City of goldsmiths: Economy, local identity and rhetoric in Valenza, Italy

  • Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco Durham University, Department of Anthropology
Keywords: local community, rhetoric, Italy, imagined community, media, identity


Drawing on the case of Valenza, Italy, this paper moves from the analytical model of imagined communities to deal with the process of the definition of local identity, intended as a rhetoric boundary object. Local identities are considered as rhetoric objects that are propelled by the interaction among the practices of discourse carried on by different social actors. Distinct from Anderson’s approach, this paper highlights the fact that the cultural process is not only limited within the local community, but also involves the geographical environment and people outside the community, since it is deeply linked with the interaction of the community with outsiders, landscape and media.