The cultural foundations of welfare state policies and their contribution to the development
of welfare states are gaining increasing attention in comparative welfare state research. The article
introduces reflections on how the impact of cultural factors on the development of welfare
state policies can be analysed. Three different levels be distinguished with regard to the relationship
between welfare culture and welfare state policies: 1) values and models on which welfare
state policies are based; 2) values and models for the welfare state that are dominant in the
population; 3) discourses of social actors in relation to such values and models. Cultural change
can contribute to change in welfare state policies according to two different types of processes.
Moreover, when analysing the influence of globalisation on the development of welfare states it
is important to analyse the controversial influence of neo-liberal values on welfare culture and
the discourses established by political elites to propagate such values.
The object of this paper is training sociologists in «person-centered» ethnographic research,
i.e. centered upon the social actor, protagonist of the cultural contexts to study. A training
model is proposed, based on two cultural approaches: one being spiritual and the other psychological.
More precisely, we refer to the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the
Society of Jesus) and the psychological approach of Carl Rogers (psychologist of the humanistic
approach). The goal is to provide useful operational tools in various stages of ethnographic
research, enabling researchers to: a) choose the identities through which to have the best access
to the field of study, b) establish face to face interactions that are based on the respect of the
social actors involved in the study, c) transform those who are called «subjects» of research, in
the classic approach of participant observation, into «collaborators of the ethnographer», d)
adapt quickly to sudden changes of the field that often characterize studies of «other» cultures.
This paper aims to report a resistance process that was carried on by black quilombolas
community (slave descendant) in the Alcântara region (Maranhão-Brazil). These communities
have been in contrast through the times with the military institutions which ordered them to leave their traditional lands. Basing themselves on the international, federal and national
legislation, and rediscovering their cultural ethnic heritage, and economic specificity, the
different communities have carried on experiences of community opposition and cohesion, of
political association, and have introduced new identity pronouncements, on which they have
built their social and cultural ransom paths, as well as those of leadership recognition. The
theme offers the opportunity to discuss some political anthropology issues, such as identity
politics, the concept of power, and the social relationships.
Despite the undoubted relevance emotions have for the social action and for society itself,
Sociology started to deal with them directly only around the half of Seventies in the last century;
the United States, therefore, have up for lost time: the Sociology of emotions has by now earned
the statute of an autonomous scientific and academic doctrine. In this article, after a quick
introduction to the Sociology of emotions and its main theoretical perspectives (Positivism,
Constructionism and Interactionism) I’ll take into consideration the sociological theory of
emotions by Arlie Russell Hochschild. She should be certainly considered as one of the main
autoritative theorist of the interactionist approach, even deemed by someone as the founder of
the Sociology of emotions; by surveying some of the main theoretical assumptions, I’ll try to
select those thematic cores (emotional control, emotion labor, feeling rules, emotional devienza,
emotional culture) which supply the conceptual and lexical framework for the understanding of
the more general sociological reflection about emotions.
The Phenomenology says that every knowledge is a perspective knowledge, because every
knowledge is situated in a time and in a space. The human’s embodiment discloses a perspective
overview on the world. The paper claims the aim to analyze how the sexual and gender
dimensions, which are incarnated in a determinate body, are present in the qualitative research,
specifically into the ethnographic observation. First for all, we hypothesize that the gender is a
border for the access into a field and not in other, so to be man or woman is not neutral for the
knowledge of a specific social context. Moreover, the performative dimension of the gender,
which shows the norms that pre-exist and that conduct the role’s interaction (i.e. the role’s gendered
content and the role’s gendered language) is another tie in the participant observation.
The awareness that all the knowledge is gendered, requires to the fieldworker to play a double
competence (ability). The researcher must use the self reflexivity to point out his gender identity
and his background on this theme: he must point out his background frame relatively to the
gender, his gender behaviour’s expectations in the interaction, and his correlated opinions. The
researcher, moreover, must know that exist a cultural mainstream about the gender, but that the
concrete gender playing is based on the interaction in a concrete frame. So, we have a lot of
concrete ways in which the gender is embodied. The researcher on the field, so, must enter in a
knowledge’s circulation in which must point attention to: the epistemic interdependence, i.e.
the knowledge borns in the symbolic interaction between the researcher and the subject; the
gendered nature of the communicative interaction between the researcher and the subject; the
negotiable nature of the concrete managing of the gendered role in the interaction.