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Transizione paradigmatica e incertezza. Un’introduzione
This essay is both an introduction and a proposition. It presents the proceedings of the conference “Paradigmatic Transition and Uncertainty” that took place in Narni in November 2015 and at the same time discusses and develops its theoretical basis. Both essay and conference were meant to show the heuristic strength of an inclusive paradigm and its growing need in the paradigmatic shift phase we are living in. Western culture is utterly focused on the contents of knowledge – instrumental, marketable contents – and pays no attention to knowledge itself: its dynamics, its flaws, its limits. This results in selective blindness, bias towards divisive logic and unidimensional stress on rationality, characteristics issued from the imaginal and symbolic depths of humanity, which the modern paradigm is bent on denying. A new world vision should instead balance all the elements that form human complexity and strive for a renewed skill to “make sense”, a crucial resource to face the sense of disillusionment and uncertainty that threatens to overwhelm Western societies. Even now it is at the root of shocking political movements and international policies and it can only get worse if no innovative, imaginative steps are taken. This paper and all the others in this monographic section aim at being the first, tentative step in that direction.
The purpose of this article is to present some critical considerations on modernity from the contemporary point of view. The discussion on subjectivity, initiated by Hegel, cannot be reduced to a simple deconstruction of the principles of modernity. The critique of the speculative presuppositions of modern thought should take into consideration new visions of world and relationships, able to provide the rehabilitation of thought that transcends the limits of the modern and subjective consciousness closure in order to comprehend the individual and social content of human realty.
Il paradigma del neutro: la tecnica della certezza dell’incertezza
Pier Luca Marzo
This paper focuses on the state of paradigms in the Age of Technique. What we indicate as a paradigmatic transition as well as the disciplinary division process, is the effect produced by the impact of technique on the world of knowledge. Within this framework, the paper tries to understand this effect of impact through a paradigmatic atypical form: that of the neuter. In order to describe this atypical paradigm, this paper is divided into three parts. The paradigm will be first explored as a conceptual place through the categories of point, line and surface. These three elements produce the plan of representation in which the phenomena appear as an image of truth. It will then move outside to reach the land of “uncertainty”; it is here that thought loses and creates paradigms. In the final part, the paper, will put in evidence the paradigm of the neuter as a totally abstract reticulated space able to deform any figure of truth. As such, this paradigm is the operative space of technique.
Dal paradigma massa al paradigma del paradosso: la fuzzy media logic nella rappresentazione del terrorismo islamico
The crisis of dominant paradigms within communication research shows a lack of interpretative models useful to understand the media role within complex societies. A paradox paradigm seems to be, actually the best suited model to explain the contradictions produced by global culture. The aim of the paper is to analyze the traces of a fuzzy thinking in the way media logic represents phenomena like contemporary terrorism and they manages uncertainty. The fuzzy media logic could be better understood only through a cross‐media perspective which allow to capture different approach that digital media and media mainstream have with regard to the uncertainty created by the terrorism. A fuzzy logic model applied to mass media and digital media and their relationship with reality could be, also, a way of better understand ambivalence in the role of media and it could be a possible way to overtaking the paradigm crisis within communication research.
La capacità di scegliere. Critica alla razionalità strumentale
The article discusses the possibility of going beyond the cognitive paradigm in sociology of rational choice in terms of a richer and more complex definition of “individual” and his “capacity” to choose. As we will show, the individual does not choose only in response to logical and rational reasoning, but also and above all, in relation to his cultural skills and relative context. This means interpreting the future not as the potential outcome of calculation (or at least not only), but also as a capacity to be mastered in view of expected outcomes. The difficulties that young people today are facing in making decisions in era of risk and what public institutions should aim at to ensure that such skills can be used as resources to control the future, are just two examples of showing how it is still possible nowadays for individuals and the community to plan the future beyond the logic of rational choice.
O dentro o fuori. Paura, esclusione e islamofobia al tramonto della modernità
The emotional state of fear affects the subject, who undergoes an emotion that announces a condition experienced as a danger. In a hypothetical scale of progression of crippling characteristic of fear, the extreme ranks terror: it indicates a state of uncontrollable fear of an imminent danger condition that is not necessarily true. The history of the notion of terror is very interesting to understand how it was associated with what today is meant by ʺterrorʺ. Terrorism by Islamic fundamentalism of the twenty‐first century is characterized by violent acts, such as suicide explosions and shootings in public settings frequented by the civilian population. Related to the situation of international tension, we can see one of the most significant social marginalization of our time, with catastrophic consequences: the one against Muslims in the West society.
