Critical Approaches to Gender and Sexuality in Italian Culture and Society

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In exploring the development of critical debates on gender and sexuality in contemporary Italian culture, this article focuses on three issues that, it is argued, have shaped this evolution, at times limiting its scope: the interdisciplinary character of these fields; the varying levels of attention devoted to different modalities of gender and sexuality, which have seen more attention devoted to women/femininity than to men/masculinities; evolving theoretical discourses on gender and sexuality and arising tensions, particularly between Anglophone poststructuralist conceptions of gender and Italian sexual difference thought. I suggest that while perceived or actual failures to engage with Anglophone critical discourses provoke frustration, some recent scholarship in Italian offers productive critical innovation, interweaving Anglophone theories with Italian thought. This and other recent work goes some way towards addressing persistent gaps in critical analyses of sexuality and gender in an Italian context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-177
Number of pages14
JournalItalian Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • feminisms
  • institutions
  • poststructuralism
  • gender
  • dialogue
  • sexuality


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