Emanuele Felice is an Associate Professor of the Department of Applied Economics of the University of "G. Annunzio di Chieti-Pescara" to the Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Quantitative Economics. His fields of research are: economic history of modern Italy, global history, long-term economic growth, income and social indicators, regional development and regional policies and business history.
Before being a professor, he studied at the University of Bologna and obtained his doctorate from the University of Pisa. Moreover, he was also a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, Pompeu Fabra University, Harvard University and Seville. His latest book is “Ascesa e declino. Storia economica d’Italia” (2015).
Title of the speech: The socio-institutional divide. Explaining Italy's regional inequality over the long run
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 Director of the MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism from University of Birmingham. He is author of numerous articles and books based on his research on multilingualism in education and wider society. His books include Heteroglossia as Practiceand Pedagogy (2014); The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism (2012); Multilingualism. A Critical Perspective (2010); Discourse and Power in a Multilingual World (2005); Negotiation of Identities in Multilingual Contexts (2004); Multilingualism, Second Language Learning, and Gender (2001); and Literacy, Power, and Social Justice (2000).
In recent years Adrian has been awarded more than £3 million in research council funding. He is currently engaged in a project funded through the AHRC Translating Cultures theme, ‘Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities’ (TLANG).
Title of the speech: Language and Mobility
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 Doctor and Professor from University of Bayreuth, where he teaches methods of empirical research with special emphasis on qualitative methods. His interests also touch on the theory of culture, social theory and the sociology of migration. During the last years, its work has developed following the following thematic lines: Culture and social action, the "Triangle of the migration" and to do empirical investigation in foreign cultures. He is a specialist in these fields of research and activity: Basic-theoretical conditions for intercultural understanding; Meta-theoretical consideration on the concept of culture; Communication, organisation and migration in the European context; Intercultural comparison; and Translation as a condition for social integration.
Title of the speech: Leisure society and cultural consumption. Conceptual clarifications and theoretical views.
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 currently Professor of Sociology of Culture at the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca. She is the director of the doctoral program in Applied Sociology and Methodology of Social Research. She was Vice Chancellor of Equal Opportunities in the period between 2012 and 2013 and is currently scientific coordinator of the Inter-University Research Center ‘Gender Cultures’. From 2013 to 2015 she was President of the European Association of Sociology (ESA).
Her lines of research are related to the study of processes of cultural change. In this context, she carried out national and international research on cultural patterns, with a particular focus on young people; gender and generational differences; experiences of time and their changes. As for her research methods, Leccardi gives priority to qualitative approaches, and hermeneutical methods in particular. Her last book, edited with C. Feixa and P. Nilan, is: Youth, Space and Time. Agoras and Chronotopes in the Global City (Leiden-Boston, Brill, 2016).
Title of the speech: Generations, young people and the representation of the future
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.