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The Relational Gaze on a Changing Society


Edited By Paolo Terenzi and Elisabetta Carrà

Relational sociology is coming increasingly to the fore on the international academic stage. As it invariably happens in such circumstances, when a new paradigm attracts a growing number of scholars, researchers and practitioners, it is almost inevitably interpreted and identified in many different ways. This book aims to highlight the specific nature of relational sociology, disseminates knowledge about the relational approach which has been developed in Italy and in Europe starting from the work of Pierpaolo Donati, and confronts this approach with issues which are currently much debated in social theory, social research and social work. The authors try to consolidate the directions taken in the research field in order to distinguish relational sociology from other approaches which are not relational, or are only so to a certain degree.

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The Emergence of Crowdsourcing as a Relational Work


1 Introduction

In the after-modern society new forms of work are emerging, which respond to growing expectations of autonomy and flexibility but also imply greater uncertainty and risk. On the one hand, the transformation of the structure of labor relations is generating increasing risks of unemployment and precariety. Digitalization boosts the substitution of people by machines in productive processes. Fewer employees have a stable employment. More workers are self-employed or collaborate as freelancers with one or more organizations under informal agreements.

On the other hand, technology advancement is changing the kind, contents, and organization of work. Besides, more people develop their professional careers in an informal way, and volunteer work is expanding thanks to the enrollment of still active retirees who receive a pension, unemployed people who enjoy some basic income fund, and young people who are still searching a professional location while living at the expense of their parents.

In this process, not only structural but also cultural factors intervene, and both are interrelated. According to Pierpaolo Donati (2017) what connects them is the occurrence of a network society that, by modifying the structures and cultures of work, generates new subjectivities and strong innovations in organizational forms. An outstanding example of this new kind of working is crowdsourcing, i.e., “an online call for a group of people to complete a task voluntarily, using their own resources” (Howe 2006: 2). Organizations employ crowdsourcing for such different activities as idea generation; problem solving;...

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