90489 - Consumption, Sustainability and Social Innovation

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student:

knows in depth the social aspects of consumption;

possesses the tools to analyze and understand consumption practices in contemporary society together with its relation to the processes of globalization, individualization and accountability;

possesses the theoretical and methodological tools to analyze the consumption in relation to sustainability (economic, environmental and social) and to the processes of social innovation.

Course contents

The course is organized with a part of lectures taught online on MS TEAMS (20/16 hours) and another taught in presence (20/16 hours). The number of students allowed in class is determined on the basis of class capacity and by the health and safety provisions that deal with the pandemic emergency. In case more students want to attend classes in presence than permitted by the rules, a system of shifts will be organized so to allow students to participate. 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 remotely on MS TEAMS.

The course deals with the study of the sociology of consumption from its origins to the present day, focusing on contemporary theories such as theories of practice and social generativity.

The main objectives of the course are:

understanding how consumption play a key role in the sustainable development in local communities

how consumption engages social innovation and culture as prerequisites for sustainable urban policies.

The course will analyze examples and case studies, both in a theoretical prospective and with an empirical approach of social practices of responsible consumption and social innovation.

Students have to participate to the class by discussing and preparing papers


R. Paltrinieri, Felicità responsabile, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2012

U. Beck, La società del rischio, Carocci, ROMA, 2000

un libro a scelta tra:

E. Manzini, Abitare la prossimità, Egea,Milano, 2021

L. Bovone e C. Lunghi, Italia Creativa. Condivisone, sostenibilità, innovazione, Donzelli, Roma, 2020

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

Learning will be assessed through individual interview based on the exam reference texts, in order to evaluate both the learning of course content by the student and his analysis and argumentation skills.

Students having an excellent critical and in-depth analysis skills, the ability to link the main issues addressed in the course, the use of appropriate language with respect to the specificity of the discipline, will result in an 'excellent' assessment .

Students having a mnemonic knowledge of the contents, of a discrete critical capacity and connection between the course themes, the use of an appropriate language, will result in an 'discrete' assessment .

A 'sufficient' assessment will be given in case of: formative gaps but, however, capacity to achieve a minimal knowledge on topics the course is focused on; the use of inappropriate language.

A 'negative' assessment will be given in case of: the lack of critical thinking skills, orientation difficulties with respect to the issues addressed in the exam textbooks, formative gaps, the use of inappropriate language

Teaching tools

pc, video, films

Office hours

See the website of Roberta Paltrinieri