Rosa Bianca. A critical examination of young Italian people with and without personal experience of war responding to some war-related aspects in a postmodern picture-book


The intent of my research was to explore young Italian people’s responses to some war-related aspects in a selected picturebook. I adopted a qualitative case study approach in order to investigate the extent to which the interviewees were aware of the theme of moral responsibility in Rosa Bianca by Roberto Innocenti. I used a sample composed of young people without personal experience of war and young people with more direct experience of it, having a parent who has been serving in armed conflict situations. Indeed, I also wished to inquire into whether there were any differences in the responses given by the two categories of young people. After an initial analysis of the picturebook and a description of my sample, the ethical concerns and the processes followed in the data collection and analysis stages, I provide the reader with a detailed discussion of the data gathered. Data analysis shows that not all the young people interviewed are aware of the significant issue of moral responsibility. Personal attitudes and experience might explain this result. Indeed, the young people’s culture, knowledge and experience often emerge from their responses. In particular, the army children’s replies show aspects of their military backgrounds, as well as some of their preoccupations related to their fathers’ jobs. However, all the young people in my study show an aversion to the use of force and to the extreme means of war. Moreover, to some extent, all of them prove to be sophisticated readers of visual texts.

Full Text