Case Studies

Theme
Biography
Object
Sociological investigation of Jean Monnet
Context
France, 1950
Goal
Find the traces of social love in the biographical experience
Approach
Micro social
Theoretical reference
Interpretativism and Weberian approach
Methods and techniques
Documentary analysis, historical analysis
Focus on social love
Processes of institutionalization of social love
Theme
Interculture
Object
Community of Christians and Muslims
Context
Algeria (Tlemcen), 1966-2012
Goal
Identify the reasons for the birth of a sui generis community of Muslims that shares the culture of unity with Christians
Approach
Micro social
Theoretical reference
Interpretativism and Weberian approach
Methods and techniques
Mixed methods (documentary analysis, biographical study, interviews)
Focus on social love
Social love institutionalization processes
Result
“Tragicity of acting”: no homologating conversion, but an experience of fraternity
Theme
Formation and identity processes
Object
Handicraft school for the social promotion of the population and culture of Calchaquì
Context
Argentina (Catamarca), 1970-2011
Goal
Evaluate the evidence against the hypothesis of social love in the origin and impact of the school
Approach
Social Meso
Theoretical reference
Interpretativism and Weberian approach
Methods and techniques
Mixed methods (documentary analysis, biographical study, interviews)
Focus on social love
Social love institutionalization processes
Result
Habitus of social love: foundation of the school and birth of new daily practices
Theme
Social service
Object
Professional action of social workers
Context
Italy (Sardinia), 2010-2013
Goal
Detect the presence of traces of social love in the relational styles underlying the help
Approach
Social Meso
Theoretical reference
Symbolic interactionism
Methods and techniques
Non-participating observation (shadowing)
Focus on social love
How social love works
Result
«Excess» of the professional behaviors of social workers with respect to the ethical constraints
Theme
Social policies
Object
Local health and social services
Context
Italy (Sardinia), 2016
Goal
Identify good surplus practices in local health and social policies
Approach
Social macro
Theoretical reference
Public policy analysis
Methods and techniques
Documentary analysis, historical analysis
Focus on social love
Social love institutionalization processes
Result
Generativity: social policies capable of nourishing systems of trust, communities of solidarity
Theme
Biography
Object
Sociological investigation of Divjak
Context
Serbia (Sarajevo) and Bosnia, 1994-2012
Goal
Identify characteristics of social love in the historical and biographical experience
Approach
Micro social
Theoretical reference
Historical approach
Methods and techniques
Documentary analysis, historical analysis
Focus on social love
Characteristics of social love
Result
Radicality and universality of social love
Theme
Culture of sharing
Object
Peer to peer and internet system
Context
USA and other countries, 1970-2016
Goal
Identify characteristics of social love in historical experience
Approach
Social macro
Theoretical reference
Historical approach and typification
Methods and techniques
Documentary analysis, historical analysis
Focus on social love
How social love works
Result
Characteristics of social love: inadequacy and poor purity, related to the limited duration
Theme
Biographies
Object
Sociological survey on Perlasca
Context
Hungary (Budapest), 1944-1945
Goal
Identify characteristics of social love in the historical and biographical experience
Approach
Micro social
Theoretical reference
Historical approach
Methods and techniques
Documentary analysis, historical analysis
Focus on social love
Characteristics of social love
Result
Radicality and universality of social love
Theme
Culture of sharing
Object
Practice of suspended assets (coffee, books, shopping, holidays and permits)
Context
Italy and other countries, 2013-2015
Goal
Identify the reasons for the spread (virality), multiplication and differentiation of the phenomenon
Approach
Micro and meso social
Theoretical reference
Symbolic interactionism
Methods and techniques
Mixed methods (documentary analysis, biographical study, interviews)
Focus on social love
How social love works
Result
“Open solidarity”: assets suspended by an undue or necessary act, which produces a benefit without being claimed or deserved
Theme
Social service
Object
Social workers / Users of social services relationship
Context
North America (Canada and USA), 2006-2009
Goal
Detect the presence of bidirectional transformative effects in the relationship between social workers and customers / users
Approach
Micro social
Theoretical reference
Social constructivism
Methods and techniques
Secondary analysis / meta-analysis
Focus on social love
How social love works
Result
“Generativity” of care relationships: the clients observed are not passive subjects, but producers of the operators
Theme
Community Study (in the footsteps of the classic Lynd & Lynd)
Object
Sociological investigation on a religious little town
Context
Loppiano (FI) Italy, 2005-2007
Goal
Analyzing the social link of the religious community in everyday life
Approach
Micro and meso social
Theoretical reference
Interactionism
Methods and techniques
Ethnography (documentary analysis, participant observation, structured, semi-structured and in-depth interviews, survey, focus group, diary on perception and use of time)
Focus on social love
Social link in everyday reality and life trajectories
Result
Social love contributes to community building in multicultural contexts

Meta-analysis

Bibliographic references
Targets
Methodology
Steps of the analysis
Results
Tables

Bibliographical references

– Cataldi S., Sena B. (2019), Overabounding and social actions: a meta-analysis of multiple case studies, “Sociologia”, Anno LIII, 1, pp. 34-46, ISSN: 0038-0156.

