Giambattista Salinari

Anatomia di un gruppo senza storia: i domestici a Firenze (1800-1875)

  • Abstract

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This paper is organized into two main parts. In the first, the author adopts a demographical perspective and proposes a general method for defining what a social group is. In the second, the evolution of the servants' group in Florence during the period 1800-75 is analysed. In the first section, the author states that the simplest thing we can say about a group is that it is a set of individuals with some shared attributes: a "social group" is defined as a group that tries to replicate a part of its attributes in a different group. In the second section, the author demonstrates shown that the servants' group is a heterogeneous group. The group's geographical origins, for example, are extremely diverse. Moreover, considering the social trajectories of the members of this group across three different generations, the author observes that the children of this group very often try to abandon the social conditions of their parents. In Florence, during the period under consideration, the servants' group always demonstrates the highest social mobility. Based on this evidence, the author concludes that the servants' group in Florence cannot be considered a social group.

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