Despite the conventional images of the Belle Époque, the first fifteen years of the twentieth century were undermined by awareness that the foundations of civilized life were precarious. The article analyzes the fears and anxieties, and hopes and aspirations, of propertied classes in Italy, France, and Spain in the fifteen years preceding the Great War. The aims of the article are twofold. First it analyzes perceptions of fear during major strikes and daily life, relating them to those cultural factors (like religion and a preoccupation with private property) that contributed to shape and influence anxieties and uncertainness. Emotional experiences are examined in relation both to the political cultures that gave them significance and to the practices to which they gave rise and from which they also originated. Second, the article analyzes the “materiality” of emotions and the emotional characters, which are rooted in actions. Indeed, emotions act as a means of framing and reaching judgments on social events and may fuel organizational initiatives and even collective violent practices. Studying the interplay between emotions, political cultures, and practices in contexts of high-level political and social unrests, the article offers new insights into a broader comprehension of a crucial (though sometimes underestimated) period in European history.

The Shadows of Social Fear: Emotions, Mentalities and Practices of the Propertied Classes in Italy, Spain and France (1900–1914)

Millan, Matteo
2016

Abstract

Despite the conventional images of the Belle Époque, the first fifteen years of the twentieth century were undermined by awareness that the foundations of civilized life were precarious. The article analyzes the fears and anxieties, and hopes and aspirations, of propertied classes in Italy, France, and Spain in the fifteen years preceding the Great War. The aims of the article are twofold. First it analyzes perceptions of fear during major strikes and daily life, relating them to those cultural factors (like religion and a preoccupation with private property) that contributed to shape and influence anxieties and uncertainness. Emotional experiences are examined in relation both to the political cultures that gave them significance and to the practices to which they gave rise and from which they also originated. Second, the article analyzes the “materiality” of emotions and the emotional characters, which are rooted in actions. Indeed, emotions act as a means of framing and reaching judgments on social events and may fuel organizational initiatives and even collective violent practices. Studying the interplay between emotions, political cultures, and practices in contexts of high-level political and social unrests, the article offers new insights into a broader comprehension of a crucial (though sometimes underestimated) period in European history.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3187464
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