Pierpaolo Donati is an Italian sociologist, born in 1946 in Burdio, Italy. Donati is best known for pioneering the field of relational sociology. Initially interested in physics, Donati switched his focus to social science, earning his MA from the University of Bologna in 1970. Afterward, Donati performed research at the University of Milan, did doctoral studies at University of Essex, and held the title of full professor of sociology at the University of Bologna from 1980 to 2016, teaching there and elsewhere. He is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, since 1997.
Donati has worked in developing what he terms the “relational theory of society.” This is a kind of realist approach, which may sound simple to lay-people, but is actually groundbreaking in the field. The key to relational sociology is that it redefines the object of sociology.
Traditionally, sociology has viewed society as a space in which things happen, and relations play out. Relations are things like family, citizenship, welfare, social interactions, and policies. A quick summary of Donati’s argument (and why it is so significant) is essentially that the relations themselves are society. In other words, society is constituted by these relations, and not the other way around. In particular, Donati’s goal in advancing this argument is to understand the effect of globalization on societal change. A common criticism is that this view overlooks the significance of interests in our social relations.
Published works from Donati include Relational Sociology: A New Paradigm for the Social Sciences and The Relational Subject.
For his work, Donati has received awards and honors including the San Benedetto Prize for the promotion of Life in Europe, the Mario Macchi Prize 2009 by the National Association of Catholic Schools, and Honoris causa Doctorate of the Pontifical Lateran University for studies on marriage and family.
Featured in Top Influential Sociologists Today
Pierpaolo Donati is an Italian sociologist and philosopher of social science, who is considered one of the main exponents of relational sociology and a prominent thinker in relational theory.Source: Wikipedia
University in Essex, United Kingdomview profile
University in Bologna, Italyview profile