Hunters And Little Seamstresses. Gender Educational Models Along the Nineteenth and the Twentieth Centuries


  • Loredana Magazzeni Università degli Studi di Bologna



This article focuses on the beginning and evolution of gender role models in primary-school Italian textbooks of the Post-Unity period, as well as in secondary teacher-training schools (“Scuole normali”). The building of the Italian nation is clearly marked by gender separation in male and female curricula and in the type of schools chosen by boys and by girls. For girls, the reparation and construction of a social and linguistic “fabric” through the skills of sewing and so-called womanly tasks, in prevalently dialect-speaking contexts. For boys, a destiny as farmers, or factory workers, but especially as defenders of the nation’s borders (through military training, physical education and obligatory conscription). The spread in the popularity of what were considered male physical activities (such as hunting and clay target shooting) from the early 1900s on confirms the gender division of the skills learned and the long duration of habits that came out of the educational tradition of united Italy.


Keywords: schooling in Nineteenth Century, male and female Models, textbooks, sewn, sport.


Author Biography

Loredana Magazzeni, Università degli Studi di Bologna

Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Educazione

Dottoranda in Scienze pedagogiche