The question of imaginary starts where its opposition to reality ends. Once this opposition is dismissed, it becomes possible thinking of imaginary as a mean of construction and transformation of the social reality. A series of essays – regarding the taking form of socio-anthropological environments; the collective dynamics of social integration; the mass media metamorphosis; the politics legitimation processes; the symbolic dimension of economics and that of the material culture; the representation of otherness – trace an analytical perspective in which imaginary represents an essential tool for a deep understanding of social phenomena.
Contributors: Sergio Brancato, Francesca Colella, Stefano Cristante, Fabio D'Andrea, Valentina Grassi, Pier Luca Marzo, Milena Meo, Luca Mori, Maria Giovanna Musso, Domenico Secondulfo, Antonio Tramontana, and Pier Paolo Zampieri
Pier Luca Marzo teaches sociology of social change and sociology of imaginary at Department of Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, Education and Cultural Studies (COSPECS), University of Messina. He is editor in chief and founder of the open access journal Im@go. A Journal of the Social Imaginary, and member of the scientific board of AIS (The Italian Sociological Association) Imaginary section.
Luca Mori is associate professor of sociology at the University of Verona. His research focuses on social theory, sociology of health and illness and social imaginaries.
Preface: For Sociology of the Imaginary and Depth Sociology, Domenico Secondulfo
Introduction: The Sociological Perspective of the Imaginary, Pier Luca Marzo and Luca Mori
1: The Imaginary Nature of the Social: A Morphological Approach, Pier Luca Marzo
2: The Power of Image: Imaginary, Knowledge and Method in the Social Creation of Reality, Fabio D’Andrea and Valentina Grassi
3: The Imaginary and The Social Bond: The unconscious life of representations, Luca Mori
4: Imaginary, Technology, and Social Change, Maria Giovanna Musso
5: Imaginary and Communication: From the corporal Device of Homo sapiens to the typographical imaginary of early modernity, Stefano Cristante
6: Imaginary and Communication: From the analogical body of technical reproducibility to the digital imaginary, Sergio Brancato
7: The Matter of Imaginary in the Dynamics and Tensions of the Social World, Antonio Tramontana
8: The Material and the Imaginary, Vincenzo Mele
9: The Imaginary Roots of Politics: A Weberian Reading, Milena Meo
10: Imaginaries of Otherness in Complex Societies, Francesca Colella
11: The Complex of Cain, the Tension of Abel: Space, City, Imaginary, Pier Paolo Zampieri
About the Contributors
This new edited collection is a highly readable, thought-provoking update and expansion of theories of materiality and the phenomenology of the imaginary, relevant to a new generation seeking to theorize questions of social integration and social change. It should be on the list of graduate foundational readings across programs in sociology, STS, and media and cultural studies.
The imaginary has usually been studied at the intersection of different academic disciplines and has remained marginal. What has been lacking is work based on the idea that the imaginary is not the opposite of the real, but its invisible source. Startling in the richness and plurality of its contributions, this book moves in this essential direction and will certainly be a point of reference for future study.