Glocale Rivista molisana di storia e scienze sociali



Gino Massullo

Local Identities: Social Landscapes and Intellectual Representations

The article goes back to the last two centuries of Molisian history connecting the characteristics of the social networks, established on the area in differentperiods by the social players, with the various interpretations given at the same time by the intellectuals about the local identity of this region.
The results are a fairly good territorial articulation of the social networks; a reasonably and contentious complexity of the relationships between different social classes; some peasant enterprises mostly related to the stately emigration and a certain involvement of the area in the wider economic and commercial framework. These characteristics do not entirely agree with the local identity outline presented by the intellectuals and the local ruling class; it is in fact only and anachronistically referred to an alleged “italico-sannita identity” revenged as a redemption for a subsequent history described as a history characterized by the territorial marginality of the region and by the meekness, resignation and misoneism of its inhabitants.
The author explains the local intellectual attitude towards the identity problem as a sign of political conservatism and of a particular difficulty in the cultural revision of the contributions provided by the history to the region over the years. He connects the persistent identity weakness of the region with the lack of right symbolization of places, traditions, experiences, knowledge, able to restrain the danger of homologation produced by the modernization and the globalization and, in the mean time, able to avoid the danger of a localistic closing too.