59239 - Sociology of Territory

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Sociology (cod. 8495)

Learning outcomes

The aims of this course is showing the connections between social system and territory (natural and cultural resources, production system, communication and transport infrastructures, settlement processes). Students will be able to individuate the factors which change the equilibrium between human society, settlement forms and territorial relations. At the end of the course, students will also be able to individuate territorial problems as well as to define methodological tools and research steps to focus on them.

Course contents

In the first part of the course (20 hours), a general framework of the discipline will be given, with attention to some frequent concepts (space, place, ecological analysis, mobility, borders) and topics (local development, territorial organization and policy, territorial culture). 

In the second part (40 hours), the aim is showing some examples of territorial studies in the national and international debate. For this reason, a study on an Italian interior area (the Appennino Reatino) and a study on a neighborhood in a big US city (Villa Victoria in Boston) will be presented. In this part the presentations of the team works will done too (see the section "Assessment methods" for further details).


Compulsory texts for the exam

For the part one:

G. Osti, Sociologia del territorio, il Mulino, Bologna, 2010.

For the part two:

G. Pieretti, M. Padula (a cura di), Fare territorio in Appennino. Studio multidisciplinare in un'area interna reatina, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2020.

M.L. Small, Villa Victoria. Povertà e capitale sociale in un quartiere di Boston, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2011.

NB: the third textbook can be changed with teaworks presented by groups of 4-5 students and selected by the teacher on research topics of contemporary sociology of territory.

Teaching methods

The course is based on lectures and seminars with guests. It also   includes the use of Powerpoint slides as well as videos that will be discussed at class.

Assessment methods

The assessment will focus on the critical and methodological skills acquired by students and their ability to confront the texts and topics dealt with during the course.

For students attending classes, assessment will be done through two parts:

- the written part will consist on two exams with 3 open questions (60 minutes): the first one (a midterm test) will focus on the book Sociologia del territorio plus eventual material uploaded on Virtuale, the second one (at the end of the course) on the book Fare territorio in Appennino interne plus eventual material uploaded on Virtuale. Each part will receive a note from 0 to 30- Students who do not pass one or both midterms will have to repeat it/them through an oral talk in one of the ordinary exam sessions after the end of the course (by September 2022).

- the oral part will consist on the book Villa Victoria in one of the exams after the end of the course (by September 2022). This part can be changed with the presentation at class of  teamworks (4-5 students). The research topics will be decided with the teacher in the first part of the course. This part will receive a note from 0 to 30. The final note will be the average between this one and the notes obtained in the two midterm exams.

The exam is based on the topics presented at class. Therefore, any aspects of the textbooks not considered at class will not be asked and, vice versa, examples or other contents presented at class and not in the textbooks may be requested.

A lesson by the end of  February 2022 will be focused on teamworks. The groups must be formed directly by the students and communicated to the teacher by March 20 by e-mail, together with an abstract (2000-2500 characters including spaces) about the topic of the presentation, the research aim, the tools and three bibliographical references. The work will be presented in one of the lessons between the end of April and the beginning of May 2022 (15-20 minutes per group plus 5-10 minutes of debate); all students in the group must be present (in class or online) and are requested to make a part of the presentation. The slides used for the presentation (Powerpoint or Pdf format) will be given to the teacher who will upload them on Virtuale to make them available to all the other students.

NB: If the average note results with decimals, it is rounded upwards (Example: 27.5 becomes 28).

For who are not doing the midterm exams, assessment of learning will take place through an oral exam about the material mentioned in the section "Readings/Bibliography". Talks will take place during the exams after the end of the course. As regards students attending classes, however, please see the clarifications above for the topics of the talk.


Office hours

See the website of Gabriele Manella


Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.