Mercificazione, individuo e società: attualità del pensiero di Karl Polanyi
In todayʹs world it is clear that individuals are not able to dissolve the difficulties that the system creates them. The problems of people remain undefined and individual malaise never reaches the level of public problems. Recalling the sociological imagination ‐ which should bring the personal uneasiness of individuals to the companyʹs objective disturbances to turn public indifference into involvement with public issues (Mills 1973) ‐ This article is aimed to promote a re‐reading of Karl Polanyi thought because it seems to be very timely. In fact, Polanyi argued that “allow the market mechanism to be the sole steering element of the fate of human beings and their natural environment, and even the amount and use of purchasing power” would lead to the demolition of society (Polanyi, 2004, 64). He intended to counter the idea that the market society constitute the landing ʺnaturalʺ human society, using the explanatory diagram of the double movement: on the one hand, the market tends to expand; on the other, the company seeks to curb this expansion (see. Polanyi, 2004, 98). A renewed reflection on the thought of Polanyi is certainly a significant contribution to the understanding of the current society, in which the market economy is the current horizon of the work of the sociologist.
“Il disordine esistenziale” e il difficile transito verso l’età adulta
The considerations on the narcissistic state of todayʹs society, advanced by several authors, highlight the prevalence of hedonistic and selfish interests of men and women, favoring the development of their personality mostly immature and childish. The structural weakness of Western individuals in the construction of oneʹs personality stands out and is manifested primarily in their difficulties, more and more obvious, to become mature persons, able to make choices about their own life paths. The postponement until avoidance of life choices seems to be the dominant prerogative, as to mark persons increasingly without any responsibility and disengaged with respect to the own and another’s future; lost persons without critical analysis of the reality in which they live nor prospective thinking and/or a life project.
Subcultures. State of the Art and Future Perspectives in Sociology
The article considers if the concept of subculture can still be used in sociology. This paper shows that subcultural perspective constitutes a recent point of view for the analysis of the phenomenon of jihadist terrorism involving native Europeans. A history of the concept will be considered along with theoretical perspectives with reference to explanatory factors of subcultural membership. Socioeconomic condition, cultural identity, housing placement and social control are explanatory factors of classical studies on subcultures. Issues of post‐modernity and the evolution of ICT will also be considered. The aim is to consider the complex social framework and to define the sometimes dangerous contemporary role of subcultural membership.
Figure della miseria e della contro-miseria: i ceti popolari contemporanei tra neo-populismo e radicalizzazione. Alcune ipotesi interpretative
The purpose of this paper is to advance some hypothesis on social and political condition of the new popular classes in Europe. After discussing the theoretical point of view, in second paragraph the paper is focused on the key category of “popular class” moving then – in the third and the fourth paragraph – to analyze some sociological characteristics of it, both as “social actor” and “social condition”. The main rising hypothesis are that popular classes, as “social condition”, are characterized by misery and sociopolitical disintegration; as social actor, they are characterized by neo‐populism (inside popular class) and neofundamentalism (outside popular class).
Pubblico consumo. Beck e l’ansia produttiva come medium dell’insicurezza
This paper aims at investigating the role that the theory of the technical reproducibility of the work of art proposed by Walter Benjamin had in the construction of the sociology of risk pursued by Ulrich Beck, with particular reference to the connection between cultural uncertainty, informative standardization and identity removal. The risk society looms as the result of the medial inflation of contents, images and information, bound to develop an hyper‐representation of the postmodern risks, interpreted by the actors in connection with the public ordeal. This kind of diffusion is tied to the technical reproducibility of the aesthetic experience, which determines the passing of the traditional values peculiar of the cultural heritage. This is one of the theoretical assumption of the sociology of risk drawn by Beck, who gives Benjamin the credit to have foreshadowed the connection between technical reproducibility of the collective meanings and the medial representation of the social risks, hanging between narration and uncertainty.
La Corte EDU alleggerisce la «threshold of severity» necessaria per integrare la fattispecie di trattamento degradante vietata dall’art. 3 della Convenzione
In the judgment Bouyid v. Belgium recently delivered by European Court of Human Rights, the Grand Chamber considers a single slap inflicted on a juvenile and an adult in police custody in breach of Article 3 ECHR. The Court ruling is an opportunity to consider the notion of “degrading treatment” and the strong link between this prohibition and the role of human dignity. Furthermore, the reasoning take position on the meaning of Article 3, which is an absolute right admitting of no derogation or exception.
C. Gazzetta e F. Ricciardi Celsi (cur.), La libertà religiosa tra pluralismo e integrazione, EdiCusano, Roma, 2016, pp. 138
Il volume che si pone all’attenzione del lettore nasce dalla raccolta degli Atti del Seminario tenutosi presso l’Università degli Studi Niccolò Cusano il 29 ottobre 2014 sul tema, profondamente attuale, della libertà religiosa. Un tema assolutamente centrale e quotidianamente attenzionato dalla società tutta, perché oggi, ancor più diffusamente di ieri, la nostra nazione, come tante altre, interessata sempre più da continui fenomeni migratori, si vede imposto un multiculturalismo spesso difficile da attuare.