Author: ILIS

4th International Conference ILIS

Rethinking social theories and methods in a digital society

8-9 June 2023 @ University of Finance and Administration, Prague

Conference topics

The conference focuses on the main challenges digitalization poses to different strand of sociological theories and methods particularly investigating the distinctive topics of digital social research and the digital biases. The digitalization raises a number of both theoretical and methodological issues. Theoretically, it permeates the micro, meso and macro areas shaking sociological theories and transforming the most basic assumptions underlying them such as the public-private boundary, identity formation, reflexivity, self-understanding, forms of social ties and relationships, models of community, sources of social capital, organizational forms. Apart from entailing broad societal transformations which need to find a place in sociological theory, the incorporation of technology into our daily materiality, is also transforming social research methods by providing methodological resources for researching social phenomena (both intentionally and unintentionally produced digital data such as social media posts, narratives, storytelling, search engine queries, phone calls, and banking interactions). This opens methodological challenges at different levels of the research process. At the level of data collection where the non-neutrality of algorithms, the identity strategies of self-presentation applied online, the invisibility of the research design in repurposing digital data, need to be taken into account. At the level of research design where new competences are required implying technological proficient researcher able to use a digital language based on the affordances of online environments (the socio-technical architectures of media). At the level of sampling which is complicated on the web by direct digital discriminations (sampling biases deriving from procedures discriminating against minorities or disadvantaged groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) and indirect digital discrimination (sampling biases deriving from procedures intentionally or accidentally discriminating against a minority). At the level of data analysis both in qualitative approach due to online narratives being intertextual, transmedial, multimodal and interdiscursive and in quantitative analysis for example in big data-based correlation which are not automatically meaningful and do not tell much about humanity (human motivations, feelings, values, norms, meanings, etc.) failing to understand deep motivations.

Thus, the conference especially (but not exclusively) collects contributions that shed new light on the following topics:

  • Digital sociology;
  • Revised sociological theories;
  • Revised sociological concepts: identity, citizenship, social capital, inequalities, institutions, power, work, community, etc.;
  • Revised social research methods and digital transposition of traditional methods;
  • Social research methods that incorporate digital and gaming practices, such as the game-based methods;
  • Digital biases;
  • Digital discriminations.

Scientific Committee

Enrica Amaturo (University of Naples Federico II, IT), Biagio Aragona (University of Naples Federico II, IT), Davide Bennato (University of Catania, IT), Gianmaria Bottoni (City University of London, UK), Alessandro Caliandro (University of Pavia, IT), Nico Carpentier (Charles University Prague, CZ), Marianna Coppola (University of Salerno, IT), Cleto Corposanto (Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, IT), Paola Di Nicola (University of Verona, IT), Irina Dimitrova (Centrum for forskining om ekonomiska relationer, Mittuniversitet, SE), Wendy Nelson Espeland (Northwestern University, USA), Maria Paola Faggiano (University of Rome La Sapienza, IT), Alessandro Gandini (University of Milan, IT), Anthony Giddens (London School of Economics, UK), Brian Joseph Gilley (University of Indiana Bloomington, USA), Estrella Gualda (University de Huelva, ES), Susanne Halford (University of Bristol, UK), Gennaro Iorio (University of Salerno, IT), Francesca Romana Lenzi (University of Rome Foro Italico, IT), Tomislav Potocký (University of Finance and Administration of Prague, CZ), Carolina Rebollo (University of Huelva, ES), Richard Rogers (University of Amsterdam, NL), Ondřej Roubal (University of Finance and Administration of Prague, CZ), Andrea Salvini (University of Pisa, IT), Claudia Santi (University of Campania Vanvitelli, IT), Monica Scarano (University of Lille, FR), Barbara Segatto (University of Padova, IT), Giulio Sodano (University of Campania Vanvitelli, IT), Sonia Stefanizzi (University of Milan Bicocca, IT), Simona Tirocchi (University of Turin, IT), Stefano Tomelleri (University of Bergamo, IT), Luigi Tronca (University of Verona, IT), Lucia Velotti (City University of New York, USA), Zuzana Virglerová (Bata University, CZ), Debora Viviani (University of Verona, IT).

