“Terrorists at the Gates? Unauthorized Migrants and Discourses of Danger” in Migration Letters Volume 8, Number 1, April 2011.
“‘Working the Waves’: The Plebeian Culture and Moral Economy of Traditional Basque Fishing Brotherhoods,”Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 1 (4), Spring, 2010.
Although by the twentieth century, industrial-capitalist fishing methods were already disrupting the Basque fishing brotherhoods (cofradías), the collective voice of the fishermen and their communities, artisanal fishing, and the traditional customs surrounding it managed to survive for a few more decades. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, however, the future for local Basque fishermen looks bleak. Due to factors beyond their control, the brotherhoods, which for a long time guaranteed both an ecological balance in the sea and common wealth among the fishermen, have become totally defunct.
“Radical Protestantism and doux commerce: the trials and tribulations of Nantucket’s Quaker whaling community,”Economy and Society,, 41:2, 227-257.
This paper discusses the complex relationship between morals and markets and uses the case of Nantucket as an illustration. I argue that it was a specific Protestant work ethic promoted by Quakerism that facilitated the rise of Nantucket to become the capital of the American whaling fleet for more than a century. However,
I also argue that the same morals and values that helped to give birth to the Quaker whaling empire contributed significantly to the downfall of the Quaker community, decades before whaling in general got into crisis. In more general terms this paper attempts to be a historical case study that illustrates the complexities of Albert O. Hirschman’s doux commerce argument and particularly the way the Protestant spirit fits into Hirschman’s explanation.
“A Tale of Networks and Policies:
Prolegomena to an Analysis of Irregular Migration Careers and Their Developmental Paths” (With Martina Cvajner). Population, Space and Place (2009). Published online in Wiley InterScience
(www.interscience.wiley.com) DOI: 10.1002/psp.589.
In recent decades, large-scale irregular migration flows and systems have developed across Europe. Although such systems involve most European countries and are often treated as being similar, their structures and dynamics are quite different. Some irregular migration systems have developed through clandestine entries, while other systems are almost entirely the result of overstaying. Some systems have been structured around a sequence of self-contained spells of irregular work, while others have involved long-term irregular residence. Some have coupled specific flows with specific niches in the occupational structures, while others have shown no significant connections with specific sectors of employment. This paper is based on what has been learned from an immigrant life-history project carried out in Italy in recent years, and describes three different types of irregular migratory systems that are themselves rooted in three different kinds of migration careers: atomistic, volume-based and structured. The paper argues that the distinction between different irregular migration systems is crucial both for structural and developmental analysis. Differences in the structure of irregular migration systems should also be taken into account in the analyses of the impact of different migration control policies.
Since the beginning of its history as a country of immigration, Italian policies have acknowledged the existence of a sizeable structural economic demand for foreign labour. Contrary to most other European governments, the Italian ones have consistently stressed the need for a reasonable management of labour inflows (Bonifazi, 2007). For decades, opinion polls have consistently documented that Italians are less worried than other Europeans about job competition and more willing to recognize that foreign workers play a complementary role in the Italian economy (Colombo, 2007). The foreign population in Italy has a remarkable high activity rate. Given the design of the Italian welfare system, such population is contributing to the system more than it receives (Sciortino, 2004).
Multiculturalism is a political philosophy that asserts the extension of “equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific ethnic, religious and/or cultural community values as central’ (Wikipedia). Academic definitions are hardly more precise. Multiculturalism is advocated as a way of seeing society as the sum of several equally valuable but distinct racial and ethnic groups (1992) and its political implication is taken to be the necessary enactment of s set of differentiated rights geared toward apositive commitment to the long term survival of these groups. In a more moderate vein, multiculturalism is defined as the claim that individuals have the right to maintain their cultural communities and governments have a moral obligation to avoid or to offset cultural biases inherent in state institutions (Kymlicka 2007).
“The New Sociology of Art: Putting Art Back into Social Science Approaches to the Arts” Cultural Sociology (2007) 1; 409.
