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Collective and Individual Identity in Florence (16th–18th Century): The Family Book of Gianni

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the relationships between collective and individual identity in the early modern age, and the moment in which a greater awareness of the individual dimension and of self may have formed in relation to collective bodies such as family, class, corporation that dominated earlier. It discusses the way in which research of recent years, both in Italy and abroad, has looked increasingly at that very variegated and fertile type of documents, known as egodocuments, that is sources of various kinds in which the individual writes of himself. Egodocuments in fact permit us not only to know in detail a series of stories that would not otherwise catch the historian's attention, but their revelation within the private papers where they are often hidden, and comparative analysis, ideally let us understand even the ways and moments in which the individual acquired and expressed a special self-consciousness.

Keywords: collective identity; egodocuments; Florence; Individual Identity; Italy



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