It is practically impossible to reflect on socialization without referring to Durkheim, the first to use the term in a non-generic manner, and to its subsequent systemisation by Parsons and, after him, by a long succession of scholars. Sociability, on the other hand, is one of the theoretical mainstays of Simmel’s work. While sociology has paid ample attention to socialization it does not seem to have explored the manifold possible declensions of sociability sufficiently to date. This study does not seek to explain what is meant by the terms socialization and sociability, but, rather, by bringing leverage to bear on Durkheim’s and Simmel’s general assumptions (the former normative-structural, the latter cultural-relational) that of investigating the extent to which, the way in which, and if, these two categories are still capable of performing their strategic function of directing, facilitating and promoting, or conditioning, the behaviour and attitudes of social actors, at this historical-cultural moment in time. To this end, one might well ask, without ambition or claiming total comprehensiveness, whether socialization has almost definitively lost its normative role and if, today, it is not engaged rather in teaching how to communicate and enter into positive relations with others (as much of the literature on the topic suggests). Furthermore, one is inclined to ask whether instances of sociability have, in some way, been superimposed upon the classical socialization criteria through which ethical-institutional paradigms were acquired passively, and whether this superimposition may be better able to bring people to come to terms with the complex social reality, with sharing collective life-style models and, thanks to the creation of a positive relational atmosphere, with modifying traditional indicators of social distance.
Socialization and sociability
Costa C. (2013) "Socialization and sociability " Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 5(3), 246-269. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-IJSE-2013-3-13
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Italian Journal of Sociology of Education
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