29220 - Sociology of Social Services

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Social Work (cod. 8040)

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to: - know and analyze, from a micro-sociological point of view, the everyday interactions between social operators and users within the local social services; - analyze territorial needs and identify resources (personal, family, network, local community) to support intervention strategies.

Course contents

The first part of this course is aimed to:

- present some conceptual tools to study social services within the context of welfare policies;

- propose some interpretation theories to explain the development of social services and welfare systems in the XX and XXI century.

The second part will focus on the change of users who daily interact with social services. The generalization of insecurity and the processes of impoverishment and social vulnerability, indeed, put social workers in front of users whose needs cannot be reduced to target groups defined by administrative rules. These users pose a new challenge to social work.

In the last part of the course will be deepened the relationship that homeless people have with the territory. Particular attention will be paid to the personal experiences of those who suffer difficult situations as well as their relation with social services.


Compulsory bibliography for the final exam:

1) Y. Kazepov - D. Carbone, Che cos'è il welfare state, Carocci, Roma, 2018.

2) R. Castel, Incertezze crescenti. Lavoro, cittadinanza, individuo, Editrice Socialmente, Bologna, 2015.

3) M. Bergamaschi, Ripensare la città. Senza dimora e servizio sociale, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2017

Teaching methods

Lecture and seminar classes

Assessment methods

The final exam will consist on checking the achievement of the following learning goals:

1. Recognize the basic elements of this discipline;

2. Manage and be familiar with the history of sociological debate about social work;

3. Identify and analyze main characteristics of social intervention in a sociological perspective;

4. Knowing how to use the most important interpretation concepts introduced during the course.

A good grade will be given to students who are able to orient themselves within the course bibliography, who have an organic view of the course issues, a proficient oral expression and language skills.


Teaching tools

Slides and other online material available on IOL

Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Bergamaschi


No poverty Good health and well-being Decent work and economic growth Sustainable cities

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