94086 - Sociology of Deviance and Change

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Dario Tuorto
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: SPS/12
  • Language: Italian
  • Moduli: Dario Tuorto (Modulo 1) Giovanna Russo (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Expert in Social and Cultural Education (cod. 5727)

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: theft, robbery, homicide, suicide, substance use, prostitution;
- 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 second part aims to explain the latest changes in contemporary Western society with reference to the following topics:

  1. socio-cultural dimension: the focus will be placed on the transformations of culture and cultural production (from consumption to participation), with specific attention to the narration of risk in the pandemic society. The relationship between pandemic and change will be investigated through communication, narrative and representation of health risk as an indicator of future socio-cultural scenarios.
  2. economic dimension: analysis of the transition from an industrial society to a society of services and experiences. The emergence of economic-cultural capitalism and global consumption dynamics;
  3. environmental dimension: analysis of the development of the concept of well-being in advanced modern societies, with particular attention to the issue of environmental sustainability and the change in lifestyles towards a better quality of life;

In addition, in-depth meetings are planned with scholars and experts in the sector.


Sociology of deviance:

  • Prina, F., Devianza e criminalità. Concetti, metodi di ricerca, cause, politiche, Carocci, 2019.
  • Power point presentations, papers, articles available, since December 2022, on the website https://virtuale.unibo.it/ (mandatory for attending and non attending students)

Sociology of social change

  • Mangone E. (2021), Uncertainty, future, narration, Fisciano, Italy, NaSC Free Press. The volume is in OA (downloadable for free)

Teaching methods

Face-to-face lessons based of presentations of slides and multimedial texts

Assessment methods

Written examination (1 hour; test with both closed and open ended questions)

Teaching tools

Slides in Power Point; texts; audiovisual documents

Office hours

See the website of Dario Tuorto

See the website of Giovanna Russo