The essay deals with the definition and sociological explanation of globalization in a world-society.
The difficulty of the theme springs up from the lack of a sufficient degree of abstraction in modern
sociological theory. The basic assumption of the Autor is that, during the transition from the modern
society to the so-called world-society, the principal form of functional differentiation produces new
forms of non-functional differentiation. The world divides itself between a centre and a periphery
and at the same time the distinction springs up another time inside the periphery. That means new
forms of patronage and new forms of relation between inclusion and exclusion in social systems. In
this way what is normally called «under-development» can be re-interpreted, in a evolutionary perspective,
as a new modernity.
The essay analyzes the current debate about intergenerational equity. The debate originated in
the United States in the Eighties as a reflection on some deep socio-demographic shifts of Western
societies, the so-called third social demographic transition (in particular the ageing of the population
and the falling of birthrates). In this situation, more and more resources are devoted to benefit older
generations while shares available to future generations are in danger. After a brief description of the
paradigms that have emerged in the debate about intergenerational equity (the sustainability paradigm,
the entitlements paradigm and the relational paradigm), the essay analyzes Welfare State
reforms, paying special attention to the suggestion to privatize the Social Security System. In the end,
the author presents some proposal aimed at tackling the generational equity problem in a relational
According to this article’s authoress, the wedding ceremonial in present-day societies has lost
tradition’s fixed pattern, even though it still keeps the competitive element and spectacular point of
view. As a matter of fact, in European popular tradition wedding is always considered as a representation
and a play with a happy ending. In the article the authoress re-propose to study one of the
most spectacular and dramatic form of engagement called Mock bride.
Social network analysis is one of the most interesting approaches to study Human Interaction.
According to John Scott, it comes from two different theoretical «lineages»: the anthropological
theory of Manchester’s authors (as Barnes and Mitchell) and the structural analsys of Harvard
(Harrison White) that leads to the Graph Theory. Italian sociologist Antonio Chiesi looked into the
latter theory, which first proposes to quantify human relations, but he criticizes its inability to analyse
the qualitative dimensions of relationships. Therefore Italian sociology tries to study the social dimensions
of networks, through the inquiries of Paola Di Nicola, PierPaolo Donati and Lia Sanicola. As a
social worker, Sanicola proposes to use «Network Design» to represent networks of social help. To
exemplify this approach, the essay shows the results of an Italian research work about Social Support
Networks for old patients Care. This work was conducted by teams at the Catholic University of
Milan and the University of Bologna, Cagliari and Campobasso, in 2002 and 2003. Research staff (a
psycologist, a sociologist and two social workers, with the supervision of Clemente Lanzetti) looked
into four cases of old patients and shows the social worker as a «co-ordinator of helping networks»,
supporting the relation between Informal Care and Formal networks.
This essay, with regard to the hypotheses which suggest that unemployment and crime are reciprocally
related, on the grounds of an exploration of the available statistical data on the spreading of
the juvenile delinquency in Italy, means to uphold the thesis that the institutional and social variables
set, which interact with the economic conditions, sets out a more effective explanation of the juvenile
delinquency, compared to that placing in the centre aspects connected with the unenployment and
the economic precariousness. A distinction must be made between push factors for the criminal
behaviour, like the failing of the educational institutions and the technical schools, and pull factors
like crime subcultures associated with organized crime in South Italy regions. The combination of
these factors, associated with the working poors and irregular labor supply, explains in South Italy
the juvenile crime spreading.