Facing the Self-Government Test: Italian Youth and the Avatars of Neoliberalism

  • Paola RebughiniEmail author


This chapter investigates the impact that neoliberalism has on the experiences and representations of ‘work’ among young Italians. Drawing on research conducted in the Italian city of Milan from 2013 to 2017, the chapter analyzes the transformations of the perceptions and experiences of work among young people from 18 to 30 years old. The aim is to shed light on the way in which this generation imagines, practices, and elaborates an experience of work in the current context of neoliberal policies, amid the growing importance of knowledge, emotions, and social relations in work processes typical of the ‘immaterial economies’, and in response to rapid changes in demands for skills and self-entrepreneurship. In its first section, the chapter analyzes some general characteristics of the transformations of the job market and job opportunities for young Italian people in the past decade, with specific attention to the exemplary case of Milan. In the second section, the chapter presents the empirical research conducted in that city, analyzing from a generational and intersectional point of view the experiences and the representation of work among the interviewees.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MilanMilanItaly

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