Giulia Calvi

Abito, genere, cittadinanza nella Toscana moderna (secoli XVI-XVII)

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In the early modern period, within an urban arena such as Florence, dress immediately conveyed a complex set of social codes: status oriented consumption; age; gender and citizenship. In this essay dress is considered as the visible point of intersection of a wider vocabulary concerning the discourse and practice of inclusion and exclusion. The first part introduces us into the language of norm pointing at the meaningful aspects of the main Tuscan sumptuary laws (1546, 1562, 1568, 1637) expanding from Florence into Arezzo, Pisa and Siena, focusing on the complex and controversial issue of married women's citizenship status. The second part takes into account the language and practice of exclusion and inclusion, analyzing the enforcement of the 1637 legislation in court records and legal sentences dealing with those accused of transgressing the sumptuary law. Court records bring to the surface social mobility and distinction as well as emulation and desire to negotiate the rules that regulate the participation of non-citizens (workers, peasants, women) to the urban community.


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