Giorgio Osti

Water socialisation. In search of a master frame

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The article introduces a set of research works collected through a call for paper entitled «water socialisation». The call had two main purposes: to stimulate study and research in Italy on water issues; and to check if there is a distinct social sciences position. The two ends are justified by the observation of a limited number of sociological studies on water conducted in Italy. The socialization of water appeared to be the umbrella concept capable of highlighting two critical points: water reduction to commercial and instrumental uses, possibility of sharing water in a period of climate change. A general picture of the rich world literature on conflicts and water management is obtained through a framework based on the «position» of the social approaches in front of the physical, biomedical and engineering disciplines that usually deal with water. Three positions are identified: the social sciences «above», «in between» and «below» the other disciplines. Social sciences position is not always subordinate or independent of other disciplines. Most time social studies pretend to be «above». This classification allows to present the social aspects of water issues in a more flexible and respectful way.


  • water
  • socialisation
  • interdisciplinarity
  • meta-analysis
  • social sciences position


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