Research Institute on Population and Social Policies


Category: News

Bike friendly company

The bike is experiencing a new season. The sales figures, the expansion of cycle tourism, the diffusion of the city's use of bicycles and alternative vehicles and in some way attributable to new forms of mobility in environments that are not very bike-friendly, the new cultural sensitivity towards the ecological transition are among indicators of its rediscovery. In the memory of many, the bike is associated with pleasant experiences of exploration and freedom. The bike is considered one friendly technology (Illich, 1973; Pivato, 2021), capable of creating balanced ways of relating to the environment. There are many cities and regions that have invested in cycling and have favored the moderation of speed in urban spaces. On World Bicycle Day, however, it is important to remember that cycling is not as widespread as one might expect.

The delay in cycling

To understand the reasons for the 'delay' in the diffusion of cycle mobility, which are particularly significant in our country, apart from commendable exceptions and in the face of a significant increase in the number of bicycles in circulation, from the lockdown period onwards, it has developed, through the collaboration between researchers from the IRPPS CNR, the University of Naples 'Federico II', the University of Turin, the University of Padua, the University of Siena, the University of Salerno, the FIAB Research Center a national research network. The emerging network has given rise to a lucky streak of online seminars that it is still possible to review today; he has also produced a 'special issue' in the magazine Eracle (Landri & Tirino, 2022) and is finally working on a book on bikes and society. The network, as it has been possible to understand, is unique and tends to follow the international network 'small' Cycling & Society which for several years has been the reference point of scientific production in this sector (Cox, 2020; Cox & Bunte, 2018; Equality & Cox, 2020).

The theme of cycle mobility is expanding by number of publications. Therefore, it can already be observed that the 'delay' in the diffusion of the bicycle runs parallel to the 'delay' in the development of academic communities which look at the bicycle. The scientific literature on the car, by comparison, is widely spread.  The rediscovery of the bike, even on an academic level, essentially places us before a fact for granted: contemporary societies are self-centric (Urry, 2004) and show variable degrees of sensitivity towards cycling (Belloni, 2019).

Indeed, countries may differ in relation to national cycling cultures. Italy has a sporty cycling culture, but not a widespread cycling culture (except in some regions), as in other countries, Holland, Belgium. However, cycling cultures are not immutable, they can regenerate, evolve over time, emerge where they are not present. Analyzing the cultural dimension, as emerged during the special issue curated by two researchers from the bicycle and society research network (Landri & Tirino, 2022), is a promising research path for understanding what favors cycling.

The media favor cycling

Among the factors that favor it, the media play an important role. The epic narration of cycling emerges in our country precisely in relation to the processes of construction of the national state. That narrative is now giving way to the dynamic storytelling of cyclists on social media. Social platforms, on the one hand, capture cycling in the extractivist logic of digital capitalism; on the other hand, they create new sports practices such as virtual cycling (which is now one of the various e-Sports), but they also encourage the emergence of new subjects (women, LGBT+ communities), expanding cycling practice. Unlike traditional media which aimed to create the epic deeds of champions, social media, by promoting the circulation of knowledge among practitioners, allow an increase in connections, sociality, communication and lower the barriers to accessing the practice. In short, by democratizing knowledge, they act as positive incentives for the diffusion of cycling.

Media is necessary, but it is not enough. Building bike-friendly societies is actually also a scientific challenge that requires a constant flow of empirical research and theoretical reflections. In fact, it is a question of generating knowledge to favor minimum conditions for cycling in environments that are mainly thought of in a self-centred way. It is not just a technical fact, it rather requires, as is emerging from the works on the web, the development of a sociology of the bicycle, understood as the search for a virtuous concatenation between knowledge, techniques and society.

Curated by Paolo Landri (on the occasion of World Bicycle Day on June 3, 2023)


Belloni, E. (2019). When you rode a velocipede. History of cycling in Italy (1870-1955). Franco Angeli.

Cox, P. (2020). Cycling : A Sociology of Velomobility.Routledge.

