Proprietors, tenants, the law. Main steps to a sociological analysis of relations in property renting, Paris 1850-1920
Based on the analysis of documents for property renting in Paris in the mid 19th century and early 20th century, this article presents a means of research into the social and political factors involved in the exchange of property with their social and historic diversity. Reconstructing the space in which these relations of exchange took place and the different uses of the property exchanged, whether a shop or workshop, underlines better defined social distinctions than does social historiography : oppositions fall into hierarchies based on the sectors of activity and sexes and not just those related to socio professional categories, obstacles confronting social mobility are a part of the way social groups fit into the urban space and not solely as regards economic structure. The regulation of these relations by legal proceedings and public politics also brings the analysist to envisage beyond the different forms of inequality in front of justice, the processes of construction of the « rights » expressed in demands addressed to the State, the creation of new competence, in particular, legal, the introduction of organisations for the defence of interests and finally, the constitution of new categories by means of which social identity is reorganized on the basis of consumption variations.