Italy is a country with many regional and local differences. Tuscany and Molise are two very different regional areas between them: the first has a strong identity, the other presents a weak and evasive identity. The article proposes a research methodology for reconstructing these group identities through the analysis of some major spheres: socio-professional structure, family strategies, environment, relationship between interior and exterior. In particular, the relationship between man and nature seems to be the foundation of the social organization, the indelible mark of social identity of a town, village or region. It follows a particular vision of identity, but also a critique of this concept necessarily ambiguous and plural. Identity is not a matter only, but a cluster of problems. Historical research alone should not delude ourselves to solve them all, but can help to give a contribution to an issue often discussed in the abstract or superficial mode. That requires a multidisciplinary approach and a greater openness of history to other social sciences. Research on identity, finally, helps to interpret the deep anxiety typical of each era of globalization.
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