Dr Alessandro Pratesi

Programme Leader, Sociology (Single and Combined Honours)

Alessandro joined the Department of Social and Political Science in 2011, having previously worked at the University of Florence (Italy), the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).

Qualifications

PhD in Sociology (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA)

MA in History and Civilisation (EHSS, Paris, France)

BA (Hons) in Sociology (University of Florence, Italy) – Summa cum Laude (110/100 e LODE)

FHEA Fellow status recognition, Higher Education Academy (HEA)

HE7001 Postgraduate diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Learning and Teaching Institute, University of Chester UK).

Overview

Before joining the University of Chester, Dr Pratesi worked as a researcher in several international contexts. He developed his research interests and expertise in Italy, at the University of Florence, in France (Paris), at the École de Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), in the UK, at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and in the USA, at the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN).

While he was working as a researcher at the University of Florence (1993-2003), Dr Pratesi worked as a sociologist and consultant in a number of non-academic contexts, such as: the Florence City Council, to evaluate a series of local public policies; a national charity, to develop and implement a ‘Permanent Observatory on Poverty, Social Exclusion and Resources’; and a Public Health Centre, to conduct Action Research on Drug Addictions and Aids.

During his post-graduate academic training, Dr Pratesi completed a Master's Degree (MA) in History and Civilisation (Diplôme d’Études Approfondis-DEA) in France, Paris, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), where he was the recipient of a scholarship awarded by the Italian Ministry of Education in recognition of outstanding academic merit and research potential (1995-96).  He then moved to the US, where he was the recipient of the prestigious ‘William Penn Fellowship’, a five-year fully-funded scholarship for a doctoral programme in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania (2003-08).

At the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught sociology courses as a Teaching Assistant (2005-07), he developed his expertise in the Sociology of Emotions working with Professor Randall Collins on a broader phenomenological analysis of informal care that included non-conventional families and carers. From the theoretical point of view, the empirical study drew on those aspects of the sociology of emotions that explain inequality in terms of emotion-based processes which occur at the level of micro-situated interactions. 

In the UK, Dr Pratesi worked as a Research Associate at the Research Institute for Health and Social Change (RIHSC), Manchester Metropolitan University (2008-2011). The ‘Smart Distress Monitor Project’ in which he was involved as researcher aimed to analyse the sociological and psychological implications of new care related technology within the context of UK policy concerning independent and safe ageing at home. The 3-year project was based on a participatory, person-centred approach and an innovative partnership between university, industry and Technology Strategy Board. At MMU, Dr Pratesi was involved in the planning and evaluation of ESRC funded projects and he taught as a visiting lecturer for BA, MA and PhD level courses.

Contact: a.pratesi@chester.ac.uk

Also:

Programme Leader, Sociology (Single and Combined Honours)

Member of the Sociology of Emotions Research Network (http://socemot.com/).

Member of Care Ethics, an international network of academics and professionals engaged in discussing and enabling conversation about the place of care in society (http://www.esocsci.org.nz/networks/care-ethics/member-bios/).

Member of The Critical Institute, a non-profit organisation which offers a democratic and interdisciplinary platform to debate, learn and work on transformational critical research, teaching and practice dedicated to social justice and social change (The Critical Institute).

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy HEA (http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/).

ESRC Research proposal evaluator (http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk).

Conference organisation:

2010 Forum on Families, Intimacies and Relationships, Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University.

2011-12 Earning a Crust: Deconstructing Work, Wealth and Opportunity. Annual Conference of the Department of Social Studies and Counselling, University of Chester.

2012-13 Edges of Identity. Geographies, Politics and Cultures. Annual Conference of the Department of Social Studies and Counselling, University of Chester.

2013-14 Pornography in Contemporary Times and Spaces. Annual Conference of the Department of Social Studies and Counselling, University of Chester.

2014-15 Happiness and Subjective Well-being. Annual Conference of the Department of Social and Political Science, University of Chester.

2015-16 What is Cool? Annual Conference of the Department of Social and Political Science, University of Chester.

 

Teaching

Level 4: SO4101 The Sociological Imagination (Module Leader); SO4102 Self and Society

Level 5: SO5103 Qualitative Research Methods

Level 6: SO6107 The Sociology of Emotions (Module Leader).

