Notes

1. It is interesting that Italy is one of the few—or the only—countries where a porn star, Cicciolina, became a political figure. This seems to suggest that the public political domain is currently a form of display or performance—rendered increasingly feasible and desirable with the growth of the media—in which contradictory signifiers of gender and morality have been mobilized in ways that suggest that, although it is difficult to talk about distinct gender and sexual identities, these are nevertheless important in the perception of public life as well as in the experience of private life.

2. In 1974 a referendum was held to measure public feeling about the 1970 bill that legalized divorce, against the position of the Vatican on this issue. A similar situation arose a few years later with the law that legalized abortion in 1977. A referendum in 1981 ratified the law, again against the recommendations of the church to its faithful.

3. There has been an interesting evolution in the corredo. Up until the 1970s women in many areas, especially in rural areas, put together a corredo that consisted primarily of linens and other household items. In many parts of the country women were expected to produce much of their corredo themselves, for example, by crocheting doilies, embroidering pillow cases, and so on. In the cities and as young women gained greater opportunities of paid employment, there was a shift toward buying these items, although an embroiderer might be employed to add some design or initials to customize the factory-produced items. In the 1970s in the urban centers there was also a marked shift away from linens toward domestic appliances, ranging from television sets to kitchen appliances and the like. In other words, there has been a gradual commodification of corredo items and a decline in the value of the young women's labor as embodied in these items.

4. The family has declined from an average of 3.3 members in 1971 to 3.0 in 1981. Campania shows the highest average family size in the country with 3.5 members in 1981. Marriage rates have declined in Italy but Campania still has the highest rate in the country. The number of illegitimate children has also risen from 22 per 1000 in 1970 to 48 per 1000 in 1983, but in Campania the increase is from 21 to 35 per 1000 for the same period.

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