The Uses of the Traditional Sector in Italy: Why Declining Classes Survive

  • Suzanne Berger
Part of the Edinburgh Studies in Sociology book series (ESIS)

Abstract

Like other advanced industrial states, Italy regards the survival of its traditional sector as a temporary if necessary evil. National plans, politicians, leaders of the major economic associations all proclaim that the future of Italy has no room for the small-scale, familial, protected economic unit. Advanced industrial societies, so the argument runs, require enterprises that are competitive, geared to profit-making, adaptable to changes in markets and technology, and structured for efficiency in production. And whatever the differences among the extremely diverse actors, firms, and classes that in Italy are usually called traditional, they all have in common a pattern of economic behaviour so different from that of the model firm of advanced industrial society that only the most radical and most improbable transformations could save them. Opinions diverge on the precise characteristics of a firm that class it as traditional - size or labour-capital ratio or productivity or management style? But for political purposes the outcome of these definitional quarrels is irrelevant, since all diagnoses and vocabularies converge on the same set of actors: the small shops, the small industries, and the small farms. This disparate group of economic firms and those who work in them are now identified by Italian political elites as traditional, unproductive, and in some sense, parasitic.

Keywords

Economic Crisis Transportation Income Explosive Peri 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. R. Ariotti, ‘Pretese corporativistiche ed esigenze di sviluppo nella programmazione del commercio’, Il Mulino, 7/8 (1971).Google Scholar
  2. Associazione Italiana delle Grandi Imprese Distribuzione al Dettaglio, Libro bianco sulla riforma della disciplina del commercio.Google Scholar
  3. F. Bechhofer and B. Elliott, ‘Persistence and Change: the Petite Bourgeoisie in Industrial Society’, European Journal of Sociology, XVII (1976).Google Scholar
  4. S. Berger, ‘D’une boutique à l’autre: Changes in the Organization of the Traditional Middle Classes from Fourth to Fifth Republics’, Comparative Politics (October 1977).Google Scholar
  5. S. Berger, ‘The Traditional Sector in France and Italy’, in S. Berger and M. Piore, Dualism and Discontinuity in Industrial Societies (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  6. L. Bruni, Aspetti strutturali delle industrie italiane (Rome; 1961).Google Scholar
  7. Camera di Commercio, Industria, Artigianato, e Agricoltura di Parma, La grande distribuzione nell ‘ambito dell’ apparato distributivo alimentare al dettaglio.Google Scholar
  8. M. Cervi, ‘L’Ombra della recessione sulle imprese minori: Fiat: 160 milia auto in meno’, Corriere delle Sera (18 December 1971).Google Scholar
  9. Comune di Modena, Il Lavoro a domicilio nel quartiere Madonnina, (1971).Google Scholar
  10. R. Dore, British Factory-Japanese Factory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973).Google Scholar
  11. C. Fabrizi, ‘La razionalizzazione del commercio italiano in rapporto all’ urbanistico commerciale’, Atti del congresso internazionale commercio e urbanistica (14–16 October 1967).Google Scholar
  12. Federazione Italiana Metal meccanici (FIM-CISL), VIII congresso nazionale, temi per il dibattito.Google Scholar
  13. FLM, Sindacato e piccola impresa (Bari: De Donato, 1975).Google Scholar
  14. FLM, Sindacato provinciale di Bologna, Ristrutturazione e organizzazione del lavoro (Rome: Edizioni SEUSI, n.d.).Google Scholar
  15. L. Frey, Le prospettive di occupazione in Lombardia nella prima metà degli ‘anni 70’ (Milan: Giunta Regionale Lombarda, October 1971).Google Scholar
  16. G. Fuà, Occupazione e capacità produttive: la realtà italiana, (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1976).Google Scholar
  17. G. Di Girolamo, ‘Seimila miliardi dal lavoro nero’, Corriere della Sera, (2 March 1977).Google Scholar
  18. S. Hellman, ‘The PCI’s Alliance Strategy and the Case of the Middle Classes’, in D.L.M. Blackmer and S. Tarrow (eds.), Communism in Italy and France (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975).Google Scholar
  19. ISTAT, Alcuni risultati della rilevazione delle unità locali industriali e commerciali, (1969).Google Scholar
  20. Istituto Gramsci-CESPE, La piccola e la media industria nella crisi dell’ economia italiana (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1975).Google Scholar
  21. A. Kriegel, L’Evolution de l’artisanat dans le 3ème arrondissement de Paris de 1896 à 1945 (Paris: DES memoir, 1947, unpublished).Google Scholar
  22. V. Lutz, Italy: A Study in Economic Development (London: Oxford University Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  23. C. de Marco and M. Talamo, Lavoro nero (Milan: Mazzotta, 1976).Google Scholar
  24. U. Maggiolo, Contributo per l’analisi e la previsione dell ‘evoluzione delle forze di lavoro agricole in Lombardia (Milan: Giunta Regionale Lombarda, 1971).Google Scholar
  25. M. Marin, ‘La distribuzione in Italia’, Nord e Sud, no. 2 (1971).Google Scholar
  26. F. Marzano, Un’interpretazione del processo di sviluppo economico dualistico in Italia (Milan, 1969).Google Scholar
  27. Mediocredito Centrale, Lineamenti dell ‘industria manifatturiera italiana’ (Rome, 1972).Google Scholar
  28. M. Paci, Mercato del lavoro e classi sociali in Italia (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1973).Google Scholar
  29. A. Pizzorno, Comunità e razionalizzazione (Turin, 1960).Google Scholar
  30. A. Pizzorno, ‘I ceti medi nei meccanismi del consenso’, in F. Cavazza and S. Graubard (eds.), Il caso italiano (Milan: Garzanti, 1974).Google Scholar
  31. S. Ravalli, ‘La distribuzione al dettaglio’, Mondo economico (23 December 1967).Google Scholar
  32. G. Ruffolo, Il ruolo delle piccole e medie industrie nella strategia programmatica, (Rome, 27 October 1971).Google Scholar
  33. M. Salvati, ‘L’Origine della crisi in corso’, Quaderni Piacentini, XI, 46 (March 1972).Google Scholar
  34. G Sani, ‘The Italian Election of 1976: Continuity and Change’, Paper prepared for the Conference Group on Italian Politics, APSA, September 1976.Google Scholar
  35. G Sani, ‘Generations and Politics in Italy’, Paper presented at Fondazione L. Einaudi, Turin, 1977.Google Scholar
  36. D. Savage, Founders, Heirs and Managers in France: A Business Elite in Transition (Unpublished dissertation, Columbia University, 1975).Google Scholar
  37. P. Sylos-Labini, Saggio sulle classi sociali (Rome: Laterza, 1975).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Frank Bechhofer and Brian Elliott 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Berger

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations