The Tale of Globalization: Capitalism, Crisis and Erosion of the Social Bond

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In the last twenty years the increasing inequalities determined by the capitalist mode of production - together with the related issues of social integration and social cohesion within the capitalist economy - have been mostly ignored by social sciences andsociology. This is due to the dominance of the ideology of globalization and global corporations, imposed by international neoliberal think tanks; the extreme specialization of social sciences may have had some responsibility for this situation.This is even truer in Italy than in other countries, where the transformations of capitalism have received an increased attention for many years now. A globally dominant rhetoric depicted the welfare state as a "nanny state" marked by waste and inefficiency, thus contributing to its progressive dismantling. In many societies unemployment and inequality, social exclusion and lack ofopportunity, sodal and economic discrimination have all increased to the point of threatening social cohesion, democratic participation and civic engagement. In this paper we will try to offer some points for reflection on the current crisis, the extent of which is seriously endangering social bonds. We will also attempt to provide some indications about a possible way out of the crisis, and about the contribution that social sciences and sociology could make in this direction. In particular, we will focus on these questions: 1) which transformations of capitalism contributed to the generation of the tale of globalization, starting from the second half of the 1980s, allowing for the dominance of global corporations and free trade on a global scale; 2) what was the role of sociology in this process of economic, social and cultural change, with respect to the topics of social cohesion and the increasing inequalities in the capitalist mode of production; 3) what role can sociology play to help figuring a way out of the current crisis. The reflections that follow are prelude to a wider study about capitalism and its transformations, and about the role that sociology may play - with its public sociology approach - in identifying the causes of the most disrupting effects of the ongoing social change and in showing what chances are available to strengthen social cohesion.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteExploring the Crisis. Theoretical Perspectives and Entpirical Investigations
Numero di pagine18
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

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