75067 - Sociology of Communities and Urban Neighbourhoods

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has a knowledge of the concept of community declined both in socio-cultural and socio-spatial terms as well as the relationship between the concepts of community and social capital, with particular attention to the territorial dimension also from the empirical point of view . In particular, the student is able to: - distinguish the concepts of community and social capital at the general theory level - distinguish between standard and non-standard research tools, knowing advantages and disadvantages in the empirical territorial research focused on community and social capital concepts.

Course contents


The course is divided into three thematic modules.

In the first module  the relation between community and social capital will be considered in order to develop the connection between these two concepts and the neighborhood, in terms of urban sociology and in the light of recent acquisitions of neighborhood studies (R. Sampson). A specific focus will be dedicated to urban sustainability with particular reference to the relation between the concept of resilience and the neighborhood approach.

In the second module will be presented the relation between poverty, neighborhood and social capital through the development of a mixed methods approach (M. Small); the importance of the distinction between structure and culture in the study of urban poverty will also be stressed.

Third module

The third module aims to provide students with the knowledge and tools for the analysis of social phenomena in a defined territorial context (neighbourhood, urban micro area) characterized by socio-economic vulnerability.


M. Castrignanò (a cura di), Sociologia dei quartieri urbani, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2021 (open access scaricabile al link https://ojs.francoangeli.it/ omp/index.php/oa/catalog/book/685, o sul sito della casa editrice FrancoAngeli).

M. Castrignanò, "Sostenibilità , densità  e sviluppo urbano", in Sociologia urbana e rurale, n.85, 2008.

M.Castrignanò (a cura di), "Quartieri, povertà, culture", Sociologia urbana e rurale, n.103, 2014.

C. Marelli Mudan, La spazializzazione della questione sociale, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2020.

Teaching methods

frontal lessons and seminars.

Assessment methods

A final oral exam that consists in a conversation about the texts previously indicated. The oral test want to assess the learning of methodology of social research and technique contents discussed during the course. Appropriate language with the specific nature of the discipline, and the ability to deepen and put into connection with each other the main issues addressed in the course will result in assessments of excellence. Correct language, mnemonic knowledge of contents and partial ability to link the themes covered will produce discrete valuations. Inappropriate language, the presence of some training gaps but achieving a minimal body of knowledge on the topics covered will result in assessments sufficient. Lack of guidance within the themes addressed in the exam readings, inappropriate language, and training gaps will result in negative evaluations.

Teaching tools

slides presentation

Office hours

See the website of Marco Castrignanò