With the phrase "social relation" we identify something in our lives that is sometimes superficial and sometimes decisive. Social sciences state that social relations are their object of study, yet often fail to provide an adequate representation of them. In explaining the ways in which society continuously changes interpersonal and structural relations and in an attempt at humanization, the book sets forth a generalized theory of social relations that is useful for all social disciplines.
Contents - Introduction: The Role of Social Relations in Our Lives. - 1. How to Read Society. - 2. Social Relations as an Object of Knowledge. - 3. The Emergence of Social Relations as a Topic and a Problem in the Modern World. - 4. Different Approaches to the Study of Social Relations. - 5. Three Ways of Understanding Social Relations. - 6. Types of Social Relations: Associative and Dissociative Processes. - 7. Society as a Network. - 8. Social Relations as "Social Molecules". - Conclusions: The Future of Society Is the Future of Social Relations. - Bibliography. - Indices.
Pierpaolo Donati teaches Sociology of Cultural and Communication Processes at the University of Bologna. He is a former president of the Italian Association of Sociology and the world-renowned founder of relational sociology ("Relational Theory of Society").