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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 Operationalisation of Functional Intergenerational Solidarity in the Family: Findings from Research Carried Out in Spain


1 Introduction

This chapter illustrates the choices made regarding the operationalisation of a series of variables included in the questionnaire used for the research “Older parents, generations and family solidarity. A multilevel analysis of the Spanish context” carried out by the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Familia (IESF) of the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC) of Barcelona. The survey was carried out at the end of 2016 within the framework of the IsFamily Santander Chair and in the context of a memorandum signed between the IESF itself and the Centro di Ateneo di Studi e Ricerca sulla Famiglia of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milano, Italy (UNICATT).

Starting from these premises, the IESF research drew on the setting of the research “I won’t retire!” carried out by a multidisciplinary team from the UNICATT in 2012–2013 and dedicated to the topic of active ageing in Italy (Scabini and Rossi 2016). In particular, common to the two studies are the basic methodological choice relative to the realisation of a survey conducted with a standardised questionnaire on national samples of the population aged between 65 and 74 years and a large part of the questionnaire. Within the UNICATT survey, most of the batteries of variables have been designed to analyse the results by adopting a relational approach (Donati 1991a) – and through the construction of specific indexes (Lanzetti 2016: 263–14) – and to retrace some of the elements that constitute the construct of intergenerational family...

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