News from SISEC

The second SISEC conference has been held in the Catholic University of Milano January 26th-28th and it has been remarkable for the great discussions and interest of the sessions I participated. As it is the most important appointment for economic sociologists in Italy, I had the occasion to present three papers that resume my actual areas of investigation: emerging professions, social innovation and marginal work. All my presentations are available in PDF previous request.

The first paper was presented in the session Le professioni tra ricerca di senso e rivoluzione digitale: Quanto incidono il genere e la generazione di appartenenza? and it is entitled “Small is beautiful? Emerging organizational strategies among Italian professionals”. This paper with R. Cucca compares new emergent organizational strategies between freelance architects and consultants in Italy. It shows how despite divergent public regulation, professionals are using in similar ways organizations as a protection against economic downturns and insecurity. In the same session, I had the interesting opportunity to discuss the paper “Don’t call Saul!” written by my colleague and friend Andrea Bellini, with a groundbreaking historical analysis of lawyers in the U.S. Food for thought!

Stemming from the empirical analysis I conducted under project CrESSI, I presented the paper “Solidarity Purchasing Groups in Italy: A critical assessment of the effects on the marginalisation of their suppliers” in the session Il ridisegno delle politiche per la competitività dei sistemi produttivi nei processi di cambiamento dell’azione imprenditoriale e dell’intervento pubblico. The paper is written with T. Giroletti and A. Podda and it uses the frame of social innovation to analyze alternative food networks in Italy. It analyses the capacity of Solidarity Purchasing Groups to tackle the economic marginalization of their suppliers, focusing both on the perspective of the consumers (social innovators) and of producers (beneficiaries of the social innovation).

Finally, in the session Work and Youth social inclusion/exclusion: What integration of the new forms of employment and ways of working is there?, I presented the paper “The Jobs (F)act: marginalisation processes and flexicurity in Italy” written with A. Firinu from the University of Cagliari. In this work, we are proposing an original approach to the debate insiders/outsiders in the labour market, by theorizing the new concept of marginal work. The analysis shows the heuristic capacity of this concept to study the condition of Italian Youth in the labour market, analyzing trends of the last 8 years. In the same session, I was also asked to discuss the paper written by Rosario Scandurra, Ruggero Cefalo, Yuri Kazepov and entitled “Assessing young adults living conditions in Europe. From theory to measurement”. Their work shows a comparison among different regions in Europe and their capacity to favor the labour market integration of young workers in the local productive systems. A great paper, indeed! And thanks to Ruggero Cefalo for his precious comments on our paper.

During the three days of SISEC, I was also coordinating a session with A. Ciarini from University La Sapienza and R. Lodigiani from Catholic University of Milan, a session which was devoted to collect innovative and original paper that discusses recent trends of welfare state analysis, focusing in particular on social investment and social innovation. We had three panels full of interesting contributions that you find in the SISEC website: Tra investimento e austerità: Il welfare a confronto con l’innovazione sociale/Between Investment and Austerity: welfare facing social innovation. Many thanks to our great contributors for the interesting discussions!

Despite all the hard job, the three days in Milano were simply great… Now longing for SISEC 2019 in Naples!