Archive for calls, 2020

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[Commlist] The Lab's Quarterly - Call for papers

Thu Apr 02 22:55:19 GMT 2020

Subject: “The Lab’s Quarterly” Call for papers

Orient Yourself in the Society of Uncertainty. Life paths and Trajectories in the Age of the New/Net/Knowledge Economy

Eds. Franca Settembrini and Elena Gremigni

Recent developments in globalisation processes have produced an increasing precariousness in the labour market. The New/Net/Knowledge Economy requires a capacity for continuous adaptation to innovations following one another at an increasingly accelerated pace, and needs a “human capital” prepared to carry out work activities with the best possible results in rapidly changing conditions. In this scenario, competences have assumed a strategic role, meant primarily, even if not exclusively, as a set of resources that are acquired through practice and get transformed into useful devices for productive activities. In the “Knowledge Society”, theoretical knowledge seems to be placed in the background, while skills are considered fundamental for overcoming the imbalance between job demand and supply (skills mismatch) and consequently for economic growth processes. Particularly, in the workplace, alongside “hard skills” − formal competences based on the knowledge of subjects − so-called transversal competences or “soft skills” are increasingly required. Non-formal competences, related to the social and emotional dimension, such as perseverance, flexibility, self-confidence, communication skills, the ability to work in a team, conflict management, etc. are considered decisive aspects in the workplace and more and more often school or academic certifications are of less importance because they are deemed of little utility in order to assess workers’ potential. Finding your own way in this constantly changing social context has become an arduous task especially for young people who no longer possess the reference points of past generations. The education agencies are investing more and more resources, both economic and human, to try to offer students support in choosing their paths. However this is a contradictory and paradoxical goal, because attempts to promote individual attitudes and potential often collide with the need to develop competences that can allow students to find a place within the job market. The main aim then seems to be the promotion of the acquisition of the “key competences” for 21st century society pointed out by the European Union in the context of the Lifelong Learning Program, which have assumed a central role in the definition of the subsequent “Europe 2020” program. However, even this strategy does not offer many guarantees, given that the European Union itself recognises the need to continually redefine the objectives of education. It follows that the individual is given the difficult task of learning to orientate and re-orientate himself/herself throughout the course of his/her existence. However, what are usually described as personal abilities or attitudes are actually paths and trajectories largely marked by social origin. As a matter of fact, it is known that students’ socio-economic and cultural background is still having a significant impact on their education paths, with evident consequences on their professional destiny. The precariousness of work activities, however, has clear effects not only on the economic level, but also on the social one. By failing the possibility of taking on a defined role within society through a process of identification with a stable job, the identity itself of individuals is thrown into crisis. The progressive dissolution of forms of organised solidarity, also due to the transformations of the labour market that produce a precariousness of human relationships and social protections, fosters an ambiguous “yearning for community” which reinforces the dangerous polarisation between “in-group” and “out-group”, with the increasing importance of nationalistic, localistic, familistic or individualistic positions. The “great recession” that began in 2007 has reinforced these trends with clear reverberation also in the political sphere. Therefore, especially nowadays, it seems necessary to promote forms of orientation that manage to overcome the inequalities of educational opportunities and promote autonomous cultural, relational and professional growth in accordance with shared values. For the realization of the special issue of The Lab’s Quarterly on this topic, both theoretical contributions and empirical research will be accepted. After selecting the abstracts, the essays received will undergo a double peer review process. Scholars interested in participating are invited to send an abstract of about 500 words by email to the editors. No Article Processing Charges are required.

Elena Gremigni
(elena.gremigni /at/

Franca settembrini
(francasettembrini /at/


31 May 2020: Deadline for abstract submission.

30 June 2020: Review results returned.

31 December 2020: Deadline for paper submission.

31 March 2021: Peer review notifications

30 June 2021: Deadline for final paper submission

September 2021: Special issue publishing

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