Glocale Rivista molisana di storia e scienze sociali



Rossano Pazzagli

Analysis and Critique of Identity.
Methodological Notes on Local and Regional History

Italy is a country with many regional and local differences. Tuscany and Molise are two regional areas very different between them: the former has a strong identity, the latter presents a weak and evasive identity. The article proposes a methodological research to reconstruct these group identities through the analysis of some major spheres: socio-professional structure, family strategies, environment, relationship between the interior and the exterior. In particular, the relationship between man and nature seems to be the foundation of the social organization, the indelible mark of social identity of a town, village or region. It follows a particular vision of identity, but also a critique of this concept necessarily ambiguous and plural. Identity is not a matter by it self, but a cluster of problems. Historical research alone should not allow to solve them all, but it can help us to give a contribution to an issue often discussed in abstract or superficial mode. That requires a multidisciplinary approach and a greater openness of history to other social sciences. Research on identity, finally, helps to interpret the deep anxiety typical of each era of globalization.