76041 - Sociology

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Podiatry (cod. 8479)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student possesses basic knowledge about changes in society in terms of values and patterns of life and in the modes of social communication. He/she can analyse the processes of emergence and diffusion of normative orientations and can deal with the complexity of the current social composition.

Course contents

The course aims to introduce students to the acquisition of the basic theoretical and methodological tools of the sociology of cultural and communicative processes.

The course, by examining the main sociological dimensions of the concept of culture and questioning medicine as a "cultural object", aims at fostering the development of skills useful to read the transformations (axiological and communicative) that cross the field of care in the complex and globalised society, through the interpretative and explanatory schemes proper to the sociology of cultural and communicative processes. Particular attention will be devoted to exploring the role of the media in the social construction of the "health/illness object".

At the end of the course the student will be able to: read and analyse social phenomenologies as "cultural objects"; recognise the role of cultural representations in the construction of knowledge and practices on illness; understand the multiple relationships between media and health.


The teacher will provide students with a handout containing all the texts that will constitute exam material, which will include (with the possibility of variation) excerpts from:

Lupton D. (2012), Medicine as Culture. Illness, Disease, and the Body, Sage, London (Introduction).

Cappi V. (2015), Pazienti e medici oltre lo schermo. Elementi per un'etnografia dei medical dramas, Bononia University Press, Bologna (chapt. introduction, 1, 3, 6)

Lupton D. (2018), Digital Health. Critical and Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, Routledge, London (chapt. 5).


A.A.V.V. (2020): Shockdown: la ricerca dopo. Temi emergenti e sfide metodologiche per l’analisi di media, cultura e comunicazione nel post Covid-19, numero 15/2020 di Mediascapes Journals, https://rosa.uniroma1.it/rosa03/mediascapes/issue/view/1520 (one paper at the student's choice can substitute Cappi chapt. 4).

During the course, the teacher will suggest other readings (scientific articles, reports, etc.) relating to specific case studies, which may be included in place of some of the above titles, subject to agreement with the teacher.

Non-attending students, in addition to the handout, are asked to study: 

Pizza G. (2008), Antropologia medica. Saperi, pratiche e politiche del corpo, Carocci, Roma (chapt. 2: "Salute e malattia: una coppia ambigua", pp. 75-103).

Teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures and seminar activities.
The teacher will make use of multimedia tools and the projection of audio-visual materials in order to provide greater stimuli for learning.

The course favours an approach based on active learning: students will be asked to participate in classroom discussions, analysis of case studies, cooperative group work.

Assessment methods

The learning assessment consists of an oral exam on the reading materials indicated in the course's bibliography, aimed at testing the student's ability to understand, analyse and critically rework the subject of study.

For ATTENDING STUDENTS, the learning assessment consists of an oral exam on the topics addressed within the course and studied in depth through the bibliography indicated.

NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS have to discuss with the teacher during an oral exam the reading material (for non-attending students) indicated in the bibliography.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be accompanied by the use of slides, audiovisual materials and other digital tools.

The slides projected in class will be made available to attending students on the Virtual Platform - LearningEnvironment.

Office hours

See the website of Valentina Cappi


Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Sustainable cities

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