A survey of the literature on mining and mining communities in the Alps shows that the mobility that was so distinctive of miners often created a difficult co-existence between local peasant populations and salaried migrants working in the mines. Whether the latter were pushed to become miners by poverty or, rather, were pulled to this trade by attractive economic rewards remains an open and contentious question. In order to address it correctly, an intensive dialogue between anthropology and history is badly needed. While current representations of mining reveal a clear prevalence of negative images, until a recent past a marked contrast existed between negative representations produced by outsiders – be they distant rulers or host peasant populations resenting the life style of their mobile and turbulent guests – and positive self-representations (as documented especially by mining songs) produced by the miners themselves. Focusing on the Alpine area, this article compares such antagonistic representations with quantitative studies that offer useful factual evidence to measure the gap between “reality” and representation and assesses the extent to which the representations of mining life in the past are influenced by back-projections of both perceptions and real conditions of mining in the contemporary world.

La cultura della miniera nelle Alpi tra storia e antropologia. Stato delle ricerche e questioni aperte

VIAZZO, Piero
2016

Abstract

A survey of the literature on mining and mining communities in the Alps shows that the mobility that was so distinctive of miners often created a difficult co-existence between local peasant populations and salaried migrants working in the mines. Whether the latter were pushed to become miners by poverty or, rather, were pulled to this trade by attractive economic rewards remains an open and contentious question. In order to address it correctly, an intensive dialogue between anthropology and history is badly needed. While current representations of mining reveal a clear prevalence of negative images, until a recent past a marked contrast existed between negative representations produced by outsiders – be they distant rulers or host peasant populations resenting the life style of their mobile and turbulent guests – and positive self-representations (as documented especially by mining songs) produced by the miners themselves. Focusing on the Alpine area, this article compares such antagonistic representations with quantitative studies that offer useful factual evidence to measure the gap between “reality” and representation and assesses the extent to which the representations of mining life in the past are influenced by back-projections of both perceptions and real conditions of mining in the contemporary world.
LA RICERCA FOLKLORICA
71
13
26
mining cultures, Alps, labour migrations, self-representations, anthropology, history
Pier Paolo, Viazzo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1633423
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