Antonio Stopani

Membership, ethnicity and institutions. The Church and the Brotherhood of Saints Peter and Paul of Naples (1530-1620)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Social Practices; Urban History; Migration; Social Integration.

The article focuses on the processes through which the Greek immigrants arriving in Naples during the sixteenth century get embedded in the local society. I show that the foundation and the guardianship of specific, ethnic institutions constitute a central asset in order to support their social mobility. The church of Saints Peter and Paul of the Greeks and the Brotherhood - which manages ecclesiastic ritual and charitable activities - are, in fact, the result of a kind of pooling resources which is empowered by cooperation and common concern for the mutual aid and the material conditions of cult. The development of the church and the Brotherhood makes theses places and institutions attractive for new immigrants and, at the same time, are acted as a means to foster individual migratory paths. The concept of «going concern» - originally expanded by the American economist John R. Commons - will be used to understand the role of institutions as a spot where strategically oriented individual actions meets a collective dimension which is in turn crucial in promoting the success of individual actions.

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