Mercificazione, individuo e società: attualità del pensiero di Karl Polanyi

di Francesca Colella

Nelle pagine che seguono si propone un percorso di riflessione teorica sull’attualità del pensiero di Karl Paul Polanyi in relazione ad alcuni dei concetti più significativi rintracciabili nei suoi scritti. 


In today’s world it is clear that individuals are not able to dissolve the difficulties that the system creates them. The problems of people remain undefined and individual malaise never reaches the level of public problems. Recalling the sociological imagination – which should bring the personal uneasiness of individuals to the company’s objective disturbances to turn public indifference into involvement with public issues (Mills 1973) – This article is aimed to promote a re-reading of Karl Polanyi thought because it seems to be very timely. In fact, Polanyi argued that “allow the market mechanism to be the sole steering element of the fate of human beings and their natural environment, and even the amount and use of purchasing power” would lead to the demolition of society (Polanyi, 2004, 64). He intended to counter the idea that the market society constitute the landing “natural” human society, using the explanatory diagram of the double movement: on the one hand, the market tends to expand; on the other, the company seeks to curb this expansion (see. Polanyi, 2004, 98). A renewed reflection on the thought of Polanyi is certainly a significant contribution to the understanding of the current society, in which the market economy is the current horizon of the work of the sociologist.

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