The notion of responsibility has a peculiar destiny in sociology. On the one hand, responsibility as such rarely emerges in the field. On the other hand, distinct concepts, which have been widely discussed in social theory, aptly capture various aspects related to responsibility itself. This article examines these intersections to define a frame of reference for a sociological reflection on responsibility. In doing so, it moves from four fundamental notions in social theory: (social) action, expectations, trust and uncertainty. Drawing on the social studies of science and technology, the article will apply this framework to explore how responsibility is enacted in science, technology and society encounters.
The present paper aims to deal with the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Erasmus Programme on a sample of 216 students enrolled between 2005 and 2010 at the University of Bari (Italy) that in the same period participated in the Erasmus Programme. Data analysis has confirmed the effectiveness of the programme in promoting the integration of young people within the labour market and in predisposing individuals to transcend national borders during their career progression. It furthermore emerged in which ways student mobility may assist in providing substance to the concept of European citizenship, declined in a plurality of memberships in which an individual may be a citizen of both Europe and the world, while preserving their own identity and personal relationships. The results thus sustain the assumption of a plurality of meanings associated with the Erasmus experience: an openness to Europe, redefinition of belonging, but also new opportunities for integration into the labour market both in Italy and in Europe. The Erasmus Programme is therefore an experience of training at both an academic and human level, both educative and social in significance.
Research on professional logics in a multidisciplinary work team has already pointed out jurisdiction conflicts, obstacles to the professional recognition of expertise and pressure for interchangeability of academic training areas, namely among social sciences and humanities graduates. Furthermore, these «professionals of knowledge» have been suffering an increase in contractual dependency and precariousness of their professional situation, which explains the presence of subordination and hierarchical control forms in diversified organisational contexts. Rather than a strict opposition between a professional logic and a managerial one, an increased hybridisation concerning professional performance and employment arrangements challenges us to a critical debate on heterogeneous and segmented patterns of professionalisation and precariousness in the third sector organisations. Based on the articulation of two dimensions, namely social regulation and professional mobility, four «ideal-types» of social forms were defined: professional markets, internal markets, transitional markets and secondary markets. This paper seeks to present this typology and explore the associated assumptions linked with diverse and unequal positions and status in accessing a profession in the context of third sector organisations in Portugal.
The essay focuses on the National Evaluation System, discussing about its possible effects on the school community’s subjects and on the governance of the educational system. After critically reviewing the concept of social equity in relation to education, the paper presents three different «logics» of the National Evaluation System, underlying for each of them the possible unforeseen and unintended effects. The aim is to consider whether and under what conditions such evaluation system could increase social equity and reduce social inequalities or could reproduce or even intensify them. The authors outline some perverse effects linked to its implementation, in particular related to the typically bureaucratic formal adaptation to the assessment requirements by teachers and headmasters. On the other hand, the use of the evaluation as a leverage for improving the active participation of school stakeholders could pave the way that leads from school evaluation to school improvement.
In the last 30 years many philosophers and sociologists have been discussing on the relation body-mind: neurosciences enhanced and improved this debate and offered more and more detailed topics. Some argue for a dualism body-mind (two different natures), some for a «false question», then eliminating the nature of mind (eliminative materialism); the third way is emergentism: mind is a sui generis nature that emerges from neurological activities and interactions of brain. This paper aims to tackle the contemporary sociological debate on dualism between individualism and holism and on the question dealing structure and agency, trying to demonstrate how both emergentism and relational sociology (Donati) can be considered intertwined. The Social Relation is literally to intend as an emergent reality from interaction among individuals. Georg Simmel was the first sociologist who peremptorily tried to demonstrate this view on relation as tertium datur. Recently Donati addresses the relational paradigm as the key to explain social facts and social life. The Social Relation neither hypostasizes, nor is referable to the social structure or reducible to individual agency. From the perspective of relational sociology is then possible to consider the social action beyond the systemic theories and structural approaches that nullifies intentional individual agency and that reduce individual choices to impersonal actions. The relational perspective enquires and tries to comprehend social phenomenon primarily as a human «fact».