Department or Program

European Studies


For my thesis, I investigate the relationship between the political agenda of the Fascist regime in Italy and the development of the “New Italian Woman.” As Mussolini sought to build a new foundation for a united Italy, one that combined tradition and modernity, he recognized the role of the individual in fostering sentiments of identification with his project. Working to inspire italianità, a kind of national pride which manifested through everyday practices and customs, the regime endeavored to encourage civilians to associate Italian greatness with individual greatness. Integrating Fascist doctrine into the private lives of the Italian people, Mussolini instilled that Fascism was more than an ideology, but rather a lifestyle, a kind of civic religion. Given their ability to procreate, women were at the center of this religion. The regime intertwined motherhood with italianitá by sponsoring self- discipline in order to optimize a mind-body commitment to the version of femininity that most benefited the nation. This paper focuses on three technologies through which the regime maximized this commitment: science and medicine, sport and recreation, and consumerism. Through an analysis of the way these standards were pushed by newspaper articles and advertisements, I attempt to demonstrate how Fascist ideals for la donna nuova functioned as larger political vehicles.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Lopez, Francisca

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.