Research

Dr Pratesi’s research interests include the Sociology of Emotions; Relationships, Intimacies and Families; Care and the Ethics of care; Cultural Citizenship and Social Change; Innovative Qualitative Methods. One of the aims of his doctoral research was rethinking family care in a broader perspective, by offering a phenomenological analysis that also included non-conventional families. The research was focused on the emotional dynamics of inclusion/exclusion and the consequent outcomes in terms of inequality that people produce while caring for others. Dr Pratesi is currently working on a book which is aimed to: 1) rethinking Care through more inclusive approaches and getting closer to its complex nature and less visible implications; and 2) shedding light on the emotion-based, interactional and anti-assimilationist model of social inclusion represented by same-sex parents (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming: 2017).

More recently, he is interested in applying this emotion-based model of social inclusion to other contexts and other marginalised subjects, such as refugees and asylum seekers. Last year (2015-2016), he was awarded a small research grant (£2,900 - SPS Research Grants scheme) to work on a project concerning the so-called EU refugee crisis. Challenging the concept of crisis, the project aims to overcome conventional approaches to migration, citizenship and social inclusion merely based on economic, political, static and normative interpretations of the reality. This means developing phenomenological and dynamic approaches able to highlight the crucial role of emotions in explaining the interactions between refugees and local communities. The project's general goal is providing a critical understanding of major social and cultural changes involving people’s experiences and ideas of migration, citizenship and care and identifying the conditions under which such changes become a resource and can be seen as such.

A number of papers have been produced on these topics and presented in France, at the international conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA), which was held in Lille in July 2015; at the University of Milan, Department of Social, Economic and Political Sciences (invited speaker, February 2016); at the BSA Annual Conference Global Societies: Fragmenting and Connecting, which was held in Birmingham in April 2016; and at the Ethics and Social Welfare international conference, which was held in London in September 2016.

Other recent research strands include: 1) a critical approach to the concept of ‘happiness’, which involves giving voice to silenced subjects and introducing issues of difference and inequality into current debates. A paper on this topic was presented at the 12th International Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA), Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination, which was held in Prague at the end of August 2015; 2) a critical approach to recent work on families, relationships, intimacies and caring for distant others which focuses on the specific and still uncharted territory of LAT same-sex couples and which is aimed to explore the moral, sociological and institutional geographies of these less visible and unequally entitled chains of care and affection. A paper on this topic was presented at an International Conference (Unequal Families and Relationships) which was held in Edinburgh at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships in June 2016.

Areas of post-graduate supervision:

Alessandro is interested in supervising PhD students in the following broadly defined areas:

Sociology of Emotions

Relationships, Intimacies, Families, Sexualities

Social Care and the Ethics of Care

Citizenship, Migration and Social Change

Current doctoral students include: 

Michael Sims [PhD]: An enquiry into Adult Adoptee’s relationship with their sexuality. [DOS & PS]

Anna Constantine [PhD]: Therapists' experiences of working with issues of sex and sexuality within training and practice. [DOS & PS]

Joanne Greenwood, Postgraduate Research Degree (Health & Social Care Dept) (PGRD/HS).

Published work

Pratesi, A. (2017). Doing Care, Doing Citizenship. Towards a Micro-situated and Emotion-based Model of Social Inclusion, Palgrave Macmillan (Forthcoming: 2017).

Pratesi, A. (2016). Unconventional in all respects: same-sex, transnational, married, and living apart together. Families, Relationships and Societies (under review).

Pratesi, A. (2016). Unequally entitled citizens: towards a micro-situated and emotion-based model of social inclusion. Mondi Migranti (Forthcoming).

Pratesi, A. (2016). Cittadinanza e inclusione sociale tra emozioni e pratiche di cura. Il caso dei rifugiati e dei richiedenti asilo in Europa. (Citizenship and Social Inclusion between emotions and care practices. The case of refugees and asylum seekers). Etica e Politica Ethics and Politics, November 2016.

Pratesi A. (2014). Social Control Theory. Chapter contribution in: Taylor, P., Corteen, K. and Morley, S. (Eds.): A Dictionary of Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk. The Policy Press, University of Bristol.

Pratesi, A. (2014). Reconciling Work, Care and Justice: informal care, status inclusion and self-empowering dynamics. In: Taylor, P. and Wagg, P. (Eds.) Work and Society: Identities, Places and Spaces. University of Chester Press.

Pratesi, A. (2013). The Productivity of Care. In: C. Koggel and J. Orme (Eds.): Care Ethics. New Theories and Applications, Routledge.

