Sull’utilità e il danno della conoscenza sociologica

On the Usefulness and Damage of Sociological Knowledge


  • Ilaria Riccioni Libera Università di Bolzano, Italy


The discipline of sociology observes the intertwining of social dynamics and social tendencies in relation to institutional power. How this observation becomes social knowledge concerns different areas: from empirical methodologies to philosophical reflexivity that can orient the starting question. However, sociology is not only a descriptive kind of science, but also a critical one. Through hermeneutics and activity, as well as active observation, sociology fulfill its role among other sciences. My thesis here is that in order to keep up with this role, in order to be able to absolve this role also in contemporary society, sociology has to become again the study of large-scale historical processes and structures, starting from the historical context in which are situated also in a comparative way. Also, problematizing the social sciences paradigm to which sociology itself is referring to so to relate it to the big changes in politics and economy from the ‘70s up to now. This essay will try to develop a critical view towards sociological knowledge  recurring to some modern sociologist of the American and European tradition.