Gender, Class and Suffering in the Argentinean Telenovela Milagros:
An Italian Perspective
In the 1990s the Argentinean telenovela Milagros was broadcast on network television in Italy. The show was enormously popular with the residents of Sasso, a hilltop community in central Italy where I conducted my fieldwork. The women with whom I watched the program identified with the protagonist’s circumstances and shared a special kinship with her. A modern day Madonna figure, she was deeply admired for her courage and elicited an almost religious devotion from her fans. In the face of rapid social change, this pious vision of femininity valorizes suffering and provides a metaphor for understanding broader gender inequalities.