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Representations of the Italian South

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  1. Representations of the Italian South “ An explorer who told lies would bring disaster on the books of the geographer… one requires the explorer to furnish proofs.” St Exupery, The Little Prince

  2. Research Research questions: • How is the South of Italy represented? • How can we explain this? • What are the implications? Methodology: • Analysis of content, photographs, text and activities in four textbooks and one Italian atlas

  3. Texts • Key Stage 3 Textbooks • Waugh, D & Bushell, T. (2006) Key Geography: New Interactions. NelsonThornes • Hillary, M, Mickelburgh, J & Stanfield, J. (2001) Think Through Geography 2, Longman • Bowen, A. and Pallister, J (2005) Geography 360° Core Book 2, Heinemann Core Book, Heinemann • Atlas • (2006) Atlante Geografico di Base de Agostini per la scuola primaria, Instituto Geografico de Agostini,

  4. Contents: section headings Key Geography • Climate • Farming • Industry • Tourism • Rural problems Think Through Geography • North/south divide • Landscape/climate • Farming • Industry • Core and periphery Geography 360° • Does Italy have N and S? • (unemployment, income) • Why is the South Poor • Can the gap between N and S be closed? • Italy as tourist destination (Pompei and Etna) Italian primary school atlas Campania; Puglia; Basilicata; Calabria; Sicily; Sardinia • The land • Population • Agriculture and fishing • Industry • Tourism.

  5. Photographs of Settlements There are 5 photographs of settlements in the three textbooks • All show hill villages

  6. Settlement: Text (textbooks) Key Geography • ‘Most people still live in hilltop villages in rural areas. The few towns, which are on the coast…’ • ‘Village lacking modern amenities (label)’ Geography 360° • ‘More and more settlements are perched on hilltops surrounded by rocky slopes. Can people make a good living here?’ • ‘Why don’t more people live on the flatter lowlands?’ • ‘What are the difficulties of living on the top of a hill?’

  7. Agriculture: in textbooks Key Geography: 1 photograph • Farmer with sheep on hillside Think through Geography: 2 photographs • Hilly area, with caption: Is it being well farmed? • Hilly landscape with inset of person saying, “In the South of Italy many farms are small and provide just enough food to feed my family”

  8. Agriculture in textbooks Geography 360° • Drawings of landscape in 1950 and 1990 • 1950 - includes labels: outdated farming methods; low yielding vineyards • 1990 - labels include: mechanised farming; irrigation channels; greenhouses growing salad crops • Photograph of agricultural landscape in Sardinia (activity to note features shown in 1990 drawing)

  9. Key Geography High, steep land Not enough money for fertilisers, irrigation Summer drought Little soil on hills because of erosion Few farmers own land Away from urban markets Animals used instead of modern machinery Think through Geography Steep slopes Hot dry weather Poor thin soils Very small farms Difficult to use machinery Lack of money for investment Poor roads and communications Explanation of agriculture in textbooks

  10. Agriculture: textbooks Key Geography • Most farms are very small. Farming is at a subsistence level. • Farming methods are still traditional • Outdated farming methods • Disadvantages of farming in the south (title for photograph) Think Through Geography • In the South of Italy many farms are small and provide just enough food to feed my family. People call this subsistence farming Geography 360° • Problems experienced by companies in South. The workers are too tired to work after working on their farms before and after work.

  11. Industry: textbooks Key Geography • Only partial success in introducing new industry Think Through Geography • Naples is the only large centre of industry in the south Geography 360° • Industries never arrived in numbers • Low output from workers not used to factory work • Some businesses failed • Long history of crime and corruption

  12. Activity from Key Geography You work for the new Cassa per il Mezzogiorno or Fund of the South organisation. You have been given the task of seeking funds for the improvement schemes and have been asked to give a presentation to the EU and World Bank. • Draw a star diagram to show the main problems of the south • Show how life in rural areas may be improved. • Which schemes do you think would bring most benefit?

