A very interesting book has been released in Italy by the end of November 2016, entitled “Interazioni Inclusive” (Inclusive Interactions), edited by Andrea Salvini and published for Maggioli Editore. Presented by a Preface of David Altheide, it contains several essays focused on the contemporary Symbolic Interaction, written by some young Italian scholars that are inspired by this perspective in their academic and/or professional careers.
The book is unique, for several reasons. First of all, for its attention to the contemporary. With regard to the content, the discussion covers the developments and the latest interpretations of the SI (the Authors and the latest Schools), over Blumer’s heritage and until today, critically argued according to a sort of fil rouge that links the main interactionist questions to a knowledge which aspires to the humanization of society and to the achievement of more substantial levels of social justice, through and thanks to new ideals of action necessarily combined with the research practice (both epistemological and social). The way how the book is articulated reflects the purpose of the Authors to point out the possible “interactions” between the theoretical dimension, the research and the social intervention (especially the Social Work), exploring and highlighting the connections and the new openings of the SI.
The book focuses on some fundamental concepts that represent tools for understandinghe importance of the SI contribution in the framework of the social sciences; the volume tries to offer a broad and exhaustive representation of the perspective, by valuing the richness of its themes. Starting from the birth and the development of the SI mainstream, and highlighting the processes of pluralization of its horizons, the institutionalization and the internationalization of the vision, in the book the question moves to the contemporary, discussed in the light of some topics: Identity, Role, the connection between interactions and structure, and the methodology (Constructivist Grounded Theory). The last chapters represent an implicit homage to the life and work of Jane Addams, according to the contribution that SI can effectively make to the development of two more than ever current and relevant research fields: Peace Studies (“building peace interactions”), and violence/victimization. A bibliographic proposal, updated and organized by categories, ends the volume: Editor wants to offer to the reader a chance to orientation and depth, and to present the extent of SI’s production, that seems to be extremely active.
This is the table of contents:
Preface (D. Altheide)
Introduction (A. Salvini)
I An Encounter with the Contemporary Symbolic Interaction (A.Salvini)
II Symbolic Interaction between Theory, Research and Social Intervention (A. Salvini)
III The Construction of Identity in the Contemporary Society (I. Psaroudakis)
IV From Interactions to Social Structure (and Back) (L. Ciccarese)
V Grounded Theory as an Interactionist Methodology (D. Cordaz)
VI Deviance, Violentization and Victimization (C. Galavotti)
VII Symbolic Interaction and Peace Studies: Possible Intersections of Ontological, Methodological and Epistemological Levels (V. Bartolucci)
VIII Bibliographic Sources for the New Interactionist Century (2000-2016) (L. Corchia)
The essays, entirely in Italian, stand out to represent an attempt to “consolidate” the cognitive boundaries of SI, disseminating its suggestions and approach beyond the Anglo-Saxon and US borders, especially in a country like Italy where interest in interactionism is strong, but still focused to a relatively small number of studies. This represents a forward step towards a greater internationalization of SI, which has to confront and to deal with the particular dynamics of localization, and then expand itself in this direction. The book comes out of Pisa, an important center for the SI Community. The city of the Leaning Tower stands at the cradle of a very “community of practice” – an international one – around symbolic interactionism; and that is where we had the first European Conference of the SSSI (2010), where we organized the International Summer School on GT and Qualitative Methods (2016), where the Italian Conference on “To Read Again Herbert Blumer” (April, 2017) will be held, and where the II Edition of the Summer School (June, 2017) will be organised. This book represents the most recent product of all the meetings where so many intellectual biographies and experiences cross.
The volume is thus focused on a strong and very lively tradition, and in order to capture its wide breadth – its content, views, and causes for reflection – it turns its gaze to the future (of the scientific community and of the perspective), nowadays more significant than ever, given that during this year are thirty years since the death of Herbert Blumer, to whose memory the volume is dedicated.