Informations and abstract
The paper basically deals with two concepts and presents some results of fieldwork carrierd out using in-depth interviews with young people in the Milano area. The two concepts are "image" and "authenticity". During our research we spoke, individually or in groups, with some 70 young people about their way of dressing. I will begin with a deeper enquiry into what we mean by imaginary, outlining what we understood about the matter before our empirical study. I will report then on the connections which the interviewees made between clothing and image. I will go on to present the results of our field study, with particular attention to what we had not expected to find, the link between image and authenticity. This view of the young people will be discussed first within the framework of the theoretical debate on authenticicy, then by considering it within the large field of discussion on identity. Finally, I argue that these young people, who to a certain extent seem to refuse an involvement in the surrounding society, are in fact totally immersed in it, sharing the main features of contemporary culture.