The main plenary speakers and conferences framework of the 1st INDEST International Conference on Social and Territorial Development are:

Emanuele Felice is the guest and speaker who heads the framework conference of the first research topic Sustainable socio-economic and territorial activity. The title of the speech is: "The socio-institutional divide. Explaining Italy's regional inequality over the long run". And below, we show you a brief summary:

"In recent years there have been major advances in the research about the historical pattern of regional inequality in Italy and its historical roots: new and more accurate estimates of regional GDP, as well as of social indicators (human capital, life expectancy, HDI, heights, inequality, social capital) and other indices (market potential), running roughly from around the Unification to our days, are now available. By the light of this up-to-date information, the article reviews the debate about the determinants of regional development in Italy, within the broader framework of the country’s industrial take-off and modern economic growth, and connects it to the main strands of the international literature. After critically discussing the competing hypotheses proposed to account for the different patterns observed and the North-South divide, a different explanation – and the main argument of the article – is presented: a North-South socio- institutional divide pre-existed Unification, in some respects grew stronger with it and was never bridged throughout the history of post-Unification Italy; such a divide ultimately impacted on the levels of human and social capital, as well as upon differences in policies and institutional performance, and thus on economic growth."


Adrian Blackledge is the guest and speaker who heads the framework conference of the second research topic Mobilisations, transitions and social relations. The title of the speech is: "Language and mobility". And below, we show you a brief summary:

"This paper questions the notion of static languages with an autonomous and bounded status, and considers language repertoires which draw on a diverse range of linguistic resources. The paper engages with the ‘mobility turn’ in social research, and argues for an interdisciplinary perspective on research into language and mobility. It considers the mobility of languages, and the implications for language repertoires of the increased mobility of people.

The presentation includes empirical examples from a multi-site team ethnography, ‘Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities’. The aim of the project was to investigate how people communicate when they bring different histories, biographies, and trajectories to interaction. Research sites in four cities were observed systematically, over time, to develop a sophisticated understanding of language and superdiversity.

The analysis considers the relationship between the mobility of the body (in a traditional understanding of migration) and the mobility of linguistic resources. The conclusion proposes a move away from analysis of language which focuses mainly on questions of which language is in use in a particular time and place, towards  a concern to investigate how language, and ‘translanguaging’, construct and constitute people’s social, historical, economic, and political trajectories."


Gabriele Cappai is the guest and speaker who heads the framework conference of the third research topic Leisure society and cultural consumption. The title of the speech is: "Leisure society and cultural consumption. Conceptual clarifications and theoretical views.". And below, we show you a brief summary:

"In Mr. Cappai's contribution to the workshop he intends to discuss some of the main conceptual, historical and theoretical implications of the expressions "leisure society" and "cultural consumption". Mr. Gabriele Cappai's talk illustrates that both concepts, culture and leisure, underwent a deep semantic change. The transformation from an elitarian to a democratic understanding of leisure and culture appears as one of the main features of this change. It is in the wake of this semantic change that today one is allowed to bring culture into connection with leisure: culture becomes an instrument to realize leisure and leisure, or at least some expressions of it, are seen as a cultural phenomenon. The societal implications of this development will be described taking the concept of "social action" as the main point of reference. This means, among others, to consider leisure and culture in the light of beliefs, desires, opportunities and passions as four main dimensions of human action.

The second part of Mr. Cappai's talk is dedicated to the main "actors in the field", which he identifies as the cultural ideologists (those who shape the politics of culture) the managers of culture (those who organize cultural events or activities) the cultural performers (the artists), and the cultural consumers (the public). The role that these actors perform in the field of "leisure and/as culture" will be illustrated with reference to the already mentioned dimensions of actions."


Carmen Leccardi is the guest and speaker who heads the framework conference of the fourth research topic Generations: childhood, youth and aging. The title of the speech is: "Generations, young people and the representation of the future". And below, we show you a brief summary:

"Something deserving of careful consideration is the renewed interest that the issue of generations has encountered within sociology over the last few decades. The generational dimension allows us in effect to recollocate the collective dimension at the centre of the scene. This process appears especially important in an increasingly individualised society like that of today. By using the generational perspective it becomes much easier, for example, to perceive the strategies through which young people in the new century come to grips with a future that is more and more uncertain both economically and socially. While the biographical strategy founded on deferring gratification and  life projects now appears obsolete, a culturally significant number of young people are today engaged in hitherto unknown forms of biographical construction. In short, these young people seem to be constructing their own time of life in such a way as to keep pace with a society characterised by ever more accelerated temporal rhythms – a society capable of pulverising the very idea of the future and of temporal continuity.

The presentation aims at concentrating on these new modalities, comparing them, in particular, with the relationship with the future that was constructed by the generation of the baby boomers. For that generation of young people, in fact, the centrality of intergenerational conflict within a horizon of economic expansion was able to give an impulse to the construction of a projectuality that was at one and the same time collective and individual. The substitution of forms of open conflict with forms of negotiation with adult generations seems today to go hand in hand with the necessity for younger people to identify forms of relationship with the future appropriate for the time that we are currently living – a time that is as fast as it is economically and socially threatening."