| To make sociology, and social research in general, an effective tool for knowledge of human realities.
On the whole, CERFE’s activity is geared to making sociology, and more generally social research, effective instruments to better understand human realities in order to meet the many demands for knowledge coming from development policymakers and society as a whole.
CERFE was set up within a “paradigmatic” turning point in sociological thought that came about in the last decades of the last century. This turning point led to acknowledging greater importance to social actors and to their behaviours and cognitive sphere (representations, strategies, expectations, etc.) compared to that of social structures and systems that had previously been the main focus of attention of sociology.
In order to give continuity and progressiveness to this research programme, CERFE established its own interpretation of the programme itself: this interpretation has been active for over twenty years and focuses on social actors as the main subjects of research.
Over the years, CERFE’s interpretation has taken on several features, depending on the main issues dealt with each time, such as the role of social actors in modernisation and development processes, the effects of the growth of social subjectivity in contemporary societies, and, more recently, the factors that tend to differentiate the “social fate” of various human societies.