Valutazione e sociologia: qualche nota introduttiva
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2005 - 3
The essay presents and discusses some considerations concerning a sociological view of social
programs evaluation. There are many reasons for a sociological perspective on evaluation to be interesting
and worth to be considered: but all of them may be summarized – on one side – in the position
for which social program evaluation is a special kind of applied social research and – on the other
side – in the fact that considering evaluation as a ‘structured social action’ may offer significant suggestions
for a better understanding of its deep nature and practical making. Assuming this perspective
for dealing with evaluation underlines its being a relational construction, with a context-bounded
meaning, teleologically oriented and embedded in a specific situation: with regard to this profile, a
central (but not absolut) role is played by the procedures, methods, techiniques and instruments –
from the social research – which allow evaluation process and results to be valid, rigorous and sound.
In connextion with this last aspect, it’s the definition of evaluation as (a kind of) ‘applied social
research’ to call for a priority of its methodological side but – at the same time – to link this question
to the evident changes of paradigm who in the last decades affected the ways and forms in which
social research is implemented.