– Cataldi S., Sena B. (2019), Meta-analysis of case studies in organizational vocational contexts: the cases of social workers, nurses and school operators, SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2, SAGE Publications, London: 1-18, ISBN: 9781526490971, DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526490971

– Cataldi S., Sena B. (2018), La fenomenología del ágape entre la memoria y la imaginación colectiva. Un meta-análisis utilizando el case study approach, Las encrucijadas abierdas en America Latina. La sociologia en tiempos de cambio, XXXI congreso ALAS, Montevideo (Uruguay), 3-8 Diciembre 2017.

Targets

1. Critically evaluate studies and surveys conducted by various scholars on the subject of social love, including through the use of different techniques and methodological approaches, in order to integrate the results achieved by various authors into a single coherent and meaningful analytical framework.

2. Contribute to the analytical and empirical clarification of the concept of social love through its operationalization in concrete case studies drawn from different social contexts.

Methodology

For the survey, the meta-analysis tool was chosen in its qualitative variant with the aim of integrating, broadening, deepening and generating new meanings and interpretations of social love, by critically comparing the results produced by 12 primary researches of qualitative type present in the literature on case studies of social love (Araújo, Iorio and Cataldi, 2015; Cataldi and Cristao R., 2011; Iorio, 2014; 2015; Callebaut and Paglione, 2015; Demartis 2012a; 2012b; 2015; Cataldi, Gallelli and Iorio, 2016).

Steps of the analysis

1. First step: reconstruction and critical comparison of the defining components of the concept of social love in the various case studies analyzed.

2. Second step: analysis of the dimensions of the concept of social love, extrapolated from the contribution of Sorokin (1954) on the basis of a five-dimensional model: intensity, extension, duration, purity and adequacy.

3. Third step: comparison of the concept of social love with concepts-terms, such as help, altruism and gift.

4. Fourth step: identification of the antecedents and effects of social love

5. Fifth step: analysis of the logic of social action that distinguishes social love, with respect to reasons and dynamics, such as exchange, duty and gift.

Results

• The analysis made it possible to better identify not only how social love manifests itself, but also how it does not manifest itself in empirical phenomenology. In particular, social love is distinguished: from help because, by taking care of the other, it does not need to respond to a condition of need; from altruism, because while the latter relates to an attitude or a disposition, social love is concrete and has an eminently practical dimension and recognition of the other as unique and irreducible; from the gift, because while the latter simultaneously recalls both the idea of ​​offering and that of obligation (Marci, 2012, 29) and therefore activates a social bond based on the circuit of giving-receiving-returning agape, defining itself as surplus, is characterized by unconditionality and the breaking of expectations.
• Furthermore, the analysis showed that empathy and respect are antecedents of social love because it is necessary for the primary subject to be able to put himself in the shoes of the other as another specific unique and irreducible person, recognizing the dignity of the person. Trust and social generativity, on the other hand, are effects of social love, and they concern both the interpersonal and the systemic level.
• Finally, the comparison between the case studies allows us to go deeper into the logic of social action that distinguishes social love, distinguishing it from other domains of action. Unlike the two dominant logics of human action, such as exchange and duty, social love is based neither on transaction nor on moral obligation. Unlike the gift, agape is not based on gratitude, but takes care of Alter in its dimension of uniqueness and irreducibility and for this it breaks social expectations and shared norms and goes against the tide.

Tables

Table 1: Concepts terms similar to social love

 DefinitionDifference with social love
HelpAction designed to provide or facilitate what is requested or undertaken for those who live in a state of needActivation in response to a need
AltruismWillingness to take an interest in others and their well-being and also make sacrifices for themActivation of a generic disposition towards others
GivingThe provision of goods or services carried out in order to create or nurture the social bondActivation of the circuitous ‘give-receive-return’ pattern

Table 2: Antecedents and effects of agape observed in the analyzed case studies

AntecedentsEffects

Empathy

Respect

Confidence

Social generativity

Tab. 3The logic of exchange, duty, giving and social love

 Logic of exchangeLogic of dutyLogic of giftLogic of social love
AimsI give to receive, for the sake of “receiving”I give to fulfil, for the sake of “fulfilling”I give to give, for the sake of “contributing”I love to love, for the sake of you
CharacterTransaction: I give because I want to receive something good from others in exchangeObligation: I give because it is a social norm or commanded by a legitimate authorityGratitude: I give because, having unconditionally received, I recognize the good my giving can doOverabounding: I love unconditionally beyond social expectations and norms
The moral heart of the logicCalculation: I give because I will receive something desired in exchangeResponsibility: I give because it’s the right thing to doBenevolence: I give because I seek some good beyond myselfIrriducibility: I love because I love you
Character of the responsePredictable and enforceablePredictable and enforceablePredictable, unenforceableNot envisaged at all

Source: Elaboration from Baviera et al. (2016)