31668 - Cultural and Communication Globalisation Processes

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Course contents

The course will investigate the principal models for interpreting globalization, with particular reference to the theories on culture as a global phenomenon and to the cultural dynamics of globalization. Attention will focus on the following topics: 

(i) the theoretical debate on globalization and on the end of globalization (the history of globalization; the reconfiguration of political power; the globalization/anti-globalization debate; the political controversy over globalization); (ii) the theoretical debate over cultural globalization (cultural identity in the globalized world; the destiny of national culture; the cultural dynamics of globalization; (iii) the debate on the role of the media in globalization (the role of communication technologies in cultural globalization; new forms of communication in the dialectic of power and counter-power; the global media and communication policies). 

At the end of the course students are expected to be able to analyze the fundamental elements in the current sociological debate on globalization, on cultural globalization and on the role of the media in the cultural dynamics of globalization.  Students will be able to describe the principal theoretical options on topics dealt with and to make a critical comparison between them.




Testi obbligatori per tutti gli studenti (frequentanti e non frequentanti):

D. Held, A. McGrew, Globalization/Anti-Globalization: Beyond the Great Divide, 2nd edition, Cambridge, Polity, 2007 (Introduction, Chapters 1, 2, 7, 9).

M. Castells, Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age, 2nd edition, Cambridge, Politiy, 2015.

P. Berger, Le dinamiche culturali della globalizzazione, in "Quaderni di Teoria Sociale", 5, 2005, pp. 321-337.

V. Cotesta, Sociologia dei conflitti etnici. Razzismo, immigrazione e società multiculturale, Laterza, Roma-Bari, nuova ediz. aggiornata 2009 (Parte I, Parte IV).

S. Benhabib, The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2002 (Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2).



Attending students have to give a classroom presentation on a chosen chapter:

N. Couldry, A. Hepp, F. Krotz (eds.), Media Events in A Global Age, Routledge, Abington, 2010.

R. Mansell, M. Raboy (a cura di), The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2011.



Attending students have an oral examination on a chosen book (non attending students on two chosen books):

Th. McPhail, Global Communication. Theories, Stakeholders and Trands, Blackwell, Oxford, 2006.

E. Zuckerman, Rewire. Cosmopoliti digitali nell'era della globalità, Egea, Milano, 2014.

V. Campanelli, Infowar. La battaglia per il controllo e la libertà della rete, Egea, Milano, 2013.

Teaching methods

The course consists mainly of traditional lectures, alternated with structered seminars where students are invited to actively participate and give a presentation on a subject agreed with the lecturer.

Assessment methods


The examination tests will assess the knowledge that students have developed on the fundamental elements in the current sociological debate on globalization, on cultural globalization and on the role of the media in the cultural dynamics of globalization. They will investigate the student's capacity to identify, describe and critically compare the principal theoretical options on the topics under consideration. 

Methods of learning assessment for attending students.

Attending students will carry out two midterm exams on texts indicated in Section I, a classroom presentation on one of the topics analyzed in Section II that has been agreed with the lecturer and an oral exam on one of the chosen texts indicated in Section III of the syllabus. Each midterm exam will consist of 6 questions with open ended answers; to answer the questions, students will have 60 minutes available. The mark for each midterm exam will be expressed out of a maximum of thirty points.

Methods of learning assessment for non-attending students. Those who do not carry out the two midterm exams are regarded as non-attending students. The examination for non-attending students consists of one written test to be carried out on the examination dates (the test consists of 12 questions on texts in Section I of the syllabus; students will have 120 minutes) and an oral exam on two chosen texts indicated in Section III.

Teaching tools

Video projector

Office hours

See the website of Lorenza Gattamorta