The Social World of Seafarers. A Sociological Research in Central Italy


Background: This article analyzes the social world of seafarers, with the aim of crossing the boundary defining the field of social sciences and entering the area of knowledge, where, to paraphrase Marcel Mauss, scientists argue for a place. Methods and Instruments: The research is based on an empirical study carried out at port authorities, fishermen’s cooperatives and fish markets in a few regions of central Italy during a two year period using empirical research methods utilized in fields of sociological knowledge, such as: semi-structured interviews, talks and informal conversations. The qualitative research was conducted through Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software using the software Atlas.ti. Our attempt is to study in depth, through an empirical study conducted on a sample of 119 individuals, the heuristic subject on seafarers, in particular sailors and fishermen, specifically from a sociological point of view. The focus is an analysis of the life-worlds of these people in connection with variables such as the socio-economic characteristics of households, the relationship with the primary nuclear family, the element of solitude (in connection with individual feelings like melancholy and nostalgia), the relationship with peers and the crew. Results: From empirical research, it is seen that sailors and fishermen, despite their different local facets, represent a social world characterized by the richness of its material, social and symbolic expressions. The craft of the sea unites them, sometimes creating a subculture absolutely different from that of other populations and subcultures.

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Maurizio, E. (2013) The Social World of Seafarers. A Sociological Research in Central Italy. Advances in Applied Sociology, 3, 199-205. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2013.34027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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