La Mamma: Italian Mothers Past and Present

Penelope Morris, Perry Willson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Drawing on the issues aired and discussed in the workshops and public events organized by the interdisciplinary AHRC-funded project “La Mamma: Interrogating a National Stereotype,” this chapter explores some of the differing ways that Italian mothers, both in Italy and in its diaspora, have been represented over the last century and a half. It focuses in particular on one of these many representations, the stereotype of mammismo—the overbearing mother figure who spoils her children, particularly sons, and in return demands their unquestioning devotion. The chapter considers both the origins of the stereotype and its role in present-day Italy as well as offering some reflections on the study of stereotypes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLa Mamma
    Subtitle of host publicationInterrogating a National Stereotype
    EditorsPenelope Morris, Perry Willson
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9781137542564
    ISBN (Print)9781137559869
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Publication series

    NameItalian and Italian American Studies
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


    • Italy
    • Motherhood
    • Stereotypes
    • Representation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities


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