It is a common belief that the dimension of fear, increasingly used by media by borrowing expressions such as "Society of fear", "Politics of fear" or "Culture of Fear", has emerged as a collective feeling in contemporary society after the attacks on the Twin Towers of 11 September 2001. In reality, Fear was already present in Western collective sensibility, as already happened in the course of history during phases characterised by profound economic, political or social changes, in close connection with a widespread sense of uncertainty and anxiety. This contribution provides a general view, from a historical perspective, of the theme of fear and more generally of the history of emotions in the West, with particular attention to the European case study, first of all reconstructing the evolution of the historiographical debate, from the first reflections by Lucien Febvre, advanced during the rise of totalitarianism in Europe, to the progressive affirmation of studies on this issue, in particular from the second half of the Seventies, until the wide and differentiated recent literature. After comparing the different methodological approaches, describing the different types of sources used by scholars and posing the question of which social actors to study to better understand the characterizing traits of a collective feeling so important but also so elusive, the essay finally poses the issue of the periodization of collective fears - proposing a subdivision of the latter between short-term fears and long-term fears - and their dynamics during the twentieth century and the beginning of the new millennium.
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|Titolo:||Europe and its Fears in the Age of Anxiety: Historiography and Perspectives|
SILEI, GIANNI (Corresponding)
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|