Italian sociologist Sandro Roventi left us. Yesterday he was put to rest in the cemetery of Lambrate (Milan). Sandro was the person who introduced me to sociology (after being trained as an economist). Passionate, funny, politically unpredictable, lucid, generous: he was all these things and much more. He started his career during the Italian Years of Lead. After the European Consortium for Political Research published his Italy and Terrorism in the 1970s (1980) he became the target of unwanted attention from both the political police and the Red Brigades. The epitome of a generation of social scientists / activists steering through a time of political unrest and de facto civil war.
The first lesson of his Sociology class went something like: “Ok kids. To make a champagne molotov all you need is a bottle, alcohol and a cloth…” – and after looking at our dumbfounded faces he would go on introducing us to the notions of conflict, labour, social justice, etc. We became friends eventually. He supervised my tesi di laurea. He wrote the preface to my first book. Until I left Italy I was a regular guest at his dinner parties. Sometimes, we would listen to music. I remember he loved this song. I love it, too.