The article examines the rise of mass culture in Italy from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. It particularly analyses the literary production, politically organised cultural offering as well as the role of the intellectuals. Despite the high illiteracy rate (until the beginning of the twentieth century higher than in other countries), different mass-cultural spheres developed throughout Western Europe. The socialist and Catholic communities decisively contributed to this development. With the help of their own publications and distribution channels as well as libraries, they encouraged the population to read. Simultaneously, intellectuals and writers with precarious social situations hoped for new fields of activity in the emerging cultural industries. The gap between these expectations and modern reality led many of these observers to criticise massculture. In some cases, it even led to political radicalisation and rapprochement with the fascist movement.

Twisted Roots. Intellectuals, Mass Culture and Political Culture in Italy

CAVAZZA, STEFANO
2012

Abstract

The article examines the rise of mass culture in Italy from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. It particularly analyses the literary production, politically organised cultural offering as well as the role of the intellectuals. Despite the high illiteracy rate (until the beginning of the twentieth century higher than in other countries), different mass-cultural spheres developed throughout Western Europe. The socialist and Catholic communities decisively contributed to this development. With the help of their own publications and distribution channels as well as libraries, they encouraged the population to read. Simultaneously, intellectuals and writers with precarious social situations hoped for new fields of activity in the emerging cultural industries. The gap between these expectations and modern reality led many of these observers to criticise massculture. In some cases, it even led to political radicalisation and rapprochement with the fascist movement.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/116205
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