78043 - Sociology of Cinema (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The student will learn the fundamental tools of sociology and social research, and will be able to apply them to the study of film production, consumption, evaluation and classification. More specifically, she will know the main concepts, theories, models about cutural production and reception, as well as about the sociological analysis of cultural texts with specie reference to film. She will also be able to apply these tools in order to understand processes of production, circulation, evaluation and consumption of fims and film genres, and to design empirical researche projects on the cinema world in its various elements.

Course contents

The class is articulated in two parts. In the first we will build a toolbox for doing sociology of cinema according to the most recent sociological perspectives and methods - which are very different from what has for long "passed" as sociology of cinema in Italy, i.e. a social criticism of individual films and directors. In this part we will discuss the works of scholars like Howard Becker, Pierre Bourdieu, Paul DiMaggio and their followers, but will also focus on what is probably the first sociological empirical research on the cinema, i.e. Emilie Altenloh's Zur Soziologie des Kino  (1914). In the second part of the course we will put in practice our tools in order to sociologically analyzing two case studies: Mafia movies as representing and even legitimating cultural means, and the Italian Western as a cultural field. A research in progress will be presented and discussed in class.


A list of texts in English will be available on request.

Teaching methods

Traditional, but according to current measures due to Coronavirus pandemia: teacher in class, students partly in class partly online according to a shift pattern to be defined.

Assessment methods

Oral exam, with the possibility, in exceptional cases and for attending students, to discuss a research paper (min 5,000 words) on a subject/topic previously agreed upon with the teacher

Teaching tools

Slides and syllabus

Office hours

See the website of Marco Santoro