Cox, P., & Bunte, H. (2018). Social practices and the importance of context. Framing the Third Cycling Century, 122–131.

Equality, I., & Cox, P. (2020). The politics of cycling infrastructure. The Politics of Cycling Infrastructure, 5940.

Illich, I. (1973). Tools for conviviality. Harper and Row.

Landri, P., & Tirino, M. (2022). Media, Society and Cycling Cultures: Editorial. Heracles. Journal of Sport and Social Sciences, 5(1), 1–4.

Pivato, S. (2021). Happiness on a bicycle.Il Mulino.

Urry, J. (2004). The 'System' of Automotive. Theory, Culture & Society, 21(5), 25–39.

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Nancy Fraser at the IRPPS

On 18 May the philosopher Nancy Fraser was at the IRPPS for a meeting entitled “Is feminism an unrecognized labor movement? A heretical question inspired by WEB Du Bois”.

Fraser is a professor of philosophy and politics at the New School for Social Research in New York City. In your work, inspired by Critical Theory and Feminism, you have addressed issues of power, identity, emancipation, capital, justice and oppression, especially in relation to the functioning of liberalism.

The meeting, organized by Daniele Archibugi, was characterized by a fruitful dialogue between the philosopher and the IRPPS research community, and in particular female researchers Teresa Pullano, Angela Toffanin and Beatrice Busi, who introduced the intervention, highlighting how Fraser's work provides tools for interpreting the phenomena of domestic violence in Italy and the paths of subjectivation in contemporary democracies.

The introductory comments, the event recording and the image gallery are available.

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PhD in Social and Political Science (SPS)

As part of the PNRR-Fossr project (PNRR-IR 0000008 FOSSR – Fostering Open Science in Social Science Research), the IRPPS in collaboration with Bocconi University has launched a call for access to 1 fellowship for PhD in SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCE – CNR.

The planned duration of the doctorate is 4 years.

Application closing date: 12 June 2023.

Research must be consistent with the activities of the European research infrastructure known as JRU DASSI/CESSDA. This would include aspects such as any research to use and further develop the FOSSR open cloud services, as well as use and further develop the Social Science Data Archives of Italy (DASSI).

Disciplinary fields covered during the PhD: SECS-P/01 (Political Economy), SECS-P/02 (Economic Policy), SECS P/07 (Business Administration), SECS-P/12 (Economic History), SPS/04 ( Political Science), SPS/07 (Sociology), SECS/S04 (Demography).

All information related to the SPS-CNR fellowship is included in the official call.

More information and application procedure on unibocconi website.

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What diversity?


On the occasion of the "World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development", UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, recalls the fundamental role of cultural diversity, which enriches the lives of people and allows you to grow in an innovative, more productive and economically convenient environment. Indeed, UNESCO firmly believes that diversity makes people stronger and that respect for cultural diversity is essential for strengthening intercultural dialogue, sustainable development and peace.

In the current context of war but also of generalized violence motivated by very strong individualist impulses, being able to talk about diversity would seem anachronistic. Historically, after all, humanity has experienced great ethnic and/or religious diversities as factors of destabilization of power which have determined, only by concentrating in the Russian and Balkan area, processes of territorial disintegration: think, for example, of the years of the Bolshevik Revolution and of the civil war (1905/1907), when the Romanov Empire ended (1917/1919), but then also the dissolution of Yugoslavia starting from 1991, and in the same years of the USSR, up to more recently Chechnya ( 1994) and now in Ukraine.

And yet, if political history seems to show the predominance of force for an alleged affirmation of national identity, on the other hand sociology (with Talcott Parsons, but not only) has affirmed that the development of the social system occurs with social differentiation , the only one to produce increases in complexity: the more complex and diverse a company is, the more resources and opportunities for growth and development it has within it.

The consequence is therefore not so much acceptance or respect for the "different" but the enhancement of comparison, the exchange of ideas and personal growth: through diversity we arrive at collective knowledge.

