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Construction of national identity in Italy: from the Italians to the Italics

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This article reviews Italian public service annonncement campaigns of the 1970-1980s, affecting a wide thematic spectrum: enhancing population cultural level, tolerance and mutual respect, eradicating various kinds of prejudices and the fight against discrimination, health and healthcare, family values. The specificity of the phenomenon of Italian public service annonncement (PSA) involves drawing attention to the most acute problems of society and the search for their solutions. In addition, tools and means of influence result from current social trends and ongoing events. This makes it possible to assume that PSA, in addition to its main task - to regulate human behaviour model, is a kind of an expert system addressed by the individual in the search of his real self, which is the search of national and personal identity. The search for national identity for Italy is highly relevant both in the indicated period and today, due to a number of historical, ethnographic and cultural factors, as well as the linguistic picture of the country. Analysis of the topics of PSA, their implementation, methods and mechanisms of influence, as well as the effectiveness of a particular campaign in a certain period and conditions, provide an opportunity to draw certain conclusions about how the country is positioning itself at the European and world level.
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If Italy in 2011 becomes 150 years old, than how old are Italians? So to paraphrase the title of this paper, we introduce mischievously the idea that Italians have a different age. Obviously, we will try to respond, reflecting on the sense of belonging to a collective identity, in our case the Italian one, in times of globalization or, better, glocalization. The reflexion about Italian identity, or Italic as we are going to call it, comes from the extraordinary and special change due to the global processes that deconstruct the socio-political systems of nation-state created by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years' War. In conclusion, what interests us is the cultural identity is increasingly characterized by processes of human, objects and symbols mobility that no longer recognize, as they did for a long time, territorial barriers and boundaries.
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Parole chiave Italicità, identità, appartenenza, cultura, migrazione 1. 2011: sono 150 anni di unità Il 2011 è stato l'anno delle celebrazioni dei 150 anni dall'unità d'Italia. Molto si è detto e scritto, spesso polemicamente e strumentalmente secondo gli interessi in gioco. Sono stati pubblicati, nell'occasione, molti testi, come a tirare le fila di questi anni di vita, rivisitando e divulgando gli eventi risorgimentali, oppure seguendo la linea, magari nostalgica, del come eravamo e del come siamo diventati. Altri (Dardano 2011, Della Loggia Schiavone 2011, Gentile 2010, Montanari 2011, Patriarca 2010, Ruffolo 2009), invece, hanno adottato uno sguardo, a nostro avviso più ampio, un orizzonte esteso caratterizzato da aspetti socio-culturali che non si limitano ai 150 anni, ma oltrepassan-doli vanno a riconfigurare un percorso di costruzione identitaria allargato agli eventi e alle vicende che hanno visto protagonista la Penisola italica ben prima del 1861. Si tratta, se volessimo riassumere, di provare a non farsi trarre in inganno dalle cesure temporali, alle quali molto spesso storici, e soprattutto giornalisti, per semplicità o semplicismo, ricorrono. È il peso o il timore della complessità che può portare a definizioni standard, con conseguenze devianti, nel nostro caso, sul tema dell'auto-riconoscimento collettivo, rispondendo alla domanda «chi siamo». «Abbiamo fatto l'Italia, facciamo gli italiani», la frase attribuita al marchese D'Azeglio, oltre ad essere alla base delle nostre riflessioni è uno di quei classici temi che, per faciloneria, può far nascere tutta una serie di percezioni sbagliate. Certamente il nobile italiano affermò che erano «gli italiani […] i più pericolosi nemici dell'Italia unita». Fatto che ci trova più concordi. Ma perché esprimiamo dubbi su quel «fare gli italiani», che anche durante la copertura mediatica per il 150° è tornato ad essere * Università degli studi di Firenze.
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