«A sociologist, well-educated in the dominant sociological schools of Western Europe and the United States, is going over a hat-factory. On the shelves of the store, an unknown but large number of boxes containing hats. On the shelves of his mind are also boxes: he positioned them as he progressed in sociological studies, from university to university teaching, and continues to position them when he finds new ones.
The boxes are marked with different labels. There is a row labeled positivistic organicism, symbolic interactionism, sociological formalism, social phenomenology, and conflict theory. Above that a row labeled sociological functionalism, social action theory, micro-functionalism, macro-functionalism, manifest and latent interests. And still other boxes, confusingly, with various labels.
Our sociologist is aware that these boxes are not always very prominent on the shelves of some social scientists, few to tell you the truth, of whose mental furniture he generally approves; but he received them from his teachers, and he has seen them handled with great competence and consideration by his colleagues. Whenever he could, he tried by himself, alone, to open the boxes; perhaps for lack of wit, he never saw something in them of which profitable use could be made. For this failure, his teachers and colleagues never forgave him.» (Le scatole vuote della sociologia [Empty sociological boxes], pp. 48-49) Postscript IT
Sociologist and Social psychologist, licensed to practice the profession of psychologist
- Personal data
- Teaching activity
- Professional and scientific affiliations
- Other scientific advisory roles
San Giovanni Lupatoto (Verona) 24 March 1926 – Rome, 12 October 2020.
Classical high school diploma obtained in 1943 at the Liceo Ginnasio Dettori of Cagliari.
Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Cagliari. Dissertation: On the tacit limits of criminal law [Considerazioni sui limiti taciti della norma penale] (Supervisor: Professor Alberto Crespi), Academic year 1951/52.
University teaching qualification in Sociology (1966).
Father: Giuseppe Bolacchi.
Mother: Francesca Piga.
Spouse: Maria Sofia Casnedi.
Daughter: Francesca Bolacchi Casnedi.
Tenured Assistant and Professor of History of Economic Doctrines at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Cagliari, Italy (1957-1967)
Professor of Sociology and Social psychology at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Cagliari, Italy (1967-1998)
Chair of the International Post Graduate Programs in Higher Managerial Education at Ailun, Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy (1991-2011).
Some information about my teaching activity ►
The methodological backwardness of the many social disciplines, characterized by an accentuated fragmentation as they rest ultimately on common sense (according to which they are all supposed to be different, autonomous, and separate), results in difficulties also extending to the teaching of these disciplines. In the light of this situation, it should not be useless to summarize, in broad terms, the modes to which I conform my teaching activity.
Logic and methodology of science. In my academic teaching activity, both in undergraduate university courses and graduate programs in managerial education, I always include the methodological basis needed to understand the structure of the language of science as a fundamental part of the program. Notably, the principles of set theory and mathematical logic are required to rigorously identify the syntactic structure of the scientific discourse and its logical consistency. I focus on analyzing the functional relation between independent and dependent variables (given the parameters, which may, in turn, be susceptible to change) and the issue of time order in science. I emphasize particularly two aspects. One aspect concerns the intersubjectivity criterion for the language of science, which is implied by the possibility of interpreting the scientific discourse through experimental predicates, which are connected by a relation expressed as a mathematical function and characterized by the methodological predicate of repeatability in a controlled context. The other aspect concerns how the scientific language can be expanded by inserting new predicates, either experimental predicates or more abstract-level predicates, which do not alter the validity of pre-existing structures but systematize them within more general explicative contexts (which have a broader domain of application).
Scientific integration between behavioral and social disciplines (economics, psychology, sociology). From the above methodological perspective, I present a scientific paradigm for the integration of the behavioral and social disciplines: the theory of interests. I elaborated this theoretical proposal, based on the experimental analysis of behavior, alongside a critical analysis of the method issues in the field of the social disciplines, with particular attention to the perspectives of the humans/nature dualism and the methodological historicism. Overcoming these perspectives opens up an in-depth investigation of the theoretical and experimental aspects of the study of behavior and the consideration of experimental invariants, particularly regarding operant behavior. We can specify these experimental invariants in the learning process, the law of effect, the reinforcement process, the instrumental structure of the behavior, the parameters of the past history and the state of deprivation, the discrimination process, the matching law, the hyperbolic discount function, and self-control. The next step is studying social interaction from a scientific perspective. In this regard, I formulated the theory of interests, which enables the explication of conflict, cooperation, power, exchange, and organization in terms strictly compatible with the experimental analysis of behavior. In the undergraduate university courses I have been teaching at the Faculty of Economics, I focused more on the exchange relation to developing a more direct connection between the behavioral and social disciplines and the economic disciplines and analyzing the competition issues and the social foundations of the market system.
Science of organization. What characterizes my teaching activity in managerial graduate programs is using the theory of interests to define organizational technologies whose fundamental reference point is the human organism. From this perspective, any organization is a set of behaviors characterized by reciprocal complementarity, which expresses: a corresponding ordered set of organizational roles and relations between roles; the degrees of role discretion compatible with the organizational requirements for adaptation to the environment; the detection and elimination of any deviant use of the organization roles. I relate the organizational modes: to the ability to promote a culture of the organization characterized by meritocratic compliance with the reference paradigms, operational rationality, and innovativeness; to the ability to manage interpersonal behaviors of cooperation, conflict, exchange, and power; to the ability to manage role asymmetries by eliminating possibly related conflicts and strengthening participatory leadership positions. The issues about human capital management are related to the design and operationalization of individual and group reinforcement contingencies suitable for promoting behaviors consistent with the pursuit of organizational objectives and discouraging opportunistic behaviors. I also pay particular attention to the modes of communication processes in relation to the different uses of language and the degrees of organizational-objective internalization. Another aspect I deal with in both behavioral terms and logical-methodological terms concerns the individual and group decision-making processes; especially I underline the importance that these processes be based on: framing concrete problems within scientific reference schemata; detecting and tending to eliminate logical fallacies, irrational and emotional behaviors, preconceptions and biases, subjective perceptions and judgments not in accordance with available evidence and rational evaluation–in short, the importance of weakening those individual positions that can be to the detrimental to intersubjectivity criteria.
Emeritus Affilate Member, Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)
Scientific Board AARBA, Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis
Advisory Board IESCUM, Istituto Europeo per lo studio del comportamento umano (European Institute for the Study of Human Behavior)
Member of the Editorial Board of Behavior and Philosophy (2000-2013)
Emeritus Member of the Editorial Board of International Journal of Contemporary Sociology.
Member of the Board of Directors of RAI (Italian Radio and Television), 1975-76 (in this role I designed the organizational reform of Italian Public Broadcasting Service)
Member of the Scientific Committee of Confindustria (General Confederation of Italian Industry, association representing manufacturing and service companies in Italy) and Acting Director of the External Relations Department (Rome), 1977-81
Member of the National Ministerial Commission for the definition of compulsory middle school education programs (1978)
Member of the Board of Directors of ISTUD, Istituto Studi Direzionali (Directional Studies Institute), Stresa (1977-1980); Member of the Board of Directors of CENSIS, Centro Studi Investimenti Sociali (Study Center for Social Investments), Rome (1977-1981); Member of the Board of Directors of ISFOL, Istituto per lo Sviluppo della Formazione Professionale dei Lavoratori (Institute for the Development of Vocational Training for Workers), public-law institution, Rome (1977-1981)
Member of the Scientific Committee for the study of a free zone to establish in Sardinia (1982-83); Member of the Interdisciplinary working group for the functional and organizational restructuring of the system of regional agencies within the Reform of Sardinia Government (1990-91)