Pratesi, A., Sixsmith, J. and Woolrych, R. (2013). Genuine partnership and equitable research: working “with” older people to develop a smart activity monitoring system.  The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal. 19 (1), December 2013, 6.

Pratesi, A.  (2012). A Respectable Scandal: Same-Sex Parenthood, Emotional Dynamics, and Social Change.  Journal of GLBT Family Studies. Vol. 8, Number 4, August 2012.

Pratesi, A. (2012). Exploring the Emotional Experience of Same-sex Parents by Mixing Creatively Multiple Qualitative Methods. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. Vol. 11, No 2 (2012). Special Issue - Health Equity.

Pratesi, A.  (2012). Please, just call us parents: engaging with inclusive approaches to research with marginalised communities. In: A. Azzopardi and S. Grech (Eds.) Inclusive Communities: a Critical Reader. Rotterdam, Boston: Sense Publishers, pp. 183-198.

Pratesi, A., Sixsmith, J. and Woolrych, R. (2012). Participatory design for future care related technologies: lessons from the Smart Distress Monitor Project. International Community Psychology: Approaches to Contemporary Social Problems Vol. II. July 2012, pp. 183-195.

Pratesi, A. and Runswick-Cole. (2011). Not so usual families: overlaps and divergences in the practice of care within disabled and same-sex families. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, Vol. 37, Number 2, 243-262.

Pratesi, A. (2011). The Productivity of Care: contextualizing care in situated interaction and shedding light on its latent purposes. Ethics and Social Welfare – Special Issue. Vol. 5, Number 2, 123-37, June 2011. ISSN 1749-6535. DOI: 10.1080/17496535.2011.571063.

Pratesi, A., Sixsmith, J. (2011). Activity Monitoring for Ambient Assisted Living: the Smart Distress Monitor. Regions of Good Practice in the Area of Assisted Living, CoralEurope.

Pratesi A., Trifiletti R., Simoni S. (2006). Genitori soli nel welfare mix al Centro e nel Nord-Est [Single Parents in Welfare Mix Arrangements in Centre and North-East Italy”] in: Bimbi, F. and Trifiletti, R. (eds) Madri Sole e Nuove Famiglie, Roma, Edizioni Lavoro.

Pratesi A. (2005). Tipi di famiglie, vulnerabilita e percorsi nel Centro e nel Nord-Est [New kinds of families, new kinds of vulnerabilities and life trajectories] in: Bimbi, F. (eds) Madri sole, sfide politiche e genitorialita alla prova. Roma, Edizioni Lavoro. pp.86-123.

Selected Presentations:

Pratesi, A. (2016). Rethinking citizenship and social inclusion through care practices and the emotional dynamics revolving around them: the case of EU refugees. Ethics and Social Welfare Conference 2016, 10th Anniversary Conference, Friends House, London (UK) 1st–2nd September 2016.

Pratesi, A. (2016). Unconventional in all respects: same-sex, married and living apart together. Unequal Families and Relationships, Centre for Research on Families & Relationships International Conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (Scotland) 13th–15th June 2016.

Pratesi, A. (2016). Global families, Emotional Dynamics and Social Change. Towards a Micro-situated and Emotion-based Model of Citizenship and Social Inclusion. Annual Conference of the British Sociological Association (BSA) Department of Political Economic and Social Science. Aston University, Birmingham (UK), 6th–8th April 2016.

Pratesi, A. (2016). Discussing citizenship and social inclusion through the lenses of emotions and care practices, University of Milan (Italy) Department of Political, Economic and Social Sciences. Università degli Studi di Milano, 16th February 2016.

Pratesi, A. (2015). Rethinking Citizenship in light of the EU refugee crisis. A Study day on The ‘Calais crisis’, University of Chester, 18th November 2015.

Pratesi, A. (2015). The ‘possibility’ of happiness: going beyond the discreet charm of happiness. 12th International Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA), Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination, Research strand: Sociology of Emotions, Prague, 25th-28th August 2015.

Pratesi, A. (2015). Emotions, Relationships and Citizenship: grounding multiculturalism to an ethics of care. 10th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA), P03—Affective citizenship: on the role of emotions in social, urban and environmental policy, Lille (France) the 8th-10th July 2015.

