The last two decades of the twentieth century saw rapid social, economic, cultural and political change. Italy was now one of the world’s richest nations and young women of this period belonged to the first generation without personal experience of the great poverty it had so recently shaken off. Although, to a degree, Italy was becoming more like the rest of Europe, it followed the ‘Southern European model’ of social development with a very low birth rate, enduring strong family relationships and poor state welfare provisions. On the political front the partitocrazia (party-rule, as the Italian political system of this period has been dubbed) survived in the 1980s but, in the early 1990s, imploded in a maelstrom of corruption trials, finally bringing to an end half a century of DC rule. In these years, Italy became increasingly ethnically diverse with migrant workers, including many women, arriving from all over the world.
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