Definire/ridefinire i ceti medi. Ipotesi e dibattiti maturati nell'Istituto internazionale per le classi medie tra l'inizio del Novecento e il secondo dopoguerra = Defining/redefining middle classes. Hypotheses and debates developed within the International Institute for Middle Classes between the beginning of the twentieth century and the second after-war


The International Institute of the Middle Classes was created in Stuttgart (with Brussels as operating headquarter) in 1903. It was mostly inspired by F. Le Play's ideas and the chair's German socialism, and its main aims were to define middle classes and protect them from the development of monopoly capitalism and from the great industrial concentration. This paper outlines the debate concerning the definition of middle classes, within the Institution, which covered a time span ranging from the first years of the twentieth century to the second after-war. Furthermore, this study underlines the importance of the international Congresses that were organized by the Institute in various European cities (e.g., Liege in 1905, Vienna in 1908, Munich in 1911, Paris in 1924, Rome in 1927, Prague in 1935 and Brussels in 1948). Those Congresses were crucial to foreground the themes and issues associated with middle classes in Europe, and they even succeeded in affecting the manners whereby various national States were established

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n17p181

Keywords: Middle classes; Social history; Internationalism

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