Author:Sabine Kienitz (Universität Hamburg)
Paper short abstract:
The paper will discuss methodological challenges arising from empirical research based on archival sources of the early 19th century on small retailers, beggars and travelling people.
Paper long abstract:
The paper will discuss methodological challenges arising from empirical research based on archival sources of the early 19th century on small retailers, beggars and travelling people. While the perspective of "Sozialdisziplinierung" was claiming for a long time a position of marginalization and exclusion of these groups and parts of population and a moral and mental gap between the middle and the lower resp. propertyless classes, the question is still today to understand everyday life and how these groups especially on the countryside and in the small towns and villages cooperated in making a living. The perspective of governmental and administrative repression is mostly shown in the local law and depending on that in the police files. But still one of the main problems is getting information about the perspectives of mobile people e.g. on their own conceptions of "home", every day life strategies, or family and kinship networks and their encounter with settled population groups.
Working with court records of a murder trial the paper will on the one hand discuss the methodological questions while working with these sources of public authorities, on the other hand it will discuss the evidences of the lives of three mobile women in the early 19th century in Württemberg, who had been living on the road for the majority of time of their lives.
Exploring highly mobile life-worlds