Sociologist from Malta

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Op-eds in the Malta Independent

Dear Friends, 

Once again in 2021 I am committed to write my fortnightly Thursday op-ed sociological focus in The Malta Independent print and online editions. Thanks to all readers and staff at The Malta Independent. Best wishes for 2021 🎉

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (75) Kuraġġ


Kuraġġ lil kull min qiegħed jiġġieled il-battalji tiegħu, fis-silenzju.

Battalji li jistgħu jinħassu iktar waqt żmien il-festi. 

Hemm affarijiet li ma nistgħux inbiddlu. Fl-istess ħin ħadd ma jista' jiddettalna  l-atitudni tagħna lejn dawn l-affarijiet. Fortunatament jeżistu persuni li jistgħu jgħinuna inqumu fuq saqajna. U kultant trid tirkeb il-mewġa minflok ma titkisser ġo fiha.

Iżda hemm affarijiet li jistgħu jinbiddlu. Biex ikun hemm xaqq ta' tama, kultant jeħtieġ li nkunu kuraġġużi u nagħżlu dak li hu ġust, dak li jeħtieġ li jsir. 

Mhux faċli. Iżda forsi l-providenza tagħżel lil dawk l-iktar qalbiena għall-ikbar sfidi.

Dal-Milied, nixtieq ngħid kuraġġ lil min qiegħed jiġġieled il-battalji tiegħu.

Friday, December 11, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (74) Simulacra and social change

I often get the impression that parallel universes exist in Malta, the small-island which happens to be the tiniest EU member state. 

Let's look at flashy protagonists of the activism/politics/media industry. Networks often support each other, legitimizing each others voices, echoing narratives, covering costs, being selectively critical and assuming that the whole world is watching.

Only that scientific value surveys consistently show that silent majorities have other concerns, and that social change is multifaceted. It goes beyond slogans, likes and photo-opportunities. But as long as we're happy applauding ourselves, that's fine. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (73) Silent majorities and social bubbles

In the news we often read about sensationalist activity which makes snackable media and generates clicks. 

But at the same time, silent majorities may be doing their own thing in silence. Some express contention not through public action, but through their choices and interactions in everyday life. The same holds for those who conform to mainstream norms and values. 

And each and every one of us faces our own contradictions: We conform to certain processes, institutions and norms but do not conform to others. 

From a sociological perspective, if we wish to understand the plurality, intersections and dynamics of people's perspectives and aspirations beyond our own social bubbles, it is important both to study protest, contention and public discourses, but also to investigate the everyday interactions and choices of people beyond the public sphere.

Friday, December 04, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (72) Distorted Communication

In politics and activism, the narrative of the party, faction, group, organization, ideology, identity is often echoed in monolithic ways. 

This often leads to parallel discourses which talk past each other: Social distancing in rhetoric, a far cry from deliberation. 

How about grounding oneself into evidence and opening oneself to different possibilities before reaching conclusions in advance?

Saturday, November 28, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (71) Gatekeepers

There are so many fingers in the pie that it is not surprising that financing of/for political activism - from candidates to crusaders - is elbowed out of the debate. Better choose to be free than to be sucked in the swamp.