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News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Emanuele Iula, Periferie. Dall’eterotopia alla rigenerazione, Queriniana, Brescia, (2020)

In breve
Che cos’è una periferia? Come nasce? Come funziona?

  • E come fare per rigenerare chi vive quotidianamente in quei luoghi di esclusione?
  • Una riformulazione sostanziale del nostro modo d’intendere le periferie, oggetto di una specifica attenzione pastorale nel magistero di papa Francesco, per aprire nuovi cammini di senso.

Il tema delle periferie urbane continua a rappresentare uno scoglio sociale su cui si infrangono numerose politiche pubbliche. La loro perenne attualità nei fatti di cronaca non è solo segno di un limite politico. C’è una sconfitta che avviene più a monte e che riguarda il modo in cui le periferie sono spesso state mal comprese.

In questo complesso scenario, il paziente sforzo dell’autore consiste nel ricostruire il profilo umano di chi abita le periferie. Oltre che luogo (terra di mezzo: né centro città, né aperta campagna), esse divengono esperienza, quella dell’essere messi a distanza e privati di una relazione fondamentale. Iula disegna così l’ontologia sociale dell’essere periferico e, alla fine del percorso, rende visibile il contributo che viene dalla teoria generativa: lì dove la separazione sitrasforma in un possibile radicamento, prima, e in memoria della svolta, poi.

Emanuele Iula, Suburbs. From heterotopia to regeneration

In short
What is a periphery? How was it born? How does it work?
And how to regenerate those who live daily in those places of exclusion?

A substantial reformulation of our way of understanding the peripheries, the subject of specific pastoral attention in the teaching of Pope Francis, to open new paths of meaning.

The theme of urban suburbs continues to represent a social obstacle on which numerous public policies break. Their constant relevance in the news is not only a sign of a political limit. There is a defeat that occurs further upstream and that concerns the way in which the suburbs have often been misunderstood.

In this complex scenario, the author’s patient effort consists in reconstructing the human profile of those who live in the suburbs. As well as a place (middle ground: neither city center nor open countryside), they become experience, that of being put at a distance and deprived of a fundamental relationship. Thus, Iula draws the social ontology of the peripheral being and, at the end of the path, makes visible the contribution that comes from the generative theory: where the separation transforms into a possible grounding, first, and in memory of the turning point, then.

The question about peripheries is always in the spotlight of current affairs. The reflections proposed by the Author offer the reader an extensive exercise of conceptualisation, aimed at fostering orientation within the complexity of the social reality. Most of the text consists of allowing oneself to be oriented and disoriented by very simple questions: What is a periphery? How did it come about? How does it work?

From an epistemological point of view, the essay offers an open dialogue with key authors of the current debate, such as Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. In a similar way, the philosophical background of the proposed argument is fed by a confrontation with other kinds of knowledge, such as sociology and anthropology.

In the conclusions, there is an opening vis-à-vis prophetic literature of biblical origin, which provides the Author with the possibility to formulate an interpretation from the perspective of the generative theory, founded on a critical sense, on transmission and on rooting.

The Author: Emanuele Iula is an Italian Jesuit, who teaches moral philosophy at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of San Luigi (Naples). His research is mainly focused on generative theory, conflict mediation and social ontology.

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