Il concetto di “razionalità” – e di conseguenza il suo opposto, la “non-razionalità”– è forse uno dei concetti più discussi nelle scienze sociali ed economiche, data anche l’estrema difficoltà nel fissare una situazione comportamentale in modo univoco.
The article discusses the possibility of going beyond the cognitive paradigm in sociology of rational choice in terms of a richer and more complex definition of “individual” and his “capacity” to choose. As we will show, the individual does not choose only in response to logical and rational reasoning, but also and above all, in relation to his cultural skills and relative context. This means interpreting the future not as the potential outcome of calculation (or at least not only), but also as a capacity to be mastered in view of expected outcomes. The difficulties that young people today are facing in making decisions in era of risk and what public institutions should aim at to ensure that such skills can be used as resources to control the future, are just two examples of showing how it is still possible nowadays for individuals and the community to plan the future beyond the logic of rational choice.