94086 - Sociology of Deviance and Change

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Dario Tuorto
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: SPS/12
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Blended Learning
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Expert in Social and Cultural Education (cod. 5726)

Learning outcomes

The course aims to offer an overview on the main theories and research in the field of deviance and criminal phenomena; on literature and empirical studies concerning total institutions, the social construction of deviance and stigma. Students are expected to acquire general skills on actors and determinants of social change in the contemporary societies; to understand the links between different dimensions of change and to recognize the dynamics of exclusion and discrimination behind them; to competently identify phenomena of deviance and social change; to collect and analyze data and evaluate intervention programs in these fields.

Course contents

Sociology of deviance (24 hours)

The module:

- illustrates the main theories of deviance;
- focuses on some deviant phenomena and crimes;
- shows statistics and methods used to measure and classify criminal phenomena
- provides elements of knowledge on forms of prevention of deviant and criminal acts.

The in-depth part of the module focuses on the topic of total institutions: their historical evolution, functions, internal organisation, living conditions and rights of prisoners/inmates/users, social representations, alternatives to the institutionalisation.

Sociology of Change (24 hours)

The module deals with the changes that have taken place in contemporary Western society with particular reference to the working condition. Alongside a description of the main theories on social change, modernisation and the transition to post-industrial and post-Fordist society, the following aspects are explored in depth:

- the new patterns of work, production, consumption in the age of technological and climate challenges

- social assistanza, care, health in the face of welfare system transformation


Sociology of deviance:

1. Prina, F., Devianza e criminalità. Concetti, metodi di ricerca, cause, politiche, Carocci, 2019.

2. Power point presentations, papers, articles available, since December 2023, on the website https://virtuale.unibo.it/ (mandatory for attending and non attending students)


Sociology of social change

1. One of the following books (or other in English, to be agreed with the teacher):

  • Aloisi, De Stefano, Il tuo capo è un algoritmo. Contro il lavoro disumano, 2020.
  • Balzano, Contro lo smart working, 2021.
  • Hickel, Siamo ancora in tempo! Come una nuova economia può salvare il pianeta, 2021.
  • Jaffe, Il lavoro non ti ama, 2022.
  • Luongo, Morniroli, Rossi-Doria, Rammendare. Il lavoro sociale come leva per lo sviluppo, 2022.
  • MacKinnon, Il giorno in cui il mondo smette di comprare, 2021.
  • Safran, Possiamo salvare il mondo prima di cena, 2019.


2. Power point presentations, papers, articles available, since December 2022, on the website https://virtuale.unibo.it/ (mandatory for attending and non attending students)

Teaching methods

Face-to-face (online) lessons based of presentations of slides and multimedial texts. In addition to conventional teaching, classroom activities will be carried out aimed at promoting, among students, the skills of in-depth study, autonomous and critical discussion, self-reflection through mutual comparison, and scientific writing. The main innovative activities planned within the teaching are: shared lectures with colleagues/colleagues from other disciplines; production of short written texts (individual or in small groups) on topics solicited by the teacher and presented in the classroom; in-person and/or distance seminars; discussion with professional figures involved in social work activities;screenings of audiovisual materials preceded and/or followed by discussion

Assessment methods



Written examination; closed and open-ended questions + short review (monographic section)

Teaching tools

Slides in Power Point; texts; audiovisual documents, multimedial tools

Office hours

See the website of Dario Tuorto