Keywords: water, socialisation, interdisciplinarity, meta-analysis, social sciences position.
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.