This article maps recent developments in social science writing about the arts and argues that an interesting development in the field has involved the desire to move beyond merely examining contextual or external factors. The ‘new sociology of art’ is praised for framing questions about the aesthetic properties of art (and non-art objects) in ways that are compatible with social constructionism.
“On the Promise of a Sociological Aesthetics: From Georg Simmel to Michel Maffesoli” Distinktion No.15 (2007)
This article focuses on aesthetic explanations of the social bond and examines the thought of Georg Simmel and Michel Maffesoli on the matter. It compares the former’s writing on the aesthetic experience of the meal with the latter’s analysis of bonding through the joint consumption of wine. The article argues that an aesthetic explanation of the social bond has the advantage of highlighting the role of aesthetic sensation in getting an individual to comply with the norms governing a social situation, as well as the sense of abandonment or fusion that aesthetic forms of sociality entail.
“The place of culture in sociology: Romanticism and debates about the `cultural turn” Journal of Sociology (2007) The Australian Sociological Association, Volume 43(2): 115–130.
Despite intense debate regarding the `cultural turn’, there has been very little framing of these intellectual conflicts in terms of the sociology of ideas or knowledge. Following Gouldner, the article proposes that sociology has oscillated between two major styles of thought: Classicism and Romanticism. The latter stimulated an interest in culture amongst social scientists and also led to an emphasis on the cultural properties of social life. Yet Romanticism has its equal in the opposing tendency to see the sociological study of culture as no different from other forms of social scientific explanation (Classicism). The notion of `style wars’ is used to frame debates about the `cultural turn’ and its consequences for sociology. Divisions within the sociology of art — a subfield within the sociology of culture — are used to demonstrate that one major fault line in these debates is the notion of aesthetics. It is suggested that theoretical and methodological debates about culture, and its role in sociology, require some degree of sociological reflexivity about the predominant styles of thought present in the discipline.
The cultural politics of human rights disrupts taken-for-granted norms of national political life. Human rights activists are engaged in imagining the practical deconstruction of the distinction between citizens and non-citizens through which national states have been constituted. They envisage a world order of cosmopolitan states in which the rights of all, including non-citizens, would be fully respected. How likely is it that such a form of society might be realised through their activities? Is collective responsibility for human rights currently being shaped in cultural politics? If so how, and with what consequences?
In an effort to identify convergent agendas for cooperation, the World Bank has been engaging with faith institutions over different issues, such as the fight against poverty and diseases and the quest for a more humane approach to economic globalization. Cooperation, however, could run much deeper and give rise to much less contingent partnerships between the two parties. The purpose of this paper is to explain how. This will also allow me to show how major foundations that run programs on religion, culture and society as well as academia can work together with multilateral economic agencies to produce organizational change within the
In the course of the past few decades independent central banks have been regarded as one of the purest institutional distillates of modern rationality. Occasionally, however, and quite paradoxically, religious metaphors and narratives percolate into the monetary sphere and transform it. Within the sociological profession only Pierre Bourdieu has taken notice of such a phenomenon and has indirectly used Durkheim to tackle it. The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether a Durkheimian reading of monetary affairs is analytically suitable, to what extent it is so, and what implications it may have upon monetary studies.
The new economic sociology has traditionally conceived the market as a deculturalized and desocialized space. During the past three decades, however, a research tradition has developed that has progressively recovered the cultural and non-instrumental dimension of the market. This admits the possibility of a generalized phenomenon of reenchantment of a sphere that would allegedly be condemned to an inexorable disenchantment. Such a trend, though, has not pushed as far as recognizing that market reenchantment often takes up a religious form. The goal of this paper is to show that a systematic analysis of the religious reenchantment of the market can serve as a heuristic to push ahead the frontier of cultural analysis within the new economic sociology, particularly with reference to the study of the macro-cultural embeddedness of economic action and of the micro-macro link in the economy.