Prepared to Care? Knowledge and Welfare in a Time of Emergency


  • Davide Caselli Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca
  • Barbara Giullari Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna
  • Carlotta Mozzana Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca



preparedness, welfare knowledge, publicness, public action, care, pandemic


The article aims at developing a dialogue between the sociology of disasters and the sociology of public action, with particular regards to the role of knowledge in welfare policy. In particular, we argue that — in an era increasingly characterised by the importance of quantitative knowledge, categorization and standardization — the studies on the “informational bases of public action” has greatly contributed to the understanding of the social dimension of the processes through which such numbers and categories are produced, incorporating extant inequalities and power relations. Through the reference to the social crises that followed Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, we show how this focus on the processes of knowledge-making can be enriched by a specific approach to disaster prevention and management such as “preparedness”, especially in its cynegetic and transformative form purposes. We conclude by outlining avenues for future research on welfare policies in a time of structural uncertainty and emergency.


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How to Cite

Caselli, D. ., Giullari, B., & Mozzana, C. (2021). Prepared to Care? Knowledge and Welfare in a Time of Emergency. Sociologica, 15(3), 107–124.