This article assesses the practices and conditions of work in what are here defined as the new ‘digital professions’ of the knowledge economy, a largely freelance and independent workforce, in terms of job quality. The paper is based on a study of independent work that combines two urban contexts, Milan and London, and an exploratory «digital ethnographic» observation of a digital marketplace for freelancers. The analysis of digital professions in terms of job quality evidences how these are shaping up as bad job enthusiastically perceived and might be taken as exemplary cases of «extreme work», whereby long hours of work, diffused anxiety and low pay are counterbalanced with an expanded notion of subjectivity fulfilled by greater autonomy and creativity. This framework of interpretation is useful to devise an initial account of the most important «professional» features that characterise the new forms of in works the rising digital economy.
The paper presents the personalization as a new potentiality for design services, embedded in the individualization process. The individualization is a way to draw and cut out «tailor-made» service for a person: it can reach levels of precision and tailoring remarkable, but never really co-designed, shared and co-produced with the user, that remains only a target. The personalization has, however, a different logic: it does not matter so much «what» is the service, as «how» it is being drawn-delivered-evaluated-(re)designed. The focus of personalization is the «deep» listening, the user’ singularity, the capability to share the action plan between professional and user. The paper shows how the personalization operates «suspending» the logic of individualization and needs a polyarchical, experimentalist and participatory governance.
According to literature, scientific research has undergone very profound and rapid changes in the last decades which implied, among other things, the emergence of the need for responsible scientific practices and attitudes. Accordingly, the European Commission has recently launched a specific Action Plan centred on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The paper discusses some of the implications of the possible declinations of the term responsibility by schematically recalling such notions as answerability, imputability, liability in order to highlight the relational character of responsibility as a result of a complex interplay of expectations and anticipations about actions and their fallouts. Building on such premises, science-society relationships are reconsidered within an analytical framework based on a series of tripartitions. Thus, some relevant components of the concept of third mission are discussed, which concern key relational aspects (regulatory principles and involvement/participation of stakeholders), as well as drivers for action (interests) that are connected to different epistemologies and kind of impacts. Three possible declinations are then identified for each one of those components which taken altogether compose three relevant and relatively autonomous semantic areas of the concept of third mission which correspond respectively to knowledge transfer, public engagement and community engagement. Such dimensions are summarized within the RePAIED scheme based on Regulatory principles, Participation styles, Actors’ interests and Emancipatory Dynamics. A proposal is finally sketched to use the RePAIED tripartition as an analytic tool for the assessment of RRI.
Considering the widespread ageing process of population, early recognition of frailty among elderly people becomes a priority of public health, stressing the need of adopting adequate preventive screening tools able to grasp both clinical and social complexity behind the health conditions in later life stages (Metzelthin et al. 2010). Indeed, recent studies (Ferrucci et al. 2005; Packard et al. 2012; Alley - Crimmins 2013), focusing on social determinants (economic conditions, status, social capital, behaviours) of individual health among the elderly, have pointed out the multidimensional nature of elderly frailty. The present paper focuses on the results of a survey conducted on a sample of over 500 Genoese elderly respondents. Aiming to adopt an appropriate methodological approach for evaluating in a multidimensional perspective the frailty in the ageing process, the study represents the first application in Italy of the Frail Scale (Morley et al. 2012), thus introducing an effective selfreport tool for health screening and combining it with other tools aimed to observe social factors related to adequate conditions of socio-economic and cultural integration of elderly people in contemporary society.
During the last decades the housing policies debate focused to the social capital issues. Usually this concept has been thought as tool to tackle the vulnerability of the poorer classes, ghettoization and social exclusion pathways. At the same time the concept of social capital has been used to contrast the individualization process of the middle classes and, according to the New Urbanism approach, to build the sense of community, supportive social networks and civic engagement. Starting from the relational theory of society approach the paper shows some findings of a survey conducted in two New Urbanism planned neighborhoods. The aim of the paper is to understand in which extent the social capital influence the behavior of inhabitants toward others citizens. The findings show the strength of reciprocity as the key factor to understand the social capital dynamics. The trust placed on neighbors is the stronger and significant predictor of openness behaviors and sociability when sense of belonging and participation are controlled. When the relationships between inhabitants are based on reciprocity and trustworthiness, the social and civic virtues extend beyond the physic and symbolic boundaries of the neighborhood.
Social work has an intrinsic ethical dimension, clearly evident from its beginnings. It is even more relevant today, in the contest of generalised crisis. Ethics requires specific attention: social workers should recognize professional values and principles because they have to act them in fieldwork. The article presents the historical development of professional principles and examines the most relevant international documents in force today, in order to show which values constitute current professional basis. Finally, the article suggest an additional principle: the reciprocity. This is the core of relational theory and should be integrated in social work ethical reflection.