Art and Science in Italian Clinical Sociology


This chapter defines clinical sociology in practical and theoretical terms, and discusses its areas of application and the cultural theoretical background of such a professional perspective. It is important to define “sociology” in order to understand its clinical perspective and the practical applications deriving from it, but it is not easy to define sociology, especially in Italy, as the sociological knowledge used in performing a variety of institutional and cultural roles has not been formally recognized and this has resulted in a lack of identity for sociologists. This is the opinion of many professionals employed by the Italian Social and Medical Services, who are regarded as mere technical surplus, and not as interdisciplinary figures, in the planning projects aimed at improving the well-being of individuals and the community. Through a process of intellectual pillage of notions and methods, sociology—the so-called “science without boundaries”—has been confined to the regions of minor disciplines, while sciences, such as medicine and psychology, have asserted their hegemony. It’s enough to say that social psychology, criminology, and even educational science have acquired the patrimony of all the theoretical knowledge developed by sociology without due recognition of its historical and intellectual roots.


Life Story Personal Autonomy Social Intervention Italian Association Sociological Knowledge 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Associazione di Sociologia Clinica ONLUSItaly

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