According to a certain version of methodological individualism, the concept of person should
not be used in strict sociological analysis, because all we need is referring to idealtypical individuals
acting on the basis of standard reasons. The paper shows that the explanation of individual behaviour
needs, at some crucial points, a good deal more than such a limited concept of social action. Why
individual actors adhere to a given model of rational behaviour, or shift to a new one? When, why
and how preferences and/or beliefs held by the same individual (multiple selves) clash between themselves?
How people in real life come to terms with hard or «tragic» choices (inescapably involving
losses and suffering for somebody)? In all these cases an abstract individual moved by idealtypical
reasons cannot be an adequate explanatory tool. Paradoxically, in the standard version of methodological
individualism it is the subjective dimension that is lacking. An empty space is left, that can
only be filled through a proper use of the concept of person.
This essay sets out to establish whether there is a crisis of the contemporary welfare states. A
preliminary definition of this term, and classification of distinct models of welfare states, has been
offered. It has then been contended that different units of analysis and observation may lead to
incompatible conclusions, as they are conducive to choosing different indicators of crisis. Some indicators
are relevant to all models of welfare states, such as the GNP proportion of welfare expenditures,
while other indicators refer only to particular models. Considering all such indicators, it may be
concluded that is neither a general crisis of the welfare state, nor a crisis of the Swedish or universalistic
model, while considering the US or residual model in crisis depends on the choice of the indicators.
The essay analyzes a formative aid through the realization of an Educational Day Centre for
preadolescents whose aim is the control and, possibly, the overcoming of scholastic unease. After a
short presentation of the project, its targets and its social contest, the article deals with some remarking
moments of the educational intervention such as sharing meals, revision of daily experencies,
organizing games, scholastic and formative supporting. It comes out a complex and varied picture where educational communication and interpersonal relationships are interwined in an action of
re-socialization based on educators’ witness, confidence between the adolescents and the adults, creation
of routines assuring the sharing frame and the indispensable code of working activities.
The article, with reference at the problems of teenagers informal groups, shows the features of
the social street work as an innovative model of prevention and social control regarding to juvenile
deviance and desease. After a description of this social work motivations, the article shows four possible
models of street work: harm reduction, street education, social mediation, community development.
In order to understand the formalities of the street work project development, the article
explains the case of Cremona and its street education service, pointing out the potentialities and the
limits of this social work.
Many reports of focus groups are rather poor and disappointing. This is overtly due to the fact
that there is not a well-established tradition in the field of qualitative data analysis. Even the most
important and widespread handbooks generally fail to treat the matter and are often evasive about
focus group data analysis. This paper summarizes the scarce literature on the analysis of focus group
data and tries to suggest an integrated method that satisfies the descriptive purpose as well as the
need to take into account the particular nature of focus group data as diachronic and group data.
Atlas.ti, a well-known qualitative data analysis program, can partly satisfy this need, if used properly,
respecting the particular nature of the data collected. The advantages of such a method of analysis, is
argued in the paper, can have positive repercussions in the whole field of qualitative research in the
difficult road towards methodological rigorousness.