Informations and abstract
Keywords: Pasolini, Italian sociology, boundary-work, intellectuals, modernization
Poet, writer, and director Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of the most famous and outspoken Italian intellectuals of the mid-twentieth century. In the early 1970s Pasolini's interpretation of the process of modernization in Italy aroused a wide and harsh debate, in which sociologists, who had been studying the same topics since the late 1940s, only dimly and loosely participated. Using an implicitly Bourdieusian framework, I interpret the stance of social scientists toward Pasolini as the effect of a boundary-defending strategy, aimed at excluding literary and poetic understandings of Italian society from the then-unbounded field of Italian sociology. In the conclusion, I reflect on the possible uses of Pasolini's understanding of intellectual practice within the current, and recurring, crises of the social sciences.