Accepted Paper:

L´amavo più della sua vita - I loved her more than her life  


Marion Naeser-Lather (University of Marburg)

Paper short abstract:

Based on discourse analysis and interviews, the paper explores the connections of different concepts of love and relationships with changing gender constructions and their circulation in (media) discourses and practices in Italy against the background of current societal developments.

Paper long abstract:

Italian women strive for participation and equality, illustrated by the current activities of women´s movements. Yet, traditional gender roles are promoted by political practices and social/media discourses, e.g. the religious origin of values and gender norms that is still influential and the predominant medial representation of women as desirable bodies and caretakers. Different concepts of life, love relationships and gender roles collide. Notions of independence and equality lead to uncertainties and conflicts which sometimes culminate in violence up to femicide. These phenomena have recently become more visible in the Italian society and are, in media as well as in everyday discourses, often connected with and exculpated by romantic love or passion, ascribing responsibility for the management of men´s emotions to women, reproducing the dominant symbolical order even in indignation.

How is the conceptualization of love and its manifestation in relationships affected by these processes? How are confluental vs. romantic love, how is the "indissoluble association of love, passion and their ideal durability" connected with changing gender constructions, with traditional vs. emancipatory role models, e.g. traditional ("maschilista") vs. postmodern ("maschile plurale") masculinities? How do these concepts circulate through (media) discourses, gender-related socialization processes as well as everyday-practices, and how are they formed by them through the creation of (normative) behavior expectations?

These questions are explored on the basis of a discourse analysis of media products, such as newspaper articles and films, as well as popular scientific works, discussions within the female movement and interviews with Italian men and women (2012-13).

Panel P02
Love exchange and sentimental circulations: rethinking romantic love (EN-FR)