Douglas Harper and Palrizia Faccioli

in The Italian Way

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780226317243
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226317267 | DOI:

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This chapter examines how Italian women create and are created by their family food worlds. It shows how women's social identities are in part derived from their command of the kitchen. The chapter studies women's power and social identity in the context of Catholicism, poverty (historically situated), and regionalism (the north versus the south). It explores the cultural values associated with central stories of Catholicism. The chapter speaks of Mary, the Madonna, who is referred to by Italians as la vergine, the Virgin. The argument, so common as to be taken for granted, is that Italian women are in some deep but unstated way associated with Mary, that the messages and metaphors of her life are about theirs as well.

Keywords: Italian women; Italy; Italian culture; Italian food; cooking; power

Chapter.  10666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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