Peer review statement

The contributions presented at the IV International Conference ILIS have been selected through a double-blind review process. During the presentation of selected contribution presenters receive suggestions for improvements by panel chairs. The revised version of selected papers (post the conference), all focused on future theoretical, epistemological and methodological frontiers for social research in the digital society, will be further reviewed by two members of the organizing and scientific committee of the conference through a double-blind peer-review process. The scientific committee of the conference will select best papers for publications in special issues dedicated to the conference and/or national or international books.

Previous edition of the conference

Cultural Machines

Caliandro, A., Bennato, D. (2022). Cultural Machines. Mediascapes. Vol. 20, 2.

Dall’avvento dei big data, numerosi scienziati sociali hanno cercato di comprendere il potere culturale in essi incorporato, estraendo dati qualitativi da un’enorme quantità di dati digitali quantitativi. Nonostante gli eccezionali progressi in questa direzione, l’interpretazione culturale dei contenuti digitali su larga scala è ancora agli inizi.

Obiettivo di questo numero è quello di offrire nuove possibilità metodologiche e fornire strumenti innovativi per l’analisi qualitativa degli oggetti culturali digitali.

The impact of digital on research, socialization, and communication processes

Addeo, F., Mauceri, S., Punziano G., (2022). The impact of digital on research, socialization, and communication processes. Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol. 14, 3.

Special section

  • Felice Addeo, Sergio Mauceri, Gabriella Punziano. The Impact of Digital on Research, Socialisation, and Communication Processes
  • Antonio Fasanella, Maria Paola Faggiano. Italian Secondary School Students and the Distance Learning Experience: From Current Critical Issues to Future Opportunities, Reflecting on VR
  • Maria Paola Faggiano, Sergio Mauceri. Italian University Students facing Distance Learning: the Results of a Panel Web Survey
  • Alessandra Decataldo, Brunella Fiore. Digital-Insecurity and Overload: the Role of Technostress in Lecturers’ Work-Family Balance
  • Kwan Meng Lee, Yaprak Pınar. Mentoring and Digital Learning to Enhance the Impact of Social Sciences
  • Mette Rudvin, Edoardo Di Gennaro, Roberta Teresa Di Rosa. Training Language Mediators and Interpreters through Embodied Cognition, Immersive Learning and Virtual Reality: Didactic, Organizational and Cost Benefits
  • Angela Delli Paoli, Giuseppe Masullo. The Desexualization of Society. A Digital Ethnography on the Asexual Community
  • Maria Carmela Catone, Fiorenzo Parziale. Digital Practices, Communicative Codes and Social Inequalities: a Case Study During the Pandemic in Italy
  • Ciro Clemente De Falco, Gabriella Punziano, Domenico Trezza. The Vaccine Is Now Here. The State-Regions Governance Between Converging Plans and Diverging Digital Communication
  • Maria Dentale. Usefulness of Digital Methods in Evaluating School Work Alternance Projects: How Actors and Contexts Under Observation Can Interconnect


  • Andrea Parma. Who Choose Private Schools in a Free Choice Institutional Setting? Evidence from Milan

Exploring Everyday Digital Life

Ragedda, M., Ruiu, M. (2022). Exploring Everyday Digital Life. Culture e Studi del Sociale, vol. 7, 1.


  • Massimo Ragnedda, Maria Laura Ruiu. Digital society: risks and challenges


  • Suana Acampa, Noemi Crescentini, Giuseppe Michele Padricelli. Is it still disintermediated? The role of the influencer news-maker in the social platform era
  • Elisa Caponera, Francesco Annunziata, Laura Palmerio. Computer and Information Literacy at the eighth grade: differences between boys and girls
  • Michela Cavagnuolo. The Italian perspective on the use of Big Data in Sociological Field: Implications, Empirical Findings and an Impact Analysis on the Discipline
  • Ahana Choudhury. De-Sanitising the ‘New Normal’: The Lived Experiences of ‘Digital Research’ in context of the COVID-19 India

Esperienze e confronti

  • Antonella Capalbi. Intersezioni di sguardi. La rappresentazione intersezionale in alcune serie Netflix di successo
  • Rossana Cataldo, Gabriella Punziano, Barbara Saracino, Ferdinando Iazzetta. Expert construction during the Italian vaccination campaign against COVID-19: positional, reputational, and communicational spheres in comparison
  • Tatiana Smirnova, Roman Smirnov. Female caregivers for elderly relatives in Russia: social barriers and stereotypes

