Sheets of paper in a briefcase are the materials a speaker takes with him when he is invited to a conference or meeting, the pages he relies upon when he takes to the stage. But metaphorically these sheets also represent a sort of diary that chronicles the passing days in their succession of experience and meditation, action and thought, curiosity and discovery. They are fragments we store away in the briefcase that accompanies each of us in our journeys. This volume was inspired by the encounters of a cultural sociologist with various types of audience. Stimulated by questions, invited to draw up others, encouraged to deal with cravings for meaning, Paolo Jedlowski addresses the dialogical dimension of his discipline, its capacity to be reflexive and provide illuminating and lively insights. In his examination of topics ranging from friendship to racism, daily life to comic strips, literature to the history of sociology, the author analyses - with an accessible style that mirrors the text's spoken origins - things we believe in and do each day, the ways we give meaning in what we come upon, the forms in which we shape and communicate our experiences. After all, in order for something to become an experience, we must possess it with our minds.
Paolo Jedlowski teaches Sociology at the University of Calabria and Sociology of Communication at the University of Lugano.