Chi sono e perché si studiano i ceti popolari

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Who they are and why they are studying the popular classes

Fabio Berti, Marco Caselli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] The contribution is the introductory chapter of a volume in which the results of a research on the "popular classes" of the province of Siena are reported. It is therefore necessary to justify the choice to devote specific attention to that part of the population indicated here with the expression popular classes and, at the same time, to explain the meaning and meaning with which this expression is used. By the way, it can then be pointed out that the idea of focusing on this specific part of the population arises from the observation that, while there are numerous studies on the area of marginality and social distress, just as, on the contrary, on the elites, the contemporary works dedicated to that part of the population that lives in a situation of - from many of view - subordination, without however being in this case in a condition precisely of social marginality. A population that, until a few years ago, could easily have been identified with the working class. Why then, in this research, was this last definition not used and instead it was preferred instead to speak of popular classes? A first answer lies in the changes that have changed the structure of our society, making its structure more complex. The concept of class refers, in fact, to a situation in which hierarchical relationships within the company appear explicit, clearly visible and clearly defined, as well as mainly based on the position taken by the subjects within the production system. Today, however, this hierarchy appears perhaps more nuanced in its specific positions but, at the same time, more widespread, implicit and also based on cultural differences and characteristics (Magatti, De Benedittis, 2006: 21). Precisely to underline the relevance of this cultural dimension and in any case the plurality of the elements that define the social position of individuals, not attributable to the simple sharing of the same occupational condition, the concept of class was then preferred to that of class. Indeed, it was decided to use the pleti ceti in order to further underline the multiplicity of situations and conditions that can contribute to determining a substantially subordinated social position. Substantial subordination expressed by the popular expression, where to popularize, even in the current meaning of the term, we mean something of little prestige and as such accessible to all, unsophisticated and in some way linked to the traits of essentiality and more materials of everyday life. Popular that can also be understood as something deeply intertwined with tradition, thus highlighting a certain incapacity to keep up with the times.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Who they are and why they are studying the popular classes
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationCeti popolari. Una ricerca sulle nuove vulnerabilità sociali
EditorsFABIO BERTI, Lorenzo Nasi
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Ceti popolari
  • Toscana
  • Vulnerabilità


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