Note e commenti

  • Sabato Aliberti. Book review. La violenza spiegata. Riflessioni ed esperienze di ricerca sulla violenza di genere di Felice Addeo, Grazia Moffa (a cura di). Franco Angeli, 2020.
  • Ferdinando Iazzetta. Book review. COVID-19 in Italy Social Behavior and Governmental Policies, by Lucia Velotti, Gabriella Punziano, Felice Addeo, Routledge, London 2022

Affettività invisibili

Masullo, G., Coppola, M., (2022). Affettività Invisibili. Storie e vissuti di persone e famiglie transgender. PM Edizioni. Milano.

Il concetto di famiglia ha acquisito, nel corso dei decenni, maggiori forme di legittimazione sul piano scientifico anche se, tuttavia, i percorsi di analisi hanno sottolineato una posizione tradizionale che non contempla le famiglie omogenitoriale. Ciò partendo dall’assunto che la capacità genitoriale corrisponda a un dato tipo di famiglia, e non alla sua principalmente funzione del prendersi cura. Questo ha comportato, inoltre, un lasciare ai margini, le esistenze oltre che i problemi socio-politici incontrati da individui che esistono al di fuori delle categorie più normalizzate (quelle di gay e lesbiche cisgender), e che restano fuori (per scelta o per costrizione) dalla questione della genitorialità e del matrimonio (unione civile).

Questo volume cerca, dunque, intende proprio dare voce alle esperienze di persone e coppie transgender, ai vari modi in cui le nozioni di famiglia sono decostruite e ricostruite per adattarsi a identità, sessualità e disposizioni non normative. Dalle storie emerge come la scelta “del fare famiglia” delle persone transgender (sia in coppia switch sia in coppia gender-mixed) si basa principalmente su due aspetti: la buona riuscita del percorso di transizione di genere (di uno o di entrambi i partner), il riconoscimento sociale della coppia. I vissuti qui descritti permettono di rendere evidente gli immaginari che riproducono queste nuove tipologie di famiglia (sulle quali nel nostro Paese mancano analisi e ricerche specifiche) oltre che inedite forme di oppressione che si evidenziano “in” e “out” la comunità arcobaleno, sullo sfondo di modelli ideali forgiati e diffusi nell’orizzonte etero-omonormativo.

Non-Binary Family Configurations: Intersections of Queerness and Homonormativity

Masullo, G., Gilley, B., (2022). Non-Binary Family Configurations: Intersections of Queerness and Homonormativity. Springer, Berlino.

This volume provides a close look at the ways in which LGBTQ2 people form familial bonds. It brings together stories from non-binary families across continents and cultures and recenters care as a foundational value for creating familial ties. This volume therefore addresses a gap in the literature concerning non-binary family configurations by going beyond the legal battle for non-binary partnership rights. In recent discussions on marriage equality, the notion of familial bonds, which was important in early discussions on non-binary family research, has been decentered in favor of legal and homonormative understandings of individual rights. This volume centers familial bonds as the first step toward reimagining how to do research on the family and adds to research on family studies as well as gender studies.

Students and researchers of sociology, anthropology, social work, gender studies, family research, well-being research, and anyone else working on or with non-binary families will find this book highly topical and interesting.

Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society

Punziano, G., Delli Paoli, A. (2021). Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society. IGI Global, Pennsylvania.


Doing research is an ever-changing challenge for social scientists. This challenge is harder than ever today as current societies are changing quickly and in many, sometimes conflicting, directions. Social phenomena, personal interactions, and formal and informal relationships are becoming more borderless and disconnected from the anchors of the offline “reality.” These dynamics are heavily marking our time and are suggesting evolutionary challenges in the ways we know, interpret, and analyze the world. Internet and computer-mediated communication (CMC) is being incorporated into every aspect of daily life, and social life has been deeply penetrated by the internet. This is due to recent technological developments that increase the scope and range of online social spaces and the forms and time of participation such as Web 2.0, which widened the opportunities for user-generated content, the emergence of an “internet of things,” and of ubiquitous mobile devices that make it possible to always be connected. This implies an adjustment to epistemological and methodological stances for conducting social research and an adaption of traditional social research methods to the specificities of online interactions in the digital society.