04491 - Sociology of Cultural Processes (A-L)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Course contents

The course adopts a Y-shaped teaching organization, which is divided into two different sections. One section consists of 32 lectures (in presence, but students will be able to follow the lessons of the entire course remotely on MS TEAMS) and aims to provide students with the core tenets of the discipline. A further seminar section (14 hours, 4 seminars, three of which in presence and one remotely) is aimed at the application of knowledge and its deepening.

The division into lectures and seminars is detailed in the following program. For the seminar section students will be divided into 4 seminar groups: groups 1, 2, 3 (each consisting of 14 hours, in presence) and group 4 (14 hours in remote on MS TEAMS). Thus, a total of 46 classroom hours are scheduled for each student.

Students are expected to prepare the assigned material before every lecture, and – in the case of seminars – active participation and individual readings based knowledge through thematic investigations and case studies will also be required. Regardless of the health-related conditions and the specific organization of the course, students will be able to follow the lessons of the entire course on MS TEAMS.

Students can freely choose which seminar to enrol in. For unexpected amount of preferences on a specific seminar, the chronological order of enrolment will apply.

The course analyses the main contributions that sociology has provided and still provides in the understanding of national and international cultural processes.

The first part will be devoted to the following themes: Holism and methodological individualism in sociology; L. Ricolfi’s growth equation; Introduction to cultural sociology. Positivism and rise of sociology; The contribution of the classics: Comte, Durkheim, Marx, Tocqueville, Weber; M. Scheler’s cultural sociology.

The second part will focuse on authors and currents of twentieth-century and contemporary sociology: The critical theory: M. Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno; H. Marcuse and J. Habermas; T. Parsons and neo-functionalism; N. Luhmann; Z. Bauman and the liquid society.

The third part, that corresponds to the attendance at one of the four above-mentioned seminars, will be monographic in order to develop one seminar in-depth study on the following common theme: the cultural sociology of P.A. Sorokin and the coming of the "democracy of narcissism" and anti-politics.

All seminars share both common and obligatory reference texts as in the following list:

G. Orsina, La democrazia del narcisismo. Breve storia dell'antipolitica Marsilio, 2018

P.A. Sorokin, La rivoluzione sessuale americana, a cura di L. Allodi, Cantagalli, 2021

 

L. Scaraffia, Storia della liberazioe sessuale. Il corpo delle donne tra eros e pudore, Marsilio, 2019

P.A. Sorokin, La dinamica sociale e culturale, Utet, 1977 (only some selected parts)

At the end of the course, students are expected to know analytically and critically the specific contribution of authors and schools; to compare the contribution of authors and schools on specific issues; to identify authors, works and sociological paradigms that have also had an echo in international relations studies; to orient themselves in the debate on fundamental problems of epistemology and social ontology (individualism vs. holism; materialism vs. cultural autonomy; realism vs. social constructivism; social order vs. social conflict; cosmopolitanism vs. communitarianism); to know the main reading paradigms on the link between culture and society, with particular reference to the topics covered in the attended seminar.

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Readings/Bibliography

Readings/Bibliography

Set books to be read by all students:

(1) R. Aron, Le Tappe del pensiero sociologico, Mondadori, 1989 (Chapters: Comte, Marx, Tocqueville, Durkheim, Weber)

(2) A. Santambrogio, Introduzione alla sociologia. Le teorie, i concetti, gli autori, Laterza, 2019 (Chapters: La Scuola di Francoforte: M. Horkheimer e T.W. Adorno; Sviluppi della teoria critica: H. Marcuse e J. Habermas; Il funzionalismo e la teoria dei sistemi in T. Parsons e N. Luhmann; La teoria critica; Sviluppi della teoria critica; Z. Bauman)

(3) Lecture notes on M. Scheler e L. Ricolfi

(4) Set books to be read in every seminar:

G. Orsina, La democrazia del narcisismo. Breve storia dell'antipolitica, Marsilio, 2018

P.A. Sorokin, La rivoluzione sessuale americana, a cura di L. Allodi, Cantagalli, 2021

P.A. Sorokin, La dinamica sociale e culturale, Utet, 1977 (only some selected parts)

(5) Within a specific seminar a list of texts will be distributed, from which students will draw in order to choose a text to be studied in depth and on which to carry out, on a voluntary basis, a short paper. All students who attend the seminars have to read the material (parts of texts, articles, etc.) assigned from week to week.

