Formations of difference

How Italians map, imagine, and learn to categorize other groups based on descent

October 19th, 2021 – 11:00 AM

University of Trento, Sociology Department – Via Verdi 26, Trento

Seminar organized by SMMS & ACME

Speaker: Marcello Maneri (Università di Milano-Bicocca)

Chair: Francesca Decimo (Università di Trento)

Discussants: Chiara Bassetti (Università di Trento), Ester Gallo (Università di Trento)

The sociological doxa about racism tells that the “new” racism targets cultural difference and has got rid of the old idea of “race”. However, if we look behind public statements and beyond the superficial structures of language, we discover a different story. To do that, however, it is necessary to use an analytical framework that distinguishes between the concepts, rhetoric and grammar that govern statements on others. Using different strategies to make people speak about difference, we can uncover a fragmented map populated by paradigmatic figures and configurations of difference, that articulate ideas of culture, biology, and temperament in sometimes unexpected ways. 

Marcello Maneri is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Milano Bicocca, where he teaches Media and Cultural Sociology. His research focuses on media and migration, racism, public discourse on crime and security, and moral panics. He is currently finalizing two books with Ann Morning on the notions of genealogical groups’ essentialized difference in Italy and the United States, the first of which will be published by Russell-Sage in 2022.

Registration (free of charge):