Rural History 2015

Panel 31

Organizers: Congost, Rosa

Affiliation: University of Girona, Spain

Title: Neither elite nor poor. Middle classes and social change in countryside in historical perspective

The so-called emerging countries could hardly be classified as such if social groups susceptible to being considered middle class had not emerged in their midst. And in Western countries, the current crisis has also been associated with the avatars known for these groups. Contrast, however, the importance currently awarded the emergence or decline of the so-called middle classes on social scientists' forums with the little importance attached to the issue in historical research. This is the second point we wish to highlight. In fact, our interest in this session stems from dissatisfaction with the way in which the middle classes have usually been dealt with in historical research, either absent, or with too restrictive or too a priori a view. To overcome these obstacles, we propose a broad concept of the middle classes which, as the title of the proposal reflects, would encompass all those people who cannot be conceptualized as forming part of the elite or the poor, two categories which by contrast have been the subject of numerous historical studies. The study of the middle classes in countryside in historical perspective requires a method of analysis which explores and contextualizes those social dynamics that have led to the formation, transformation or disappearance of these groups. To achieve this, the research must also take into account social relations, or relations between these groups and others comprising a society, including therefore the elite and the poor. It must also incorporate a dynamic vision to allow the observation, in each case, of those scenarios where these groups are formed or blocked, are transformed, consolidated or disappear. The session aspires to put researches on various times and countries on the role played by rural middle groups in common.


Papers (part I)

Paper 1: More than words. Methodological reflections on the identification of middle-class groups and social classes in Ancien Regime Catalonia [+]

Rosa Congost, Rosa Ros, Enric Saguer, University of Girona, Spain

Paper 2: Identifying the Middle Class in Rural England during the Nineteenth Century – Social, Economic, Political and Cultural Perspectives

Sarah Holland, Sheffield Hallam University, England

Paper 3: The rural middle class during the Liberal State (Majorca, 19th century) [+]

Antònia Morey Tous, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain

Paper 4: Middle classes and economic cycles: rural credit markets in Catalonia, 1875-1905

Ricard Garcia-Orallo, University of Girona / University of Barcelona, Spain


Papers (part II)

Paper 5: Middle-class rabassaires. Social promotion, class alliances and sociopolitical victories of the rabassaires in the Vallés Occidental (Catalonia) [+]

Antonio López Estudillo, University of Girona, Spain

Paper 6: Between labourers and owners: the reproductive strategies of rabassaire families of the Penedés (Catalonia) [+]

Josep Colomé, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Paper 7: A “ranchero” radical rebellion of agrarian communities along the northern border during the Mexican Revolution.

Jane Dale Lloyd Daley, Universidad Iberoamericana, México.

Paper 8: The Kulaks in Hungary in the 1950's

Judit Tóth Judit, National Archives of Hungary, Hungary


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015