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- Fascist textbooks for Italian schools abroad
- Pretelli, Matteo
- The Fascist Regime in Rome conceived of millions of Italians residing abroad as part of the wider Italian nation. The Italianità---the Italian character---was considered an essential component of both Italians at home and abroad. Abroad, the new generations of children of Italian immigrants were the main target of Fascist propaganda, although the majority had never been to Italy and their links to the Italian culture were fading. Fascism tried to obtain their consent through the enrollment in paramilitary organizations---Balilla and Avanguardisti---as well as by the offer of free journeys to Italy to reside in Summer camps. Also, government, parochial, and lay ethnic schools abroad were considered instruments to indoctrinate young Italians. According to the Fascist mindset, these schools had to be aggressive in strategic locations such as Tunisia, Malta, and Egypt. Especially in Tunisia---a French protectorate---schools taught the youngsters about the ‘inevitability’ of the country’s annexation to Italy. Generally speaking, the instructor was conceived as a ‘pioneer', a ‘soldier', a ‘combatant', and a ‘missionary'. The preservation of the Italian language was a priority and a major component of the Italian identity of Italian immigrants. The political use of history and the role of propaganda in Fascist textbooks and curricula in Italy have been extensively studied by scholars. This essay aims to analyze the contents, the political messages and values contained in Fascist textbooks published for Italian schools abroad.
- Publication type
- Conference paper
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Paper presented at 'L'Italia nella grande emigrazione', the 5th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (ACIS), Auckland, New Zealand, 18-21 February 2009
- Publication year
- Cultural influence; Education; Emigrants; Emigration; Ethnic identity; Fascism; Fascist propaganda; Immigrant population; Immigration; Italian culture; Italian fascism; Italian language; Italian politics; Italy; Minority groups; Mussolini, Benito (1883-1945); Political ideology; Politics; Schooling; Teaching; Textbooks; Youth
- Australasian Centre for Italian Studies
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2009 Matteo Pretelli. Paper reproduced here with the kind permission of the conference organisers.
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