Course Unit Page


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

Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - knows the scenarios of social development of the child and adolescent; - will know some of the main interpretative models of family system at national and international level; - has theoretical as well as operational tools for reading family contexts; - will be able to understand and critically analyze the factors that contribute to determining gender roles; - will be able to master the category of gender and the concepts proper to contemporary feminist thought, applying them to the international context; - will know the dynamics relating to gender inequalities in Italy, both in the family and outside the family (in particular educational and employment); will be able to understand the current evolution of motherhood and fatherhood; will know the main policies related to work-family balance in a comparative international perspective; will master gender differences from a historical and sociological perspective.

Course contents

The course examines some key concepts in the sociology of the family and in gender studies.

The first part, after introducing the main theoretical perspectives on family, sex, gender and sexual orientation, explores the following topics: dynamics relating to socialization to sexual roles; implications of differences and inequalities between men and women; gender and sexual emancipation in Italian history and the history of feminism; the social construction of femininity and masculinity in the contemporary media.

The second part focuses on family dynamics in a gendered perspective, including: stages of transition to adulthood; fertility and the labor market; family ties; work-family balance; make family in daily experience.


Mandatory readings are:

1. Powerpoint slides available at Virtuale.unibo.it (course platform) of the current year;

2. C. Saraceno e M. Naldini, Sociologia della famiglia, 2013 (or fourth ed., Mulino, Bologna 2021, chapters 1,3,4,5,7,8.

3A. R. Ghigi, Fare la differenza. L'educazione di genere dalla prima infanzia all'età adulta, Il Mulino 2019;


3B. C. Ottaviano e G. Persico, Maschilità e cura educativa. Contronarrazioni per un (altro) mondo possibile, Genova UNiversity Press, 2020, Chapters 1,2,4,5. Freely available at the following address: https://gup.unige.it/sites/gup.unige.it/files/pagine/Maschilita_e_cura_educativa_ebook_indicizzato.pdf;

4. R. Ghigi & R. Sassatelli, Corpo, genere e società, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2018.

5. F. Restaino "Il pensiero femminista. una storia possibile", in A. Cavarero e F. Restaino, Le filosofie femministe, Mondadori, 2002.


In order to be considered as an attending student one has to answer to four assignments on the E-learning platform by 20 May 2022. These assignments replace the study of readings n.4 and 5 of the previous list.

Erasmus students can have the final test in English. Alternatively, they can ask to the teacher to prepare a different program on texts in English.

Teaching methods

Interactive classes; reading of texts; multimedia supports. E-learning platform.

Assessment methods

The 8 CFU exam consists, for all, of a 20-minute written test with 12 closed-ended questions (2 points for each correct answer, 0 for each non-answer, -1 for each incorrect answer) on the readings in points 1-3 of the aforementioned bibliography (see above).

Those who have not carried out four e-learning assignments are asked to answer, in addition to this test, to three open-ended questions on the readings at points 4 and 5 of the bibliography (the questions in an assignment may be on one or both texts, so both must be prepared) and will have an additional 30 minutes, for a total of 50 minutes.

The score obtained with the answers to the open-ended questions on Ghigi & Sassatelli's and Restaino's texts (or in the four e-learning tests) is of max 10 total points and it will be added to the one obtained from the close-ended questions (max 24 points).
On the e-learning platform of the course, a facsimile of the assignment (test and open questions) will be available before the first exam

Teaching tools

Slides; readings; videos and multimedia; e-learning platform.

Office hours

See the website of Maddalena Cannito