A new threat: bounded rationality produces monsters. A theory construction exercise

The present study has two objectives. First, it presents a fundamental hypothesis: the configuration of knowledge represents a determinant factor of many social facts. The entire structure is based upon the dichotomy certainty/uncertainty. Inside it we differentiate between irreducible certainty and reducible certainty. If we accept this typology, some very important arguments may be made and other explanatory opportunities may be created. Finally, we present an analysis which proves that the certainty/uncertainty situation generates different strategic options for social actors. Secondly, we propose an exercise for constructing a theory. To dramatize it, we present some so-called Propositions that are actually logically deduced hypotheses from the initial model. This endeavour should be viewed more as a challenge. I am convinced that sociology should, at this time, give more credit to building theories.

A typology of virtual religious communities of Christian orientation

The present article provides an introduction into the subject of virtual communities with emphasis on the religious oriented ones. It describes this social form of virtual organization through a series of paradoxes, which reveal the contradictions between premises or expected results and the present state of religious communities online. The final part suggests a typology for the virtual religious communities based on a two bipolar dimension frame: denominational and value orientation, resulting in four community types, metaphorically entitled „reinforcement”, „reformer”, „fight for the Truth” and „no frontiers.

The population’s consumption basket regarding decent and subsistence minimum living standard

The minimum living standard is an economic and social concept, with a high complexity and relativity and which measuring poverty. Complexity comes from the multitude of material, cultural, educational, health, etc.. entering in its composition and relativity, from interaction and changes of those elements, that show us the needs of human consumption and its dependents (family, household) and interdependence between these needs and economic and social framework where there is.

A framework for social innovation identification: a case study

Sometimes, in promoting a solution, a policy or strategy, its innovative character is used to legitimize its implementation based on the fact that the effort needed to verify such an assertion is relatively high not only epistemologically speaking, but ontologically, as well. On the other hand, as the conditions that stimulate innovation are yet to be clearly established, although there are efforts made in this direction, innovation cannot be assumed to appear automatically, if some efforts are made to support it. This issue is even more acute when it comes to social innovation. Consequently, in researching social innovation it is important to be able to decide which innovations should be disseminated based on a relevant set of criteria. Moreover, as most areas of the social sciences have overlapping elements, and thus, as one cannot simply assume that what is not an economical, political or other type of innovation is necessarily a social innovation, it becomes useful to integrate the links between these areas into the analysis. In the first section I propose a working definition and contrast it with existing ones. The second section will use the working definition to give an example of how we might classify innovations. After constructing the framework, in section three, I shall give, in the fourth section, one example of how it might be used, based on an analysis of two community projects. The concluding remarks will summarize the ideas of the project and suggest further development of the framework.

Social economy – a solution to social inclusion on the labour market

The current strategy of the European Union is strongly related to a new solution that is based on the force given by the so called “European social economy” platform. The social economy is initiated by a humanist philosophical principle that aims equal opportunities for all the social categories. The European institutions, their initiatives and the approach itself alleged by European projects depend on this reformative model of thought that has been adopted through the Lisbon Treaty in December of 2009. The study has as main goal to analyze this principle, by taking into account its connections with the social inclusion aspects and its approach as a major ethical and social integration on the market labor for those who have been isolated in the current context of the crisis. Moreover, the main objectives, the institutional characteristics and also the theoretical and philosophical backgrounds of the social economy will be highlighted.

European Strategy 2010 and Romania’s objectives

This article comments the European main development directions in the coming decay, as they are presented by European Commission in The European 2020 Strategy, and the attached Romanian Objectives. Both The European 2020 Strategy and the Romanian Objectives emerge on the base of global, respectively, national economic context of the last financial crisis. The author`s analysis starts from the ideas of these documents and uses also other sources for documenting the economic and social impact of the crisis.

Migration as a factor of social innovation and development: the case of Romanian migration to Italy

Economic research is currently focusing on the role of social capital in the development process and particularly on the role of social capital and social networks in migration flows in a social development perspective. The main questions our research is trying to address are as follows: which are the major constraints in migration processes affecting the integration process of migrants? Do social capital or social networks play a role? Which is the integration model developed at European level? In order to address these questions we are focusing on a specific case study: the Romanian migration process in Italy and particularly in the area of Rome.

Social solidarity in times of crisis

Beside the action of some objective causes, of economic or demographic nature, the structural deficiencies of the state budget, of the health system and of the pension system, are also the product of the action of some social and political mechanisms from the perspective of a selected model of social justice. The people are less willing to pay taxes and dues as long as they do not accept as satisfactory the way they benefit from these taxes. Considering the social justice’s perspective the issue is that some may react like this, others, in my opinion – a minority, may not and the last ones become the absolute looser of this social inequity generator system. My hypotheses is that this system is validated and protected by constructing a meta-ideological social definition of social solidarity, that states that certain social categories, not necessarily the most disadvantaged ones, having elective power, have less obligations and more rights comparing to others that for same social needs have more obligations and less rights. To be precise – in the public speech the pensioners are discriminated positively in general, not only those with low pension, comparing to the employees in general, not only those with high salaries (see the recent decision of the Constitutional Court), the inhabitants of rural environment, in general, not only those with serious social problems, the people living in block of flats comparing to those living in houses etc. Hence, I consider that the moral crisis is the main cause of all the other crises – economic, social and politic. This moral crisis will be analyzed on two dimensions: social justice and how a certain model of social justice is, on the one side assumed, and on the other side accepted; the social solidarity that in its new shape may become the initiator of a mechanism promoting an alternative model of social justice that also produces effects by increasing social inequity and injustice.