00905 - Sociology (F-N)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Luca Martignani (Modulo F-N) Luca Martignani (Modulo Gr1-2) Paola Canestrini (Modulo Gr3-4) Luca Martignani (Modulo D.Ass)
  • Teaching Mode: Blended Learning (Modulo F-N) Traditional lectures (Modulo Gr1-2) Traditional lectures (Modulo Gr3-4) Traditional lectures (Modulo D.Ass)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Political, Social and International Sciences (cod. 8853)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: (a) possesses a basic knowledge of Sociology: its origins, its main paradigms and theories, its methods of analysis, its objects of study; (b) will have tools for analyzing and understanding contemporary social phenomena, such as globalisation, which are also functional for reading and understanding certain social contexts.

Course contents

Introduction and explanation of the main approaches that have made up the development of the discipline, with specific reference and insights aimed at some classics of sociology. Reflection on the theoretical, methodological and epistemological debate underlying the overcoming of the dichotomous distinctions that have characterized sociology in modernity (action/structure; micro/macro; quality/quantity; individualism/collectivism) and motivated the introduction of new approaches. Focus on the importance of representation (literature, cinema, TV series) to understand the social reality we live in (also with reference to topics such as queer society and the consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic, terrorist attacks and globalisation).


Main text:

Ken Plummer, Primo libro di Sociologia. Torino, Einaudi, 2023.

Attending students:

Attending students must comply with the bibliographic and/or filmographic and website indications provided in the reference group.

NON-attending students:

Non-attending students (ADDITIONS to Plummer's text) will have to read a volume chosen from the following:

1. Georg Simmel, Il problema della sociologia, Milano-Udine, Mimesis.
2. Georg Simmel, La moda, Milano, SE.
3. Georg Simmel, La metropoli e la vita dello spirito, Roma, Armando.
4. Max Weber, La politica come professione, Torino, Einaudi.
5. Jeffrey, C. Alexander, La costruzione del male. Dall’Olocausto all’11 settembre.
6. Walter Benjamin, L’opera d’arte nell’epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica, Torino, Einaudi.
7. Harold Garfinkel, Agnese, Roma, Armando.
8. Helen Hester, Xenofemminismo, Nero Edizioni.
9. Peter Berger e Hansfried Kellner, Il matrimonio e la costruzione della realtà, Roma, Armando.
10. Erving Goffman, Il rapporto fra i sessi, Roma Armando.
11. Erving Goffman, L’ordine dell’interazione, Roma, Armando.
12. Erving Goffman, Rappresentazioni di genere, Milano-Udine, Mimesis.
13. Mark Fischer, Realismo capitalista, Nero Edizioni.
14. Saskia Sassen, Una sociologia della globalizzazione.
15. Jean-Claude Kaufmann, Quando l’amore comincia, Bologna, il Mulino.
16. Bruno Latour, Disinventare la modernità, Milano, Eleuthera.
17. Pierre Bourdieu, Forme di capitale, Roma, Armando.
18. Pierre Bourdieu, Il dominio maschile, Roma, Armando.
19. Luc Boltanski e Arnaud Esquerre, Verso l’estremo. Estensione del dominio della destra.
20. Philippe Corcuff, Romanzo poliziesco, filosofia e critica sociale, Milano-Udine, Mimesis.

Teaching methods

Lectures and seminars.
The course adopts a teaching organization method that provides for the subdivision into two different sections.

One section consists of lectures and aims to introduce students to the acquisition of basic conceptual and theoretical tools. Another section is aimed at the application of knowledge and its deepening.

In the second section, male and female students will be divided into 4 groups. The groups will be divided as follows by topic:
• Group 1 reading society through TV series (STVs such as Grey's Anatomy; Sex Education; This world won't make me bad; Marseille; Rocco Schiavone; Orange is the New Black; etc.)
• Group 2 reading society through short stories (authors of short stories such as Charles Bukowski; Dino Buzzati; Raymond Carver; Emmanuel Carrère; Osvaldo Soriano; Giorgio Scerbanenco, etc. will be considered)
• Group 3 reading roles and social identities represented by the imaginary reality, past and future, of TV series (STVs such as Scandal; Pose; The Handmaid's Tale; Severance; Y: the last man; The man in the high castle; etc.)
• Group 4 reading society through the biographical story of podcasts (podcasts on historical figures such as Plautilla Bricci; Alan Turing; Marie Curie; Margaret Sanger; Elena Gianini Belotti; etc.) will be taken into consideration.

Methods of conducting the seminars: on the teacher's website, in the Useful contents section, the TV series and stories that are the subject of discussion of each seminar meeting will be indicated and that the attending students will be required to read and watch before each lesson! The teaching methods will imply a return of the students directly in the classroom, or in written form (attending students will have to send weekly, via e-mail or virtual) observations on texts and episodes. The teacher will rely on these findings to guide the teaching of subsequent lessons.

Assessment methods

Attending students:

Intermediate test with multiple choice questions on the text by Ken Plummer (common for all) + Final test consisting of a short essay which will have as its subject the TV series (groups 1 and 3) or the story (group 2) or the podcast (group 4) which will have been treated in the classroom by the teacher in one of the weekly seminars attended.
The final exam relating to the seminars will be held on the last day of class for each group (in presence, also for group 4).

Students will be able to freely choose which group to join if and only if they have passed the intermediate test. Otherwise they will be able to prepare the exam as NON-attending students.

Anyone who does not take the intermediate test, fails it or does not accept the vote will not be able to take the final test relating to the seminars (which will be held on the last day scheduled for each group). Those who do not pass the final exam on the seminars will still have to take the complete NON-attending final exam.

Non-attending students:

Written exam on the text by Ken Plummer + on a monograph chosen from the following:

1. Georg Simmel, The problem of sociology, Milan-Udine, Mimesis.
2. Georg Simmel, La moda, Milan, SE.
3. Georg Simmel, The metropolis and the life of the spirit, Rome, Armando.
4. Max Weber, Politics as a profession, Turin, Einaudi.
5. Jeffrey, C. Alexander, The Construction of Evil. From the Holocaust to 9/11.
6. Walter Benjamin, The work of art in the age of its technical reproducibility, Turin, Einaudi.
7. Harold Garfinkel, Agnese, Roma, Armando.
8. Helen Hester, Xenofeminism, Nero Edizioni.
9. Peter Berger and Hansfried Kellner, Marriage and the construction of reality, Rome, Armando.
10. Erving Goffman, The relationship between the sexes, Rome Armando.
11. Erving Goffman, The order of interaction, Rome, Armando.
12. Erving Goffman, Gender Representations, Milan-Udine, Mimesis.
13. Mark Fischer, Capitalist Realism, Nero Edizioni.
14. Saskia Sassen, A sociology of globalization.
15. Jean-Claude Kaufmann, When love begins, Bologna, il Mulino.
16. Bruno Latour, Uninventing modernity, Milan, Eleuthera.
17. Pierre Bourdieu, Forms of capital, Rome, Armando.
18. Pierre Bourdieu, Male domination, Rome, Armando.
19. Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre, Towards the extreme. Extension of the domination of the right.
20. Philippe Corcuff, Crime novel, philosophy and social criticism, Milan-Udine, Mimesis.

The task consists of multiple choice questions and open questions + a reflection in the form of a critical note on the chosen text (20 lines) and lasts 60 minutes.

Teaching tools


Office hours

See the website of Luca Martignani

See the website of Paola Canestrini