Teaching methods

Teaching takes place according to the mixed above-detailed teaching methods

Assessment methods

At the beginning of the course, students will be provided with instructions about the three mid-term exams, also with regard to sanitary conditions. To sit for these intermediate online exams in October, November, and December, they are invited to carefully attend lectures and seminars.

Marks are out of 30, and the pass mark is 18. Only students who have sat and passed all three intermediate exams may sit for the final oral exam.

Those students who do not sit the intermediate exams, or who are absent at two of the intermediate exams, or who do not pass two of the intermediate exams, shall sit a written exam covering all the topics of the program.

Oral examination

The oral exam focuses mainly on the two reference texts and the material provided within the seminar attended, but also on the fundamental concepts of the course. It is mandatory for everyone and can be sit in an appeal of the January-February session or in September.

Topics of the first mid-term test: L. Ricolfi and the growth equation; the rise of sociology; Comte, Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim, Weber. To prepare for this test it is necessary to study the textbook n. (1) (chapters dedicated to the authors) and lecture notes (about M. Scheler and L. Ricolfi);

Topics of the second mid-term test: La Scuola di Francoforte: M. Horkheimer e T.W. Adorno; Sviluppi della teoria critica: H. Marcuse e J. Habermas; Il funzionalismo e la teoria dei sistemi in T. Parsons e N. Luhmann; La teoria critica; Sviluppi della teoria critica; Z. Bauman. To prepare for this mid-term test, it is necessary to study the textbook n. (2) (chapters dedicated to the authors and above-indicated schools) and lecture notes.

Topics of the third mid-term test: G. Orsina, La democrazia del narcisismo. Breve storia dell'antipolitica, Marsilio, 2018; P.A. Sorokin, La rivoluzione sessuale americana, a cura di L. Allodi, Cantagalli, 2021; P.A. Sorokin, La dinamica sociale e culturale, Utet, 1977 (only some selected parts); L. Scaraffia, Storia della lberazione sessuale, Marsilio, material provided and assigned during the seminars.

In the three written tests the knowledge (also of a comparative type) that students have acquired on the authors, on the sociological paradigms and on the topics presented in the course will be verified.

Mark refusal

Students who have passed all the three mid-term tests can refuse the mark given for a single test. In this case, they are required to carefully prepare the corresponding part of the program and to sit a written test within one examination session. The mark refusal is to be notified via email within 3 days from the publication of the results of the third mid-term test. Students can also refuse the final mark (mid-term tests + oral test), but they will be expected to sit a written exam covering the entire program.

Exam for non-attending students

Students not attending the course can sit a written exam on books (1) (2) and on the reference texts of the chosen seminar. The written and oral exams shall be held during the winter exam session or during the September 2022 exam session. Students have to contact prof. Allodi to agree texts and material in order to integrate the program and the above-specified bibliographic indications. The written exam will take place according to the procedures detailed at the time. Those students who do not sit the intermediate exams, or who are absent at two of the intermediate exams, or who do not pass two of the intermediate tests, shall be deemed as “non-attending students”.

Tutorial course

Working students or who have to pass one or more of the assigned exams, and ERASMUS students, are invited to attend the online tutorial lectures and to sit for the exam as indicated by the tutor, dott. Giacomo Miranda.

Teaching tools

Slides 

Sending  materials (mail) for personal study 

Office hours

See the website of Leonardo Allodi

See the website of