The objective of this paper is to capture those critical traits of long-term poverty that can help
policy-makers to design and evaluate social policies in this sector. This work is placed in the
frame of Leisering and Leibfried’s theory of life course, and starts by analysing its basic principles.
Special attention is devoted to the individualization principle, which is critically re-examined
with reference to long-term poverty. Then, longitudinal analysis has been applied to European
Community Household Panel data (1994-2001) in order to study individual life courses. The
results show a large distance between the North and the South of Italy, in terms of incidence of
persistent poverty, and rhythm of entry and exit from long-term poverty. As to socio-demographic
and economic factors that affect the dynamics of impoverishment or emancipation-frompoverty
processes, gender differences seem to be not very important, while differences in the
family composition undoubtedly play a more incisive role. The strongest impact is exerted by the
labour market, which shows the highest probabilities of getting out of a poverty condition or, in
the opposite hypothesis, of re-entering a situation of need; these outcomes appear reinforced in
the case of poverty states which last at least four years of the eight-year period here observed.
Within school establishments is almost frequent that one is involved in conflictual situations
and interactions and in unanticipated developments which challenge the actor’s rationality and
lead to innovative learning outcomes for the professional himself. Aim of this essay is to analyse
such learning outcomes which grow up in professional situations full of ambiguity, contraddiction,
ambivalence, in order to examine the role of teacher as a reflective practitioner. We assume that
teachers, as other knowledge workers, are not able to became reflective practitioner in every situations,
but they do it only under given conditions. The essay starts from the description of some
study cases (teachers coping with unanticipated learning outcomes); deals with the concept of
sociological ambivalence in R.K. Merton, and moves to an interpretation of the empirical cases by
applying a model, in order to verify what kind of “oscillation” strategies teachers are able to use
for balancing opposite values at stake (tradition/innovation; ripetition/variability, etc.).
In recent years, in many of the European countries, welfare state has undergone a deep
reform process. If during the modernity it was devoted to allocate monetary funds for passive
protection (passive welfare state), now it promotes the development of both personalized services
and individual resources to enable individual to face risks of exclusion, unemployment,
poverty, illness, etc. by himself (active welfare state). The aim of this paper is to investigate the
pillars of this new approach, starting from the analysis of activation policies and the consequences
that these policies produce upon life chances of the subject in need. Particularly this paper
tries to investigate the role that, among activation policies, education and training play in lifelong
learning perspective. Education, training and generally each form of learning are considered
as grant for employability, empowerment and activation of subjects, and thus as a form of
social protection. The aim of this paper is to point out both the ambivalence of this approach
and the importance of consider as purpose to widen its aim from employability bat capability.
This article suggests a sociological analysis of the concept of governance. First, the author
presents an analysis of the characteristics of the social contexts that have supported the origin
and the development of the concept of governance. Then, some political and sociological definitions
of this concept are discussed. Secondly, the author presents a relational definition of
governance and he shows how the relational sociology provides a multidimensional conception.
The relational sociology furthermore allows to identify some empirical indicators of this concept.
Finally, the author analyses the structural properties of the social networks that can be a
resource for the processes of mutual-coordination between autonomous and interdependent
actors. Then, some structural indicators of governance are discussed.
The paper presents the results of a research on friendship networks of single people. The
research has been undertaken using both social network analysis tools (egonetworks) and qualitative
interviews, on a non-representative sample of 23 heterosexual singles of Milan, aged
between 25 and 35, 12 male and 11 female. Single youths has been portrayed as a generation
who decentres sexual and romantic relationships and refuses to commit: this paper demonstrates
the need for new analytical concepts in order to describe the contemporary transformations
of intimacy, that underline the importance of friendship for single youth. In order to focus on
the dynamics of friendship, an heuristic model has been set up, which analyses the influences of
the constitutional dimensions of friendship (ideal, negotional and situational). The modifications
of one of these three analytical dimensions reflect on the others in a reflexive process that
shows how friendship networks and ties evolve through time and keep a strong core of long