Mourning the Italian boys: ‘Gen Z’, masculinity, teen stardom


Pubblicato in: Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, vol. 12, Issue 3, 2024, pp. 397-412.

This article aims to help fill a quasi-void in Italian film scholarship regarding media representations of Italian teen gender identities. It explores the role of Italian performers belonging to the so-called ‘Generation Z’, in terms of their emerging professional trajectories – with a focus on the post-pandemic context – and representations of gender, finding that the ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ played by Italian teen actors in movies and media outlets negotiate emerging cultural and social trends in representing gendered identities. Through a close analysis of filmic and media texts, as well as a trove of data acquired via ten in-person interviews conducted with carefully selected Italian actors, the article also examines how their characters and media personas negotiate traditional gender stereotypes and the cultural status of their profession.

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