Images and Types

The research has multi-disciplinary nature and aims to inquire from a historical point of view how the categories concerning the deviance were made up in Italy from the Unity and the fall of the fascist regime. Those categories testify the wish of a part of the society to preserve both its safety and social order, as well as the necessity of safeguarding the ruling religious and moral values. Those desires should be analyzed in connection with both the general features of Italian society between the late XIX and early XX centuries and the nation-building process that marks out the period. Such changes and challenges deeply affected the collective imagination, which was more and more split between two opposite poles, naming the classe laborieuse (productive class) and dangereuse (dangerous class). The latter consisted of several deviant groups, which arose from the uneven, manifold, and complex exclusion praxes supported by the society and especially by its ruling élites.

Since the Unity, different criminal stereotypes and more and more specific paradigms concerning the deviance arose from wishes for social control, specific needs connected to national history, and various criteria for social exclusions. In short, since the late XIX century, Italian society shows a growing need for picking out a criminal class whose members are various but more and more clearly defined. The confusion and eventually identification between the issue of the deviance and collective imagination was favor by collective prejudices, scientific debates, literature, newspapers fait divers columns, and the feuilletons. Such confusion involved and became very common also because of the fears and angsts that were associated with the changes in Italian society. The research aims to investigate and describe some paradigmatic images concerning the deviance, thus improving the understanding of such a complex phenomenon, which affects several problems, sources, and research fields.

Goals of the research project

After a preliminary evaluation of the proposals, the group will inquire about different fields of research concerning the features of the phenomenon through the analysis of the most exemplary representations, which will be discussed by the members of the group through regular meetings.

The singular researches will be collected in the monographic issue.

Besides the present investigation on deviance and criminality, the research project also aims to build a network of researchers and institutions (university and national and international research organizations) interested in the topic. The Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Società Contemporanea di Cuneo aims to actively contribute to national and European debate on this field of study.

For any further information, please feel free of contacting the supervisors of the research:

Duration of the project

36 month, which may be extended (2020 – 2023)