P. Donati, The Relational Subject: Definition and Examples
In ordinary life, we, qua individuals, often speak in the plural by referring to a ‘We’. People say: we had lunch together, we went on holiday together, and so on and so forth. Usually, this ‘we’ is a term whose referent remains unspecified and serves only to indicate which people were involved in an event. Philosophers and social scientists agree that the ‘we’ cannot be a simple
aggregate of individuals who are supposed to share an idea, action or a purpose. There must be
more than that, but when they try to give an explanation of what lies behind the ‘we’, they also
differ greatly in how they account for it. It becomes essential to reach a clearer and sounder view
of what constitutes the ‘we’ as a social subject. The Author claims that most current explanations
of the ‘plural subject’ are both ill-founded and inadequate for the job and puts forward an
alternative sociological theory, which introduces the concept of the ‘relational subject’, as a more
complex and robust concept of what a ‘we-subject’ is.
L. Diotallevi, The world. That is: the evil of loosing time
This paper is the result of an attempt to look for the “after” within the social realm, and of an
attempt to take this challenge very seriously.
Equating time to space is the starting point. Such an equating is also seen as a dramatic characteristic
of the early modernity, of its phisics as well as of the state of its politics.
Then assuming the luhmannian analysis of the path followed by the social differentiation
during the course of modernization, up to the present primacy over that process exercised by
the functional differentiation of the society, makes observable both the reapparaisal of the variety
of temporalities and the planification and semplification of those temporalities planned and executesd
by the egemony project of the state organization.
So we are forced to account for the alternative remaining between saeculum – as paradigm
centred on the variety of the temporalities – and secularization – as paradigm shaped on the abolition
of that variety via spatialization –.
Key words: society, social differentiation, space / time, Luhmann.
F.M. Lo Verde, Leisure time and the construction of social capital: a review
The production of social capital in a specific area of everyday life such as leisure time and the
different socio-cultural contexts it is experienced in is a very interesting research issue, especially
in the light of certain specific meanings of the notion of social capital, such as Bourdieu’s or, more
recently, Putnam’s. Nonetheless, this research issue is scarcely taken into consideration in Italy.
Albeit inexaustively, this paper intends to introduce this issue starting from a brief review on the
generation of social capital in youth’s leisure
time contexts. In the first paragraph I problematize the notion of social capital as referred
to leisure time “contexts” as well as analyze either the social capital literature dealing with the
modes and experiences of leisure time, or the leisure time literature focusing on the construction
of social capital in leisure time contexts. In the second paragraph I discuss some studies regarding
the ways in which a particular age range – youth – produces social capital in leisure time
contexts. In the third paragraph I focus on some studies regarding the issue of youth’s leisure
time as a potential “antisocial” time. In the fourth paragraph I introduce the discussion about the
little importance given to public leisure in the service provision for youth’s leisure time and the
consequences determined by that in terms of social capital «erosion». The conclusion offers three
metaphors for understanding the trends of leisure time and sociability.
Key words: leisure studies; leisure time, Social capital
F. Antonelli - R. Castrucci, Intellectuals’ Molecularisation and New Technologies in the Network Society
In this essay we aim at analysing changes in the role of intellectuals in network society. After discussing how intellectuals have been a social and political élite during the first modernity, functioning as intermediaries, and enabling hierarchical and asymmetric order in industrial society,
the essay analyses the main factors towards disintegration of this social order: decline of
philosophy of Truth, rise of postindustrial and knowledge economy, spread of higher education,
development of mass communication, and thus of new media. These processes have stimulated
the emergence of new social subjectivities, namely knowledge workers, which have set in motion
powerful disintermediation processes through the internet. On the one hand, the classical
function of intellectuals has been partially absorbed by mass media, and on the other hand it
has been superseded by a multitude of intelligence and opinion niches directly produced by
citizen-consumers (intellectuals’ molecularisation). The resulting landscape consists in a strong
balkanization of social and political world – particularly along generational and educational lines
-, where, on one side you find a composite set of extremely fragmented intellectualities swarming
through the Net (citizen-consumers), and on the other side masses of people still depending on
mass media intermediation mechanisms (citizen-spectators).
Key words: intellectuals, new technologies, public sphere, knowledge, long tail