Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Historia urbana e historia obrera: reflexiones sobre la vida obrera y su inscripción en el espacio urbano, 1900-1950

José Luis Oyón


The article provides some keys to relate City and Working-Class. Urban space, specialy in the great city of the first twentieth Century, was not a pasive element in Working-Class formation. Social segregation, housing, journey to work and neigbourhood community of European cities are examined in a comparative approach. The Second World War was a turning point for working-class life in these issues. Workers were more segregated from the non-manual social classes specially in the new suburban council housing. Journey to work were longer. Primary community networks -kinship, neighbours, friendship- survived, but secondary networks started their decline.

Nor the different Working sectors neither the different cities changed in the same way. Skilled and white collar workers were often the protagonists of the transformations. Unskilled workers preserved the old patterns to a great extent. In the cities of the South transformations were not so profound as in the cities of the North. These cities were the stage of a gradual fragmentation of the different Working-Class strata in urban areas more and more separated. A fragmentation wich also affected the old geographical unity between work and home and the social networks in the neigbourhood. The article finally suggests a relation of these issues with the lowering of labour after the revolutionary 1917-1920 moment.

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