The World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an occasion to celebrate cultural diversity and all the intangible heritage, language, traditions, customs, practices, etc., which strengthen the links between people and their history. Only in this way will it be possible what the United Nations Agenda 2030 for sustainable development indicates as a means of change and development, i.e. the culture and creative potential of the different cultures present in humanity.

In this sense, the goal is not simple "cultural acceptance", but the creation of a shared culture that arises from mutual confrontation, dialogue and encounter, from co-existence.

How to study practical interventions to support cultural diversity?

In the spirit of a culture of encounter and exchange, CNR-Irpps is carrying out an evaluation research project which has a strong practical value. It is an evaluation activity of the Roma, Sinti and Caminanti Strategy elaborated by the Italian Government for the years 2012-2020. This project aims to allow the CNR, together with UNAR - National Office for Racial Anti-Discrimination, to define a monitoring and evaluation model for the new Strategy envisaged for the years 2021-2030.

It is an important commitment, shared with the structure of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, UNAR in fact, appointed by the Italian State to guarantee the right to equal treatment of all people, regardless of racial or ethnic origin, their age, their religious beliefs, their sexual orientation, their gender identity or the fact that they are people with disabilities, in other words their "diversity". It should be recalled that UNAR was established in 2003 (Legislative Decree No. 215/2003) following a Community directive (No. 2000/43/EC), which requires each Member State to activate a specifically dedicated body to contrast forms of discrimination; in particular, UNAR is responsible for monitoring causes and phenomena connected to all types of discrimination, studying possible solutions, promoting a culture of respect for human rights and equal opportunities and providing concrete assistance to victims.

The CNR-Irpps supports the Government in creating a "virtuous circle" of information collection and processing, in which the integration of Roma, Sinti and Caminanti communities is a priority reference element for inclusion processes that do not only concern minority populations, but that they can identify an integrated and sustainable social approach in the medium-long term, with particular regard to four axes of intervention (which are: education, work, health and home).

Text edited by Marco Accorinti

To learn more:

AR Calabro, Gypsies, History of an announced emergency, Liguori edition, Naples, 2008

T. De Mauro, The words and the deeds, Edizioni Riuniti, Rome, 1977

Z. Lapov, Vacare Romané? Comparing diversity: paths of Roma identities, Franco Angeli, Milan, 2004

L. Piasere, A world of worlds. Anthropology of Roma cultures, Anchor, Naples, 1999

L. Piasere, The Roma of Europe. A modern story, Laterza, Rome-Bari, 2004

E. Rodari, Rom, a people, right to exist and security drift, Red dot editions, Milan, 2008

C. Vallini (edited by), Minorities and minority languages, International Conference, Oriental University Institute, Naples, 1996

K. Wiernicki, Nomads by force: history of the gypsies, Rusconi, Milan, 1997.

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Youth Trends Observatory awarded at Forum PA 2023

The Youth Trend Observatory (OTG) was awarded at the PA Forum in the "gender equality" category of the 2023 Sustainable PA Award.

The award is sponsored by FPA e ASviS, Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development, with the aim of enhancing experiences, solutions and projects implemented by administrations (central and local), but also by associations and start-ups, to promote and support the achievement of sustainability objectives (Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs) set in the UN Agenda 2030.

The reasons for the award include: General objective of the project "Observatory on Youth Trends" was the promotion of equal gender opportunities and youth inclusion by contrasting deviance, violence, social conditioning (stereotypes and prejudices) with particular attention to gender and psychological discomfort. The OTG was made up of three intervention modules. The first of these concerned primary schools in Rome, the second secondary schools in Italy and the third concerned the construction of the Agenda of policies for childhood and adolescence. The activities of these modules, which constituted a unitary line of intervention, made it possible to produce new and detailed knowledge about the youth universe, to provide training activities on the subject of discomfort, deviance and social conditioning and to define actions aimed at promoting well-being, equal opportunities and inclusion (

The OTG is a project by the research group on Social changes, evaluation and methods (MUSA) of the IRPPS, in which Antonio Tintori, contact person, Loredana Cerbara and Giulia Ciancimino work in particular.

