With the end of modern society, new issues arise and link to unemployment: the growing instability
that brings about (and entwine with) uncertainty and modifies the relationship subject-society;
new inequalities and new terms of social protection; the elements of integration and social bonds that
are under discussion and ask the subject new types of responsibility in and towards the society. The
article aims at analysing unemployment with reference to social change by discussing its new characters
and defining the new work-life balances which are under construction at individual and societal
This essay concerns some new concepts that can help sociological theory interpret globalisation
and multicultural societies. Its key-concept is intercultural communication, largely used in communication
studies, studies on intercultural relationships, and linguistics. The essay proposes an integration
of a sociological theory of communication with some of these studies, explaining and analysing
the different forms of intercultural communication which can give a more precise meaning to the
processes of globalisation and to multicultural contexts. The historical background of these processes
and contexts is the expansion of modern European society, which is interpreted as functionally differentiated,
following Luhmann’s social systems theory. In contrast with the dominant forms of ethnocentrism
which have continuously shaped intercultural communications between the functionally differentiated
European society and the other societies in the world, new theories propose a form of
intercultural dialogue. The meaning of such a dialogue is defined in two versions, transcultural and
cosmopolitan: the comparison between these versions enlightens their different features and problems.
Finally, the reasons for a sociological interest in these theories are discussed, with reference to
explanations of globalisation and multicultural society.
Foucault’s figure of the Panopticon has exercised a considerable influence over the surveillance
studies in the past decades. The article explores, both theoretically and empirically, the applicability of
the Foucault’s Panopticon to the practices of public video surveillance. In particular, the paper aims to
understand if the metaphor of the Panopticon is still useful to explain contemporary surveillance.
This article presents a case study that considers a particular self-help mutual-aid group:
Alcoholics Anonymous. On the empirical level, the research is conducted through the partecipant
observation method. Starting from a briefanalysis of these types of associations, both from the point
of view of their evolution and from the point of view of the sociologists, the author tries to analyse
how the Twelve Steps groups specifically work and what their cure method consists of. This study
aims at demonstrating how the recovery method used in these groups (and in general in all groups
that use Twelve Step Programs) could be considered, to every extent, an effective alternative therapy.