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24 ESA Social Theory Conference, Innsbruck, September 11-13, 2008

P. Paolo Guzzo

Palermo/Calabria, Italy

References (provisional): U. Ascoli (1999), Il welfare futuro, Carocci, Roma; A. Bartolomei, A.L. Passera

In Law’s Circle: a KOL study of a group of Sicilian social workers

(2002), L’assistente

Brint

(1993),

Eliot

sociale, Edizioni CieRre,

Freidson’s

Contribute

Roma; to the

Act n.328/2000 reshaped social welfare policy and services in Italy. Indeed, it shifted many powers from the centre to local authorities (Regioni, Comuni, Aziende sanitarie) and endowed professional social

with three

functions:

welfare

co-planning,

control

of

individual

needs,

and finally

This

rights.

human

citizens’

workers social

safeguarding

discomforted

study analyzed a neglected theme in Italian literature on social and health services: that of social workers as legal professionals. As a matter of fact, social workers are exposed to highly variable processes of juridical acculturation and legal socialization, that could reflect a particular ethos of social service. A qualitative study was conducted in 2006-2007 on a group of 197 Sicilian social workers, based on a modified version of A. Podgorécki (1973) socio-legal technique called Knowledge and Opinion about Law (KOL). The legal socialization of social workers is an interesting case of sociology in action, which can be analyzed through a fruitful use of different sociological concepts, such as that of impact of legal culture (L.M. Friedman, 1975), or

that of therapeutic-professional Freidson,1970; Light, 1995; Huber

jurisdiction (E. , 1991; Wexler e

Winick, 1995). The study, therefore, focuses on the attitudes, behaviors and ethos of interviewed Sicilian social workers in their relationships with traditional legal professionals (such as judges, lawyers, policemen, civil servants). Therefore, the paper tries to bridge some important streams of sociological analysis: sociology of professions, sociology of law and sociology of health..

Sociology of Professions, “Work 20:259-278; P. Casey e D. B.

and Occupation”, Rottman (2000),

Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Court, “Behavioral & Science Law” 18(4):445-457, September 2000; A. Febbrajo, A. La Spina, M. Raiteri (a cura di,2006), Cultura giuridica e politiche pubbliche in Italia, Giuffè, Milano; L. M. Friedman (1975), Legal System – A Social Science Perspective, Russel Sage Foundation, New York; trad. it e introd. G. Tarello, Il sistema giuridico nella prospettiva delle scienze sociali, Il Mulino, Bologna,1978; E. Freidson,(1970) Profession of Medicine: A Study of the Sociology of Applied Knowledge, University of Chicago Press, Chicago; P. Guidicini e C. Landuzzi (a cura di,2006), I territori del welfare. Servizi sociali, regionalizzazione e garanzie, Angeli, Milano; F. Hafferty, and D. Light (1995), Professional Dynamics and the Changing Nature of Medical Work, “Journal of Health and Social Behavior” Extra Issue: 132–153; P. W. Huber (1991), Galileo’s Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom, Basic Books, New York; A. La Spina (1983), Il Modello Normativo del Welfare State. Teoria della Social Policy in Gran Bretagna, Ila-Palma, Palermo; Id. (2003), La politica per il Mezzogiorno. Le politiche pubbliche in Italia, Il Mulino, Bologna; Id.. (2005), Mafia, legalità debole e sviluppo del Mezzogiorno, Il Mulino, Bologna; D. W.Light (1995), Countervailing powers: A framework for professions in transition, in T. Johnson, G. Larkin e M. Saks (eds.1995), Health professions and the state in Europe,

London,

Routledge;

C.

Pennisi

et

alii

(2006),

Procedimenti e cultura giuridica nella riforma delle politiche sociali in Sicilia, in P. Guidicini e C. Landuzzi (a cura di, 2006), op. cit. pp.43-65; A.Podgorecki et alii

(eds.1973),

Knowledge

and

Opinion About Law,

London: Robertson; D.Wexler and B. (eds.1995), Law in a Therapeutic Key, Academic Press, Durham (N.Y.)

Winick Carolina

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