Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Good Families of Barcelona

Good Families of Barcelona: A Social History of Power in the Industrial Era

GARY WRAY McDONOGH
Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 280
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvxm3
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Good Families of Barcelona
    Book Description:

    Gary McDonogh combines ethnology and history to analyze the organization, reproduction, and decline of an urban industrial elite. Using Barcelona as the foundation for more general consideration of power-holding groups, he tells the story of the Good Families," those few hundred lineages who have dominated the city in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5823-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Ramón Llull
  6. A NOTE ON NAMES AND TRANSCRIPTIONS
    (pp. xv-2)
  7. CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-15)

    Anthropology long has been concerned with social organization and change in preliterate societies as well as with disenfranchised groups in Western society. Today, anthropologists are beginning to realize the need to address the same questions to those who hold power in contemporary nation-states. The role of elites and the nature of their power over other groups and social processes is a central component of a holistic study of human society and culture. The absence of ethnographic investigation is all the more striking because of the potential contribution that anthropological theory and methods may make to research that has been dominated...

  8. CHAPTER II BARCELONA IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
    (pp. 16-38)

    Even though illustrative of general processes of elite formation, the coalescence, reproduction, and decline of the Good Families have occurred within a specific historical context. In order to balance the general with the specific readers unfamiliar with Barcelona may require more information on the major currents of Catalan history. Furthermore, the Catalan revitalization of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has included frequent references to historical precedents of sovereignty, custom, and culture. Familiarity with the past is a necessary prelude to comprehension of the manipulation of tradition in the present. This overview chapter, therefore, is a foundation for the more detailed...

  9. CHAPTER III FAMILY AND VARIATION IN CATALONIA
    (pp. 39-58)

    In 1854 José de Manjarrés y de Bofarull, a Catalan pedagogue, admon ished young ladies entering society on the importance of the family:

    The family is the basis of society, and it reflects exactly the customs of that society. All the categories, all the considerations, all the interests—in short, all the elements of that society—have their origin in the family. If the bonds of the one be corrupted, the other will not long avoid decay. Strip the family—from the parents, authority and government; from the siblings and relatives, sincerity and mutual relations; from the servants, honesty; and...

  10. CHAPTER IV LA CASA INDUSTRIAL: HOUSEHOLD AND COMPANY IN THE INDUSTRIAL ELITE
    (pp. 59-83)

    The last chapter explored the general meanings of the family in Catalan society with regard to structure, strategy, and ideology. This chapter and the next will focus on the evolution of the family as an economic institution in the grand bourgeoisie. Although “family” has pervaded the economic, social, and political organization of Barcelona power groups for centuries, structures of capital accumulation and reproduction have dominated the transformations of the past 150 years. These structures include not only the biological and social family but also the factory, bank, and other enterprises in which the elite family participates. The relationship of family...

  11. CHAPTER V FROM FAMILY TO OLIGARCHY: THE COHESION OF ECONOMIC POWER
    (pp. 84-107)

    The Catalan family firm defined and reproduced the basic units through which a new elite organized itself. Yet, individual lineages generally have not limited their investment to a single company, nor has group cohesion arisen from parallel and discrete ventures. Major corporations and projects, economic lobbies, political parties, and even social institutions like the Opera House have relied on the integration of capital and talent from many families. At the same time families and their multiple connections have provided the matrix for the coalescence of both an economic and a social power group.

    This chapter employs two complementary perspectives on...

  12. CHAPTER VI PIGS AND GENTLEMEN: THE EDUCATION OF AN ELITE
    (pp. 108-140)

    The preceding chapters have concentrated on the economic structure and evolution of the household in the commercial-industrial lineages of nineteenth-and twentieth-century Barcelona. Yet, the values of the family intrinsic to Barcelona industrialization coexisted with other ideals among the aristocracy, who formed an important part of the social environment of the new bourgeoisie. Just as thecasa industrialwas shaped by its economic context, so this social establishment influenced patterns of socialization, conduct, and consumption. The coalescence of the Good Families entailed the ennoblement of new wealth, complemented by the economic renewal of old status.

    Thus, from the eighteenth to the...

  13. CHAPTER VII COMMERCIUM AND CONNUBIUM
    (pp. 141-164)

    Dolors Monserdà began her novel of the Barcelona industrial upper class,La família Asparó,with a wedding in the fashionable church of La Mercè. As the guests await the bride, they discuss the negotiations underlying the match:

    “But is it true what they say, that he is the one making the good catch?”

    “Certainly, my friend! How can the wealth of Casa Balcells compare with that of the Asparó’s? Without taking into account that Rosita Asparó is an only child, while Pablito’s family is overrun with six brothers!”

    Meanwhile Donya Catarineta, with the precision of a business agent, expostulated on...

  14. CHAPTER VIII THE FAMILY AND THE CITY: POWER AND THE CREATION OF CULTURAL IMAGERY
    (pp. 165-201)

    Beyond its value as an economic and social institution the Catalan family has also been the basis for cultural imagery. As a metaphor for Catalan society the family became the cornerstone of cultural legitimization and domination by the upper class. As Bourdieu has noted, “The dominant fractions, whose power is based on economic and political capital, seek to impose the legitimacy of their domination whether through their own symbolic production or through the intermediary of conservative ideologists . . .” (1979:80). In Chapter III the cultural presentation of the family was examined in terms of political strategies that situated a...

  15. CHAPTER IX FAMILY, AGENCY, AND NETWORKS OF POWER: TOWARDS A COMPARATIVE UNDERSTANDING OF ELITES
    (pp. 202-211)

    Most analyses of elite formation and reproduction have rested on abstract theories of society and power. The methods and concerns of ethnology, however, propel the analyst and reader into immediate contact with individuals, values, and strategies within actual power groups. To construct an anthropology of power, a bridge must be built between abstraction and data, between theory and action. In addition, this effort must go beyond specific case studies to allow generalizations to be made concerning elite groups and processes of domination within distinct societies and histories.

    The family has emerged in this study as a complex agent within the...

  16. APPENDIX GENEALOGIES AND NOTES ON THE GÜELLS AND SELECTED ELITE FAMILIES
    (pp. 212-226)
  17. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 227-252)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 253-262)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 263-263)