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Building a ‘counter-community of emotions’: feminist encounters and socio-cultural difference in 1970s Turin1

  • Maud Anne Bracke (a1)


The article analyses cross-class encounters within 1970s feminist campaigning from the perspective of the history of emotions. It is based on a case study of a feminist women's sexual health clinic (consultorio autogestito) in a working-class district near Turin, the Falchera, in the mid-1970s. The article investigates the role played by emotions in the creation of a sense of community among women from different socio-economic and educational backgrounds. The encounters between feminist activists from Turin and working-class women living at the Falchera are understood as framed by these emotional exchanges, which led the women involved to question in new ways their own life-stories, aspirations and understanding of libertà. It is argued that these exchanges led to a reshaping of feminist politics at the grass-roots, specifically in the articulation of strongly situated notions of liberation. The analysis is based on original interviews and interviews published at the time.


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Modern Italy
  • ISSN: 1353-2944
  • EISSN: 1469-9877
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