Sur-modern society is characterized by the emergence of new forms of (human) dwelling, very different from the modern ones. Some of them are individualistic, other are collective or founded on sharing and collaboration. Currently, the so-called «Social Streets» can be considered as one of the much innovative experimentations in the field of urban dwelling. As a form of social innovation based mainly on a culture of gift and sharing, they try to answer to social inclusion needs and to enhance practices of urban environment care and defense. This paper aims to describe the most relevant features of the «World-Cities» drawing on Marc Augé definition of place, non-place and virtual place and to interpret Social Streets as a new, original and hybrid mix between the ideas of «real» and «virtual» place. As «new places», Social Streets promise to give an important contribution in the re-generation of contemporary cities and the social relations which take place inside them. This reflection will also be enriched with the main empirical findings concerning the phenomenon of Social Streets in Italy and gathered by a quali/quantitative research which gave birth to the Italian Observatory on the Social Streets.
The celebrity culture is one of the most important phenomenon in the contemporary Western societies. This culture operates in all the main social areas: spectacle, media, sport, arts, politics, cooking, etc. In this essay taken for granted the sociological relevance of celebrity, I will offer a survey of the growing field of the sociology of celebrity. After a brief historical sketch, I will identify current trends in the field of sociology of celebrity and attempt to characterize the developing literature in ways that will be useful to interested scholars. Finally, I will suggest some new directions for scholars working in the field in the coming years.
Drawing on sociology of childhood and social systems theory, this paper explores the function of facilitation in classrooms, as a dialogic system of communications promoting students’ agency. The analysis of videotaped and transcribed interventions in classrooms shows that the facilitation system enhances students’ agency through formulations, i.e. facilitator’s actions that re-elaborate and promote students’ production of knowledge. Formulations are generally produced in facilitator-student dialogic communication. They contribute to organizing the facilitation system and are included in sequences of facilitators’ actions that invite students to produce knowledge. Formulations can also enhance dialogue among students, if they (1) stress the diversity of the students’ contributions, (2) are easily abandoned when students do not react by providing knowledge and (3) are short and combined with facilitators’ minimal actions.
The paper deals with the attitudes of Italian PhD students, young people who might be part of the next generation of scientists and experts, and who show – in their majority – post-materialist values. After having introduced the issues of neutrality and instrumentality of contemporary science, and of increasing interconnections between the scientific sphere and the other social spheres, the paper delves into the relationship between politicians and scientists/experts. If the former may determine research policies, the latter may influence political decision-making. PhD students are asked to comment on the élite in Italy, on the quality and composition of the current and future Italian ruling class, and on the priorities of national government. They portray an interesting picture of the relationship between politics and science, rejecting the technocratic temptation of the previous generations of experts.
This paper is intended to provide some considerations on upper-class families’ educational choices, based on the results of a research carried out with children aged 9-12 years in the city of Turin. As far as it concerns its theoretical framework, the research has referred both to contributions given by the new sociology of childhood and to those on the subject of educational family practices according to social class, with significant implications for the relationship between family and school, which is often confrontational. The core of this work is to explore the meaning of educational practices for parents and for teachers, as well as the tensions that can arise from the conflict between these two agencies of socialisation, the value given to school success, and the consequences on the life course of children precociously socialised towards adult models, starting with a pace of daily life in which free time is becoming more and more residual.
Globalisation has impacted and transformed every aspect of modern society. With it, also the concept of University and that of its role within this society have gone through a process of profound redefinition: to its traditional and noble tasks – that of teaching and research – a third objective has been added, one which expects the University to engage with the market. The «third mission», however, also expects the University to «open itself to society», contributing to its improvement. Through a critical review of the definitions given to the «third mission» by domestic and international literature, we have tried to highlight future perspectives. We also have discussed the new responsibilities faced by the University in its challenge to engage with the market without losing the identity it has forged for itself throughout the centuries with the aim to educate future leaders, and, overall, conscious citizens.
Despite the evidence of a progressive disenchantment, religious sphere maintains a strong grip on current societies though undertaking some transformations. Pluralism, individualism and privatization are three features that we cannot ignore if we choose to study religion in the contemporary world but, more generally, if we choose to study modernity. The aim of this paper is to illustrate some features of the different forms of religiosity in the secular. We focused on modern Catholicism that in a plural context show new form of belonging and believing often based on an individual choice and not just on a cultural heritage. Through some of the theoretical contributions on modern religiosity, we try to reflect on the aspects of the «modern desire for God».