memory, Identity (Palgrave, 2018) aims to incorporate the demographic, social and cultural evidence gathered over the past twenty years (notably Loretta Baldassar on international caring, Antonia Rubino on language use, Catherine Dewhirst on the press, Simone Battiston and Bruno Mascitelli on politics) and integrate it into an overall portrayal of the Italian communities past and present. Work, family, language, religion, and politics are the organising topics, treated to emphasize – unlike many of the older discussions of such communities – the ways in which immigrants actively shape their own lives within well-known  institutional, social and cultural constraints. The outcome is valuable on two levels: as an introduction to the current literature for students and as a survey of issues for future scholarly research.

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Smoke gets in your eyes, Italian style

contentFor over a century, Carl Ipsen argues in Fumo, Italy has had a love affair with the cigarette. Perhaps no consumer item better symbolizes the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of recent Italian history. From around 1900 the new and popular cigarette spread down the social hierarchy and eventually, in the 1960s, across the gender divide. For much of the century cigarette consumption was an index of economic well-being and of modernism: only at the century’s end did its meaning change as Italy achieved economic parity with other Western powers and entered the antismoking era. Ipsen draws on film, literature, and the popular press to offer a view of Italy’s ‘cigarette century’ from the 1870s to the ban on public smoking in 2005, tracing the links between smoking and imperialism, world war, Fascism, and the protest movements of the 1970s.

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Agnelli, Pirelli, Brambilla? No. Hu, Chen, Zhang…

154049272-158a01e7-f0c0-4ef0-9ffd-0bea5a3fb40fPostscript to the call for papers on relations between China and Italy (August 26). HERE are the names of the most common surnames among the entrepreneurs who set up new businesses in Italy in the first 8 months of this year. The Camera di Commercio of Monza and Brianza examined a sample of 7 regions (only one in south Italy) and turned up what will probably be some surprises. Check out the Veneto ….

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Studiare il Mezzogiorno

thumbs.phpPer chi si interessa della storia, politica, e cultura del Meridione, la rivista Meridiana rappresenta una risorsa particolarmente pregevole. E’ un quadrimestrale nato nel 1987 ad opera di un gruppo di storici, sociologi, economisti, antropologi e scienziati politici, legati da una visione del Mezzogiorno come realtà plurale da studiare anche attraverso un approccio interdisciplinare. L’intenzione è di decostruire, de-ideologizzare e criticare rappresentazioni e stereotipi culturali che si ispirano a fuorvianti e astratte uniformità. Ogni numero affronta un tema specifico: gli ultimi si intitolano Guerre civili (n.76), In nome del popolo sovrano (n.77), e, appena uscito, Unificazione e Mezzogiorno (n.78).

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Tuscany meets Milan @ Datini office™ ☞ 1382

Josh Brown   University of Western Australia

220px-Francesco_di_Marco_DatiniWhen did Tuscan language forms reach Lombardy? The earliest time that Tuscanisation has been suggested for Milan is during the late Quattrocento when Tuscan became a model for the chancery, well before its codification by Bembo in the Cinquecento. But can evidence for an earlier presence be found? I believe it can. My key source for an earlier dating of Tuscanisation is the correspondence between merchants from Milan and the 14th century Tuscan merchant Francesco di Marco Datini (c.1335-1410), the famous ‘merchant of Prato’.

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