in the bookstore

Sociology of Love.
The Agapic Dimension of Societal Life.
by Gennaro Iorio (Author)

Social Sciences in dialogue
World Love Index
SOCIAL-ONE is an international group of sociologists and social work scholars...

Episode 1.  Rome, Marconi area. On a bench there are shopping bags with bread, tomato puree, pasta, milk and other groceries. A sign says “Whoever can, leave something with love, whoever is in need, take with love“.

Episode 2. A group of professionals launch the “suspended idea” project. A platform for the exchange of concrete ideas to support small businesses and real economy. All for free. Those who have an idea make it available, those who consider it useful for their business can put it into practice.

Episode 3. In a Madrid hospital during these days of health emergency, a taxi driver brings many patients in and out of the hospital, without asking for any compensation. One day the taxi driver receives the usual call from the hospital, but instead of a patient waiting for him, he finds a group of doctors and nurses who welcome him with a thunderous applause, all in standing ovation, thank him for the service and give him an envelope.

Experiences of this kind have happened in every corner of the earth. A generalized outburst of solidarity that gives some breathing space to many people in need. It would be naive to think that civil society alone can resolve the serious crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Especially because, apart from the health aspects, many people who are not necessarily in a problematic situation in times of stability are at economic risk. The latest available data (2018 incomes) tell us that in Italy 20.3% of people are “at risk of poverty” (against a European average of 17.1%).

This indicator represents the number of people with an income below 60% of the national median income. For a family of two adults and two children this threshold is about €21,200 per year. It is not a measure of poverty, and does not necessarily indicate a low standard of consumption. Rather, it refers to people and households with low spending capacity, for whom an unexpected economic shock could jeopardise their ability to access essential goods. It is precisely in this sense that the crisis generated by the pandemic can have an important impact on our Country.

But there is interesting evidence in this context: numerous studies show that the risk of poverty is more widespread in contexts of social exclusion, where people are socially isolated and have no one else to turn to in case of economic or relational need.

Relationships are therefore an important resource for fighting the risk of poverty. The three episodes mentioned at the beginning are the narration of a social fabric in motion, of the presence of non-economic resources that make a real contribution. In order to overcome this crisis, political choices oriented to the common good and a massive financial support are certainly needed. But the role of civil society, not necessarily organized, is fundamental for the resilience of the Country. Particularly where institutions do not arrive, we observe a sort of collective effervescence, to use an expression dear to the sociological repertoire, which is able to produce services of social support, redistribution of essential resources, and welfarein an informal and spontaneous way.

State, market and citizens play the same game. To each their own role, but only by teaming up together “everything will go well”.



Agapic Behaviour and Social Sciences
Castelgandolfo, June 6-7 2008

Social Relationships and Fraternity:
Paradox or Sustainable Model?
A Social Sciences' Perspective
Convention 2005


Chiara Lubich

Brotherly love establishes positive social relationships everywhere, capable of rendering our human consortium more cohesive, more just, and happier...

-Chiara Lubich



Social-One  International Secretariat
Social-One International Secretariat
Via Piave, 15
Via Piave, 15
00046 Grottaferrata (Rome), Italy
00046 Grottaferrata (Rome), Italy

This website uses “technical cookies”, including third parties cookies, which are necessary to optimise your browsing experience. By closing this banner, or by continuing to navigate this site, you are agreeing to our cookies policy. The further information document describes how to deactivate the cookies.