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Ilaria Di Tullio appointed Gender Equality Officer

Ilaria Di Tullio, IRPPS researcher since 2016, has been appointed Gender Equality Officer (GEO) for the National Research Council.

The figure of the GEO was established with the Gender Plan 2022-2024, the programmatic document that promotes gender equality within the Cnr and its Institutes, establishing lines of action in various areas:

  • in top positions and in decision-making bodies
  • in recruitment and career progression
  • in creating an environment conducive to work-life balance
  • in integrating the gender dimension into research
  • in the prevention and fight against discrimination, harassment and mobbing.

This figure will be called upon to operate, together with the permanent working table for the implementation of the CNR Gender Equality Plan, favoring the activation of internal synergies within the Organization in order to achieve the objectives defined by the plan (e.g. Presidency , General Management, Central Management, CUG, Trade Unions).

Dr. Di Tullio has worked on these issues for several years, participated in the drafting of the Gender Report and is a member of the Gender-Talenti observatory (GETA).

The best wishes of the whole IRPPS research community go to her.

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Assortment of sports equipment on yellow background, top view

Sport for inclusion: between stereotypes and potential

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace takes place every year on 6 April. It was launched ten years ago by the United Nations, to recognize "the positive role that sport and physical activity play in communities and in the lives of people around the world" ( 

From empowering women and girls, youth, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups to advancing health, sustainability and education goals, sport offers – according to the United Nations – enormous potential for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ) and for the promotion of peace and human rights.  

But how to put this potential into practice? 

According to the analyzes conducted in recent years by researchers of the IRPPS - within, in particular, the activities of the Musa research group (Social changes, evaluation and methods) - it is not enough to play sport to internalize a system of rules and values for social integration. Alongside the actions to promote sport, necessary to encourage healthy lifestyles, it is essential to promote structured teaching of sport. 

As shown, among others, by the evidence of a survey conducted in Italy in 2017, the potential educational role of sport is not an explicit value incorporated in its practice. On this see the 2021 article by Tintori, Ciancimino, Vismara and Cerbara Sports as education: Is this a stereotype too? A national research on the relationship between sports practice, bullying, racism and stereotypes among Italian students. 

The study, which involved a representative sample of 4011 male and female students aged between 14 and 16, was conducted through a questionnaire focused on socio-demographic characteristics, life experiences, relationships and interpersonal behaviour, adherence to stereotypes and prejudices. 

Some of the data of interest show that half of the sample believes that it is actually better to have a male coach (but the majority of those who agree on this statement are the same males: 27% against 10% of females) and around a third of students believe that some sports are not suitable for women (23% of women and 41% of men agree with this statement). About one in ten young people admits that violence in cheering on one's team is to be considered an acceptable fact (7% women and 17% men). The same can be said for ethnic stereotypes, with respect to which it is noted that around a third of students feel their safety threatened by the presence of immigrants (32% females and 39% males). For a similar proportion of young people, foreigners are considered criminals (25% women and 35% men); finally, students usually tend to think that immigrants are people who actually steal jobs from Italians (26% women and 38% men). 

From the analyzes it emerges that adolescents who practice sports outside of school have an increase in their levels of tolerance towards bullying and racism. Furthermore, those who play sports among the respondents hold highly stereotyped views on gender roles and ethnic diversity. 

By comparing these results with the socio-demographic variables, the models developed by the researchers highlight that sporting practice cannot be considered more influential than other demographic variables, such as gender, origin and cultural status of the family of origin. Sports practice is therefore not an inhibitor of bullying and racism. 

The survey therefore demonstrates the neutrality of sporting practice in Italy with respect to social inclusion and the diffusion of positive values, but does not deny their potential. In fact, alongside the promotion of individual well-being, the world of sport is an environment in which young people can expand friendship networks and come into contact with social diversity, experimenting with attitudes and behavioral models.  

