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Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Adolescents living in the North and South of Italy: territory, social capital and life choices

TitleAdolescents living in the North and South of Italy: territory, social capital and life choices
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsScardigno F
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedFebruary 2011
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsTerritorial differentials; Life chances; informal education

The paper gives a broad overview of some results from the Italian PRIN study “Life Chances and significant adults in the educational and professional choices of adolescents”, analyzing the role of the territorial context in the decisionmaking process of adolescents living in the North and in the South of Italy, particularly with reference to informal education choices. After a brief review of the various meanings of territory in the decision-making process, the paper explores the relationship between new opportunities of choice for individuals living in different areas (South and North) and role of territory as a system of opportunities that enables or inhibits certain options. The paper aims to critically assess the results of the classical studies on the South of Italy’s “deficit of civicness”, recently recalled in the sociological literature, and which explain territorial differences as structural and embedded modalities, which affect all social behaviours (including choices). This alternative perspective – focused on personal resources and social capital – draws upon the crucial dimension of refexivity among adolescents.