Pratesi, A. (2014). Nonconventional forms of intimacy and migration: towards a micro-situated and emotion-based model of social inclusion. International conference: Nationalist Responses to Economic and Political Crises, Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) and Nationalism Studies Program at Central European University (CEU) Budapest (Hungary), 12th-14th June 2014.

Pratesi, A. (2013). The politics of care: same-sex parenthood, emotional dynamics and social change. Symposium: Contemporary Narratives of Care; Birkbeck, University of London, London, (UK) 25th October 2013.

Pratesi, A. (2013). Neither Marginalisation nor Incorporation: Gay and Lesbian Caregivers as a Case for Anti-Assimilationist Citizenship. 1st International Conference on LGBT Psychology and related fields – Coming out for LGBT Psychology in the current international scenario. 20th – 22nd June 2013. Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE), Lisbon (Portugal).

Pratesi, A. (2012). I was the apple of his eye and he was the apple of mine: critical care, status inclusion and self-empowering dynamics. Critical Care: Advancing an Ethic of Care in Theory and Practice 13th -14th September 2012, University of Brighton.

Pratesi, A. (2012). Reconciling Work and Family Care: informal care, emotional dynamics and productivity. Annual Conference of the Department of Social Studies and Counselling: Earning a Crust. Deconstructing Work, Wealth and Opportunity. University of Chester, Department of Social Studies and Counselling, 5th-7th March 2012.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J. (2011) Safe and independent at home: Older people, technology and activity monitoring. Society for Community Research and Action biennial conference: Chicago, IL, USA, June 16th -19th 2011.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J. (2011) Monitoring the in-home activity of older people: Establishing the challenges and potentialities of data collection and interpretation. Annual Conference of the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, 1st July 2011.

Pratesi A., Runswick-Cole K. (2011) Not so usual families: overlaps and divergences in the practice of care within disabled and same-sex families. Annual Conference of the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, 1st July 2011.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J. (2011) Enabling older adults’ safety, independence and well-being through technology: Lessons from two case studies. British Sociological Association Annual Conference: Science & Technology Studies Stream. London, 6th‐8th April 2011 ‐ London School of Economics (LSE).

Pratesi A. (2011) The Productivity of Care: contextualizing care in situated interaction and shedding light on its latent purposes. British Sociological Association Annual Conference: Families, Lifecourse, Relationships. London, 6‐8 April 2011 ‐ London School of Economics (LSE).

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J. (2010) Space and Time Allocation and Use within and outside the Domestic Environment. 6th Annual Conference of the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, July 2010.

Pratesi A., Runswick-Cole K., Woolrych R. (2010) Chain reaction: interviewing interviewers. Positionality and qualitative research. 6th Annual Conference of the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, July 2010.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J. (2010) Participatory design for future technology: developing user-sensitive and holistic approaches to improve older/disabled people’s safety and quality of life. 3rd International Conference on Community Psychology: Community Agendas for Contemporary Social Problems. 3rd –5th June 2010, Puebla – Mexico.

Pratesi, A., Sixsmith, J. Hollock, S. Johnson, N. A Smart Distress Monitor for Independent Living. International Society for Gerontechnology, 7th World Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 27th-30th May 2010.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith (2009) Developing user centred technologies to improve older adults’ safety and quality of life, British Society of Gerontology 38th Annual Conference - Culture, Diversity and Ageing, Bristol, 2nd-4th September 2009.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J. (2009) Working within user centred, participatory frameworks towards assistive technology solutions, 19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, on Longevity, Health and wealth, Paris, 5th-9th June 2009.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J., Woolrych, R. (2009) Designing technology with older people: A person-centred approach to the development of a Smart Distress Monitor, Research Institute for Health and Social Change – Fifth Annual Conference of the Research Institute for Health and Social Change, MMU, Manchester, 1st -3rd July 2009.

Pratesi A., Sixsmith J. (2009) Bolton Forum in Health & Wellbeing Conference, Poster presentation on the Smart Distress Monitor project. University of Bolton, Bolton, 30th June 2009.

Pratesi, A. (2007) Informal Care, Emotional Dynamics, and Social Change. 8th European Sociological Association Conference (ESA), 3-6 September 2007, Section on Sociology of Emotions – University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Pratesi, A. (2006) Doing Care, Doing Difference. Towards a Multidimensional Analysis of Informal Care. 101st Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA), Section on Sociology of Emotions / Roundtables in the Sociology of Emotions. 10th- 12th August 2006, Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Canada.