Revolution in a comic strip: Gasparazzo and the identity of southern migrants in Turin, 1969-1975

Pizzolato, Nicola (2007) Revolution in a comic strip: Gasparazzo and the identity of southern migrants in Turin, 1969-1975. International Review of Social History, 52 (S15). pp. 59-75. ISSN 0020-8590

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Abstract

Between 1969 and 1975, in Turin, a social movement with migrants from southern Italy as its protagonists addressed the issues of working conditions in the automobile plants, and housing and living standards in the city's overcrowded working-class neighbourhoods. Southern migrants, from different regions and speaking sometimes mutually incomprehensible dialects, forged a collective identity as Meridionali – “southerners” – and claimed recognition as fully fledged citizens of Turin's industrial society. This identity-building was captured in the making through the satirical cartoons featuring Gasparazzo, the character of a southern worker at FIAT who struggled daily with the alienation of work, the arrogance of supervisors, the repression enforced by the police, and, back in the south, the backwardness of the social system. Although the publication of Gasparazzo ended abruptly in 1972 the qualities of the cartoon character continued to resonate in succeeding years. As militancy waned and the social movement started to crumble, Gasparazzo came to symbolize the nostalgic model of a working-class hero rather than any actual southerner in the plant.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 14459
Notes on copyright: Yes
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Nico Pizzolato
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 12:27
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2019 18:31
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/14459

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