The age of the Italian Members of Parliament and of political leaders was at the center of the debate during the latest national and European electoral campaigns. In both fronts, the slogans urged the change of Italian political class, using in order to define it terms like "demolition" (used by Matteo Renzi nicknamed "The demolition man") or "zombies attached to their armchairs" (used by Beppe Grillo). But, which is the image of young man and elder to whom the two leaders refer? Which are the roles that their communication symbolize for young people and the elderly? Which are the thresholds present on public speeches and posts on official websites and profiles on the social networks of the two leaders? What is the dialectic developed? Which are the similarities and differences with the representations proposed by the leaders of the early nineties, when Forza Italia and the North League occupied a political space left empty after the end of the Cold War and the explosion of Bribesville scandals (Tangentopoli)? The paper reflects on the potential change in the structure of political opportunities for the recruitment of Italian Members of Parliament "men and female -, comparing the statistical trend. After the scenario description, analyzing statistical data and literature about élite and leading classes in Italy, the article reports the results of an exploratory research aimed at bringing out models of young, elderly and adults proposed in the political speeches of the leaders Renzi and Grillo. In particular, by comparing the online communication of the Democratic Party leader and of the Five Star Movement, the research highlights the symbolic construction of different representations of the generational conflict in Italy. Web ethnography and qualitative content analysis will intersect to show, through research, nodes, plots, and reflections of the narratives of the new and the old.
Keywords: Generations; representations; political participation; political communication; the Renzi’s PD; M5S