03495 - Economic and Working Sociology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the students: - know some of the main issues regarding the nature and functioning of economic life from a perspective of sociological analysis. - Have an overall cognitive framework of the development of the discipline, and a depth of specific socio-economic aspects - Are able to use some of the concepts and tools of analysis that economic sociology has identified over time to explain the actions and economic practices, emphasizing the centrality of social relations, social institutions and their respective roles and influences. possess a comprehensive framework of the historical development of sociology of labour; - know the theoretical issues linked to the transformation of labour and of the social meanings related to it; - know the fundamental theoretical concepts of the classical and contemporary theories of labour.

Course contents

The course aims at developing for the student the acquisition of an interpretative perspective on the key-theme of labour and its most recent transformations and social problematics. This objective will be especially pursued through the presentation to students of the fundamental achievements, both theoretical and methodological gained by sociology of labour and economic sociology, without disdaining different arguments developed by “tangential” areas of study. The students will be introduced to the theoretical and methodological coordinates which constitute the ground of the discipline. Subsequently, the analysis will be centered around some specific problems recently emerged within the borders of sociology of labour. With regard to the didactic methodology, the lectures led by the instructor will be accompanied by other activities such as screenings and seminars led by experts and/or professors from other universities.

The course poses at the core of its thematic articulations the concept of “labour” (and its crisis), conceived in all its different dimensions and forms. These latter tend currently to assume unprecedented modalities in the context of what is largely defined as Postfordist Society and, consequently, the course aims at closely understanding also the qualitative side of these social and economic emergencies. Particularly, since societies face the spectre of an economic development always more critical and less automatically paired with an increasing rate of employment, it has become even more relevant to fully comprehend both the objective and subjective transformations of labour and the unpredictable and competitive ways through which this latter is nowadays organized in the globalized capitalism to produce value. The course is finally aimed at analyzing the contemporary capitalistic subjectivity through an interdisciplinary conceptualization which is possibly able to interpret the extraordinary transformations of the world of production. The common analytical perspective, within which the various aspect of the issue will be integrated, is represented by the crisis of the so-called “wage society” and of its typical regime of accumulation, the Fordist one (this crisis, it will be argued, is clearly exemplified by the current global economic meltdown). 

Finally, in the last part of the course particular attention will be dedicates to clarifying the plots of the so-called Platform economy and and the new forms of value extraction and exploitation connected to it.



1) Massimiliano Nicoli, Le risorse umane, Ediesse, Roma, 2015 (only the second and third chapters).

2) Chicchi F., Simone A., La società della prestazione, Ediesse, Roma, 2017.

3) Karl Marx, Libro primo, Capitolo VI inedito. Risultati del processo di produzione immediato, Etas, Milano, 2002.

4) F. Chicchi, E. Leonardi, S. Lucarelli, Logiche dello sfruttamento. Oltre la dissoluzione del rapporto salariale, ombre corte, Verona, 2016.

5) N. Srnicek, Capitalismo digitale. Google, Facebook, Amazon e la nuova economia del web, Luiss University Press, Roma, 2017.

The program of study for attending students could have some changes that will be communicated during the course by the teacher.

Teaching methods

The course will be centered around lectures led by the teacher. Moreover, a seminar activity with experts and relevant scholar and several screenings will be planned.

At the methodological level, it is important to underline the pivotal role that will be played by paradigms and interpretative frameworks. Those tools are necessary to comprehend both problems and their analytical contents. Otherwise put, the students will be provided with transversal and methodological competencies for the understanding of sociology of labour. The goal, to conclude, is to build up with them an adequate and transdiciplinary tool-box.

Assessment methods

To evaluate the degree of students knowledge, for this teaching, the exam will be only in oral form. No intermediate tests will be provided.

For students who will attend the lectures an additional oral pre-session exam (immediately after the end of the lectures) will be provided

Teaching tools

Sudents will find information and subsidiary didactic material on the dedicated web-space of University.

Office hours

See the website of Federico Chicchi