  13. Activity from Think Through Geography Writing frame • What is the future for the South of Italy? • The South of Italy is different from the North in several ways… • The South suffers from many problems both physical and human • Farming in the South could be improved by… • Industry in the South could be improved by… • The main problem with the South is… • Unless these problems are solved then…

  14. Activity from Geography 360° Lack of wealth in the South: physical and human causes. Can you separate the human factors from the physical? (Each factor is expanded through bullet points) • Old fashioned farming methods • Climate • Drainage • History • Lack of modern industry • Relief • Land ownership • Rock type and soils

  15. Key messages about the Italian South from the textbooks • Most people live in hill towns which makes life difficult • Farming in the South of Italy is very difficult • Most farming is subsistence farming • There is little industry • Industry has not been successful • Southern Italy is a problem • Southern Italy needs to be improved

  16. Photographs of settlement in Italian atlas All photographs are of coastal settlements and include: • Gulf of Naples • Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples • Positano • Guardini-Naxos, a coastal resort in Sicily

  17. Text about settlement in Italian atlas Campania • The internal area is sparsely populated in contrast to the dense population in the areas near Naples and Salerno Puglia • Population is concentrated in Bari and other towns Calabria In the mountain zone the population is very sparse Sicily • Strong development of coastal cities

  18. Images of agriculture in Italian atlas Maps • For each region there is a map showing distribution of commercial agriculture Photographs include: • Tomatoes in Campania • Olive groves and vines in Puglia • Orange orchards in Sicily

  19. Text related to agriculture (in Italian atlas) Campania • The Romans called it ‘happy Campania’ because of the fertility of its plains and the gentleness of its climate Puglia • Blessed with a good Mediterranean climate and characterised by a landscape almost without hills

  20. Industry in Italian atlas For each region • A map showing the distribution of industries which include: chemicals; engineering; food processing; timber and paper; textiles

  21. Data provided For eleven different agricultural products the top six Italian regions are ranked according to the quantity of production. Example of data Tomatoes Puglia Em. Romagna Campania Sicily Calabria Basilicata Task For each product give points to each region, 6 points for the top region, 5 to the next and so on. Mark these on a map. Add up the points. List the six most productive regions and shade them on a map. List the six most productive regions of Italy. (From this task, the six most productive regions in Italy, in order of the points total are: Emilia Romagna; Puglia; Sicily; Veneto; Lombardy; and Campania. NB 3 of these are in the South Activity in Italian atlas

  22. Key messages of the Italian atlas • Most of the population of Southern Italy lives in the coastal areas • The climate favours agriculture • Southern Italy is very important for commercial agriculture • There is a variety of industries

  23. Meridionalismo (southernism) ‘Europe ends at Naples and ends badly. Calabria, Sicily and all the rest belong to Africa’ Creuze de Lesser, 1806 • Anti-Meridionalismo: An attitude of north towards the south. • Often in the North of Italy the south is compared unfavourably with the North. • There are negative stereotypes in Italy about the South • South has been considered ‘backward’, ‘barbaric’ • Mezzogiorno as a construct, as a series of images and perceptions: southern Italy presented as a problem • This image of the south is being challenged now and representations of the south are being questioned

  24. The effects of looking at Southern Italy through a negative lens Leads to an over-emphasis on: • disadvantages of Southern Italy for farming and industry • failures of industry • failures of the past Affects the selection of: • photographs • statistics • activities for students Tendency to generalise and present stereotypes Inaccurate representations

  25. Common inaccuracies • Most farming is subsistence farming • Most people live in hill top towns • Transport is poor • There is no money for investment • The birth rate is high • There are a lot of old people

  26. Positive aspects not mentioned • Rich cultural heritage • Very high life expectancy • Well developed motorway network • High rate of car ownership • Mild winter growing season • FIAT at Melfi, Basilicata

  27. Southern Italy in the UK Products from Southern Italy can be found in most supermarkets in England. Typical products are: • Wine from Sicily and Puglia • Olive oil from Puglia, Sicily, Calabria • Citrus fruits from Sicily and Calabria • Tinned tomatoes from Campania and Puglia • Pasta from Puglia (pasta shapes called ‘orrechiette’)

  28. Some questions • What is the role of comparisons in studying places in geography? • How can we be more aware of the lenses through which we are studying places? • How could places be better represented in textbooks? • Could textbooks be sources for enquiry learning rather than sources of ‘information’?