This article surveys recent historiographical studies on social conflicts and radical left during the 1970s in Italy. The debate in last years suggested new topics, methodologies and interpretations, with particular emphasis being placed on the issue of political violence, but it is still polarized in two classical and often implicit representations: stagione dei movimenti («season of movements») and anni di piombo («years of lead»). On the one hand, some scholars have been underlining mass participation and the emergence of joyful movements aiming to social equity and individual emancipation. On the other, scholars have been emphasizing political violence, armed struggle and terrorism. Neverthless, the two representations are partial and misleading. The article attempts to suggest new investigative trails that might analyse the genesis and the transformation of the movements and opposition cultures in depth from a cultural and a social perspective, and take into account economic transformation, mass culture and the roll of political parties.
Parole chiave: Anni settanta; Movimenti sociali; Sinistra extraparlamentare; Violenza politica; Storiografia italiana.
Keywords: Seventies; Social movements; Radical left; Political violence; Italian historiography.