Poor government and work organisation in the real albergo dei poveri of palermo: a bio-political experiment in bourbon-sicily (eighteenth–nineteenth centuries)

De Computis, Spanish Journal of Accounting History

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Title Poor government and work organisation in the real albergo dei poveri of palermo: a bio-political experiment in bourbon-sicily (eighteenth–nineteenth centuries)
Poor government and work organisation in the real albergo dei poveri of palermo: a bio-political experiment in bourbon-sicily (eighteenth–nineteenth centuries)
 
Creator Rossi, Roberto
 
Subject poor-government; accounting; Sicily; Eighteenth century
poor-government; accounting; Sicily; Eighteenth century
 
Description The paper aims to improve understanding of the role played by accounting in its function of government practice, considering the interfacing function of the Real Albergo dei Poveri of Palermo charity. Michel Foucault’s governmentality framework is adopted in order to explore the labour organisation within the Real Albergo dei Poveri of Palermo, where a silk manufacturer, the Real Opificio delle Sete (Royal Silk factory), was established in 1790 to exploit the workforce hosted in the institution. The paper analyses the accounting system established to manage the commodified and forced labour of poor female inmates in relation to a central issue—the social control promoted by central government. The idea is to demonstrate that work was the means to carry on the social control of people considered alien and not integrated by the society of the time, while the accounting system was the tool. The study uses documents from Palermo’s State Archive about the foundation and internal organisation of the Real Opificio delle Sete and account books from the institution and silk manufacturer to verify the role of labour and its measurement, highlighting accounting based on the checking and reporting system. Furthermore, the paper, by means of the accounting system, examines the organisation of work and internal management, and the allocation of wealth in the form of healthcare, social security and housing.
The paper aims to improve understanding of the role played by accounting in its function of government practice, considering the interfacing function of the Real Albergo dei Poveri of Palermo charity. Michel Foucault’s governmentality framework is adopted in order to explore the labour organisation within the Real Albergo dei Poveri of Palermo, where a silk manufacturer, the Real Opificio delle Sete (Royal Silk factory), was established in 1790 to exploit the workforce hosted in the institution. The paper analyses the accounting system established to manage the commodified and forced labour of poor female inmates in relation to a central issue—the social control promoted by central government. The idea is to demonstrate that work was the means to carry on the social control of people considered alien and not integrated by the society of the time, while the accounting system was the tool. The study uses documents from Palermo’s State Archive about the foundation and internal organisation of the Real Opificio delle Sete and account books from the institution and silk manufacturer to verify the role of labour and its measurement, highlighting accounting based on the checking and reporting system. Furthermore, the paper, by means of the accounting system, examines the organisation of work and internal management, and the allocation of wealth in the form of healthcare, social security and housing.
 
Publisher Spanish Accounting and Business Administration Association - AECA
 
Contributor

 
Date 2018-06-29
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier http://decomputis.org/ojs/index.php/decomputis/article/view/325
10.26784/issn.1886-1881.v15i1.325
 
Source De Computis - Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad; Vol. 15, Núm. 1 (2018): junio 2018; 51-73
1886-1881
 
Language spa
 
Relation http://decomputis.org/ojs/index.php/decomputis/article/view/325/289
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2018 Roberto Rossi
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0
 

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