In order to spread positive social values ​​and promote social inclusion through sport, according to the study, two limitations need to be overcome: inequality in sporting opportunities among students and the weakness of the relationship between sport and pedagogy. The need is, therefore, to train the trainers. Those who are responsible for the physical preparation of minors should be included in training courses that also include preparation on inclusion issues. 

Curated by Monia Torre with the scientific contribution of Loredana Cerbara.

To learn more:

  • Cerbara L. (2019). Points for reflection on the teaching of sport inside and outside the school starting from the results of the 'Fratelli di sport' surveys. The Sociological Critique, vol. LIII, no. 212 (4), Winter 2019, pp. 42-57 (7) [DOI: 10.19272/201901204005; ISSN 0011-1546 / electronic ISSN 1972-5914]
  • Tintori A. (2019). The social multilateralism of sport and its lack of investment. The Sociological Critique, vol. LIII, no. 212 (4), Winter 2019, pp. 49-55 (7) [DOI: 10.19272/201901204005; ISSN 0011-1546 / electronic ISSN 1972-5914]
  • Tintori A. (2019). Social integration as a reciprocal process. Opportunities and stereotypes in the case of sport, The new frontiers of the school, n. 49, Reciprocity, year XVI, February. The Medusa Publishing, pp. 93-100 [ISSN: 2281-9681]
  • Accorinti M. Caruso MG, Cerbara L., Menniti A., Missioni M., Tintori A. (2018). "It doesn't matter if we are foreigners, we must all play together. ”, Rome: National Research Council - Research Institute on Population and Social Policies. (IRPPS Working papers n. 106/2018)
  • Caruso MG, Cerbara L., Menniti A., Missioni M., Tintori A. (2018). "Sport and integration for Italian adolescents. 2017 survey”, Rome: National Research Council - Research Institute on Population and Social Policies. (IRPPS Working papers no. 108/2018)

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colorful paper cut figures of lgbt pride on gray background, lgbt concept

Discriminations and inequalities

There is a close relationship between inequality and discrimination. As Therborn points out: “Inequality always means excluding some people from something. When it does not literally kill people or block their lives, inequality means exclusion: excluding people from the possibilities produced by human development” (Therborn, 2013: 21).

And unjustified exclusion is a form of discrimination which, if systematically exercised against minorities, leads to real forms of racial segregation. Particularly heinous forms of discrimination on the basis of "race" by political, economic or legal institutions and systems have occurred both in formally democratic political systems and in relatively recent times.

In the Southern United States, Jim Crow laws and legal racial segregation in public facilities existed from the late 1991th century until the XNUMXs; while in South Africa, the abolition of the main segregationist laws was ratified in XNUMX, bringing about the end of apartheid.

However, according to some authors (Bartoli, 2012), not even democratic societies governed by institutions based on the principles of equality and justice are exempt from forms of "systemic racism" (or "democratic"), which especially affect certain types of people (for example immigrants, Roma or even the extremely poor). 

In the Italian case, legal forms of exclusion derive to a significant extent from the way in which the country has faced the migration problem, referring it above all to a problem of public order. This approach has also had effects on the administrative practices (often rejections) of local administrations in terms of registry registration, - and consequently access to municipal welfare services - for certain categories of people in conditions of administrative irregularity, because they do not have registered residence and therefore of identification document.

This condition particularly characterizes the Bosnian component of the Roma population (who fled the war in the Balkans in the 90s), present in Rome.

Many families have no documents (they are de facto stateless), and have been living for a long time in camps that have been declared to be closed by the Capitoline administration. Their children, born and raised in Italy, must apply for a residence permit when they come of age to remain in the country. This request, however, often encounters obstacles at the immigration offices due to the lack of the requirement of the registered residence of the family; residence that is not granted by the registry offices if you live in camps officially declared to be closed. As third sector operators working with Roma underline:

“Those who have not yet gone out but would like to do so find themselves entangled in a vicious circle that is difficult to break”.

It is appropriate to underline how this situation has paradoxical consequences: if, on the one hand, it excludes this component of the population present from integration into the territorial community; on the other, it makes it permanently assisted, constantly exposing Roma to social stigma.

