The aim of this paper is to draw attention to the role of leisure studies in social change
analysis and in comparative sociology studies. In the first part of the paper, we briefly review the main definitions of leisure time. Then we focus on methodological problems related to comparative analysis on leisure time use. In the second part, we compare the structure of leisure time in different european countries studying some analogies and differences among them.
Eurostat data constitute the empirical basis of this comparative analysis. In the third part, we underline that counting «who does something», «how often people do something», «in which period of the day, of the week, of the month or of the year people do something» and «how much time people spend to do something» just isn’t enough for studying leisure time. Therefore, new questions should be asked: what does leisure mean in individual experiences? And how does leisure time become «institutionalized» in shared social practices? Then, an appropriate method is proposed to answer these questions.
Key words: leisure time, social change, comparative analysis.
The purpose of this paper is three-fold. First, it offers a wide overview of the Italian sociological research about young people condition from the 50s to the first decade of XXI Century. As a second aim, this article sketches out an analysis of social and cultural change by observing how social representations of youth transform themselves from generation to generation – Baby Boomers’ generation, X Generation and Y Generation. Last it tries to argument for the institution of a real and more specialized «sociology of youth» as a new and autonomous field of research.
Key words: sociology of youth, social representations, generations, social and cultural change, life courses.
The European Regional policy was started in 1989. After 20 years, a sound review of its
results can be done. In 2013 the Italian Mezzogiorno will probably come out from Objective 1 of the Structural Funds (it involves those regions in which GDP per head does not reach 75 %of the average for the Union), that is almost 25 years after the beginning of the EU cohesion policy. Has such policy been a successful one for the Italian Mezzogiorno? Even if it may appear a bit provocative, this question is quite legitimate if you look more at the quality and stability of the actual outcomes rather than simply at the quantity of the funds granted within the various cycles (four). The goal of this article is double: to offer some analytical categories (policy learning, institutional performance; assessment and evaluation) and verify, by means of a comparative analysis between the period 1994-1999 and 2000-2006, whether the outcomes reached are coherent to the objectives of the Structural Funds.
Key words: structural funds, assessment and evaluation, policy learning, administrative reform, institutional performance, European cohesion policy, convergence.
This article focuses on the most meaningful aspects of a research aimed at the analysis of the state of the art of cross-border cooperation in Europe – through qualitative systems and analysis of quantitative data in fifty-three European border areas – taking into account actors, shapes and objectives with a particular attention to the Euroregional process. The research hypothesis is that putting into action mechanisms of cross-border welfare systems, organized in Euroregional structures, can be the basis not only for the elaboration of an original model for local development, which can be applied in areas influenced by a border, but also for legitimating more strongly the cross-border dimension of integration, on a cultural, economic and institutional level. The article is divided into two parts. The first part aims at providing a theoretical framework on the concept of border, crossborder cooperation and Euroregion, subsequently developing them through the analysis and evaluation of cross-border cooperation in Europe, with a particular attention to Euroregional variables. The second part concerns the concepts of local development and welfare, overlapping them, with the aim of setting them within a strict cross-border dimension and so to understand those factors which allow for their development. The model for such a cross-border welfare system was applied to
the Italian-Slovenian cross-border context, analysed in terms of the quality of its cooperative process, of the Euroregional prospects, of the cross-border third sector, and of the development of institutionalised cooperation in the context of cross-border health care.
Key words: cross-border cooperation, Euroregions, cross-border welfare System.
The paper suggests a reflection about participation in making social policies, moving from
the results of a research focused upon the Piani di Zona, the instrument wanted by L. n.
328/2000 for planning social policies, in Friuli Venezia Giulia (a Region in the Nord Est of
Italy). The paper reflects upon the main questions of the research that is how to incentive and maintain the partecipation of local associations, cooperatives and citizens in making social policies, overcoming to set against approaches that promote participation and approaches that promote deliberation and without falling in rethoric. The reflection remarks the necessity to incentive participation in making social policies, the importance of sharing the sense of participation and of organizing the partecipation and, at last, the fundamental role of public administration in ensuring a participation rappresentative and transparent.
Key words: participation, social planning, active citizenship, coordination
The article discusses the impact of digital technologies on visual sociology, discussing
opportunities and challenges. The essay describes the main traditional visual techniques of research, and suggests a methodological approach through the distinction between «multidimensional» techniques and «mono-dimensional» techniques. The work discusses the new digital phenomena, the opportunities to update the tools for visual research, and the changes of contexts and spaces of relationships. The essay identifies an increasing level of consciousness and reflectivity of the social actors domesticating digital technologies in their daily routines. Finally, the article ends with a reflection on the new role of researcher on the research process, invested as well by the digital revolution.
Key words: visual, sociology, digital, methodology, images, research.