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The Relational Gaze on a Changing Society

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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 Crisis of European Citizenship in a Relational Perspective

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“The noisy society of exhaustion is deaf. The coming society could instead be called a society of listening and attention. Today a revolution of time is needed. It is to discover again the time of the Other.” (Han 2018)

1 Dialectic between crisis and European citizenship

European citizenship met with the first and most significant signs of crisis at the time of its establishment. Crises have almost uninterruptedly marked the historical path of the process of European integration: starting from the crisis of the traditional balance of powers between States of Westphalian origin (La Torre 2004: 105), from which the first embryonic form of the Community (Ceca) began; continuing with the “crisis of the empty chair” started since 1965 following the decision of General De Gaulle not to take part in the sessions of the European Council. However, while the first crisis presented itself on the European scene as a revolution that has in fact changed relations and power relations between States, the crisis that succeeded the establishment of European citizenship did not immediately produce any movement that was revolutionary in the generative sense or morphogenetic (Donati 2012a; 2012b). Likewise, while the crisis resulting from the French abstention to the practice of community governance has reduced its scope to the political-institutional dimension, the crisis resulting from the institution of citizenship has had greater scope, addressing the more general socio-political relationships.

The event that marked the turning point, and which substantiates the problematic...

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