In any case, the difficulty of regularizing one's personal position is not only a problem of Roma: even immigrants who, due to the high cost of rents, decide to live in occupied buildings are unable to fix their registered residence.

In fact, article 5 of law 23 May 2014 n. 80 - containing "Urgent measures for the housing emergency, for the construction market and for Expo 2015" - the so-called Lupi law, prevents service companies from activating utilities in illegally occupied buildings, and therefore forbids establishing residence in those stable. Consequently, it does not allow the issuance of identity documents to homeless people.

(In this regard, precisely to allow people in conditions of fragility and housing precariousness to be able to register residence in occupied buildings, in Rome the mayor - who, it should be remembered, as a government official can promote administrative regularization as he has the obligation to correctly keep personal data records - has recently issued a directive aimed at allowing the administration to act in derogation of article 5 of the Lupi law. On this directive, however, the prefect of Rome has requested the establishment of a technical table for further information on its application.)

These cases, rather than describing forms of "systemic racism", highlight the limits of national migration policy, strongly conditioned by the declarations of migratory emergency and by the need to control entry flows. This situation has created a problem of implementation deficit (Macioti, Pugliese, 2005) that is to say poor implementation of integration policies for immigrants, even though they are formally envisaged by the consolidated text on immigration. This meant that migrants' rights – as Lydia Morris observes – “are no longer self-evident or absolute but are closely associated with control and are located on slippery ground subject to political negotiation” (cited in Macioti Pugliese, 20053 ed.: 107). This means - as Pugliese underlines - that "if a more restrictive law - or simply a circular - is promulgated (which makes it more difficult to remain in a condition of regularity or which simply imposes new conditions and new documentation for access to a benefit ), immigrants can lose an already acquired right” (Macioti, Pugliese, 2005: 107).

Therefore, this situation determines conditions of discrimination for those categories (migrants, but not only) that are ill-suited to the conditions of merit set from time to time by governments.

Contribution by Dante Sabatino, on the occasion of the World Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2023.


C. Bartoli, Racists by law. The Italy that discriminates, Editori Laterza, Rome-Bari 2012
MI Macioti, E. Pugliese, The migratory experience. Immigrants and refugees in Italy, Editori Laterza, Rome-Bari 20053 ed.
G. Therborn, The Killing Fields of Inequality, Polity Press, Cambridge UK 2013

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Ar.Pa Project

Tiziana Tesauro, researcher of the IRPPS in Fisciano, participated today in the presentation of the project "Ar.Pa- Arte, Partecipazione, Abitanza", born from the collaboration between CNR-IRPPS of Fisciano, Ecosmed, the Cospecs department of the University of Messina and the coop. Giolli of Parma.

With the "theater of the oppressed" and "participated documentary" workshops, Ar.PA intends to continue and consolidate the processes of regeneration of the urban space and cultural participation that accompanied the birth of the "Giardino delle Zagare" in Fondo Saccà, today headquarters of the socio-educational center "Il Melograno".

Today's meeting, face to face with citizens and inhabitants, was the first step in continuing to design the social space together through art and social research.

THU the laboratory brochure.

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PNRR Calls - IRPPS hires

To contribute to the Fostering Open Social Science Research (FOSSR) project, the Institute opened 7 fixed-term positions aimed at various professional figures, specialized in data science, computer science and statistics, but also communication, social sciences and design.

IRPPS is an interdisciplinary research institute thath carries out studies on social, demographic and migratory issues; welfare systems; social policies; social technologies; education and the relation between science and society.
IRPPS research personnel counts about 40 full or part-time researchers, 30 associated researchers, and 20 post-doc researchers.

FFOSSR aims to develop Open Science in the Italian context with the goal of creating a framework of tools and services for the social science scholar community involving the research infrastructures in social sciences coordinated by CNR: CESSDA, SHARE, RISIS.
The framework will provide a single point of access to all the tools and services of the Italian Open Science Cloud, along the lines of the European Open Science Cloud project. Open Science Cloud

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