00045 - Cultural Anthropology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Primary Teacher Education (cod. 5711)

    Also valid for Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Primary teacher education (cod. 8540)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:- identify the main debates and the key concepts of cultural anthropology (culture, ethnocentrism, relativism, ethnicity); - know how the notion of "fieldwork" has been developed in the past as well as how ethnographic practice takes today place; - critically think about the main notions of anthropological thinking (diversity, identity, multiculturalism) – understand the ethnografic contribution to the analysis of educational context; translate the anthropological knowledge into his/her future professional practices; deal with the theoretical and methodological issues applied to the schools and educational settings.

Course contents

The course aims at providing the students with an introduction of the anthropological contribution to the understanding of schools/schooling and educational setting in multicultural societies, by especially focusing on the issues and problems the students will face in doing their future professional career. To this end, we will investigate the theoretical and methodological anthropological approaches to the analysis of cultural diversity, and the associate risks of reification, in an attempt to encourage a critical sensibility about the cultural constructs and implicit assumptions shared across school and educational contexts. 

In particular, we'll discuss the main approaches to minority school performance and schooling - dealing with the case of Sinti children - and ethnographic works focused on the issues of otherness and the relationship between migrant families and schools.

Lectures are given in Italian Language.



Recommended reading (no distinction between attending and non attending students will be done):

- Benadusi M., La scuola in pratica. Prospettive antropologiche sull’educazione, ED.it, Firenze, 2017.

One among the followings:

-Gomes A.M., Vegna che ta fago scriver. Etnografia della scolarizzazione in una comunità di sinti, CISU, Roma, 1998.

- Bonetti R. Etnografia in bottiglia. Apprendere per relazioni nei contesti educativi, Meltemi, 2019

- Maher V. (ed), Genitori migranti, Rosenberg & Sellier, Torino, 2012

- Bonetti R. (ed), La trappola della normalita'. Antropologia ed etnografia nei mondi della scuola, Seid Editore Firenze, 2014 

Personal or alternative readings, in English, for international/Erasmus students have to be discussed with the professor.

Teaching methods

Interactive lectures, seminars, video analysis and plenary discussions.

Assessment methods

Oral exam. The conversation aims at assessing the students' understanding of the main theorical and metodological issues which where dealt with in both lessons and textbooks. Among the criteria used to evaluate the preparation of students, there are: A) the understanding of the theoretical-methodological issues and the main debates that the discipline today faces, especially dealing with the educational processes and contexts; B) the ability to translate the anthropological knowledge in a critical understanding of the school minority performance, migratory processes and intercultural mediation; C) the ability to accurately use the anthropological language; D) the ability to apply both the ethnographic insight and a self-critical approach to their specific professional fields.

Final score based on ../30 (18 is considered the minimum to pass the exam).

Inscription to the exam on Almaesami website.

For the international/ERASMUS students only: possibility to arrange with the teacher the elaboration of a written paper


Teaching tools

Powerpoint Slides, video analysis, readings;

Office hours

See the website of Federica Tarabusi


Quality education Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

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