90520 - Sociology and Cultural Studies

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class the student will know the most important traditions of sociology especially those intertwined with the rise of the so called Cultural Studies, e.g. symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, critical social theory. She will also have familiarity with the sociological language and the tools necessary to master  and cultivate a sociological imagination or a sociological gaze applying them to relevant aspects of contemporary social life, with special focus on the arts and intellectual life.

Course contents

The course is divided in two parts.

In the first part the student is introduced to the sociological imagination or gaze emphasizing their connection with that research program called Cultural Studies.  In this part a set of key concepts  especially relevant for doing sociologically oriented cultural analysis will be introduced - as social action, practice, social interaction, power, legitimacy, ideology, egemony, social structure, class, gender, organization, institution and of course culture. A few research techniques will be introduced (as documentary analysis, interviews and ethnography, focus group) also through a few case studies drawn fromyje history of the arts and music.

In the second part  the concepts and methods already introduced will be further developed and refined through empirical exercises of social research on everyday life and cultural products/objects (e.g. songs, films, tv series, etc.): the theory will be put in practice.


A Bibliography in English will be given to foreign students asking for it.

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, aimed at testing the student's learning through general and specific questions.

It is possible to discuss a paper during the exam on a topic previously agreed upon. The paper has to be a research paper, making use of empirical research tools.

Teaching tools

Slides and some texts in pdf provided by the teacher

Office hours

See the website of Marco Santoro