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

Al termine del corso, lo studente: - possiede un inquadramento dei principali concetti e paradigmi interpretativi della sociologia del territorio; - sa applicare tali concetti e paradigmi per la comprensione delle tematiche emergenti dalla disciplina; - è in grado di distinguere le diverse fasi della ricerca sociologica sul territorio; - sa distinguere tra strumenti di tipo qualitativo e quantitativo in tale ricerca, conoscendone vantaggi e svantaggi; - conosce le caratteristiche delle principali fonti di informazione utilizzabili, sia quantitative che qualitative.

Course contents

In the first part of the course a general framework of the discipline will be given, with attention to some frequent concepts (space, place, ecological analysis, mobility, borders) and topics (local development, territorial organization and policy, territorial culture). Information sources will also be considered, with attention to  reliability criteria. We will also pay attention to some research territorial research tools, both qualitative and quantitative.

As regards the second part, we will introduce some studies from the Chicago School, as well as some recent studies ones continue that approach from an ecological and/or ethnographic perspective. We will also introduce the Mario Small's study in Villa Victoria, a Boston neighborhood, which is seminal for its methodology, the critical interpretation of the Chicago School approach, and the theoretical and empirical outputs.


For the 1st part:

G. Osti, Sociologia del territorio, il Mulino, Bologna, 2010.

For the 2nd part:

M.L. Small, Villa Victoria. Povertà e capitale sociale in un quartiere di Boston, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2011.

Further teaching material will be uploaded on Virtuale during the course.

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars, and teamworks to be presented at class.

The lessons will be recorded via Teams. The recording will be available in the Teams chat and it also will be uploaded on Virtuale platform (ATTENTION: The link to download the registration expires after 60 days)

Assessment methods


Students who attend the lessons can do a written exam at the end of the course (during the last lesson).

The exam is based on the topics presented at class. Therefore, any aspects of the textbooks not considered at class will not be asked and, vice versa, examples or other contents presented at class and not in the textbooks may be requested. The end-of-course exam will consist on 4 open questions (max 7.5 points per question) with 80 minutes.

Students who pass the exam (at least 18/30) must enroll in a dedicated list to register the final grade in one of the ordinary sessions (January-February 2021). NB: If the sum of the points in the questions gives a decimal number, the final grade is rounded up (Example: a sum of 27.5 becomes 28).


Students have the option to make team works during the course, with an oral  presentation and Powerpoint slides at class. The works may focus on one of the recommended texts or readings, or on another relevant topic of the sociology of the territory, theoretical and/or empirical.

Groups will consist of 3-5 students and are requested to agree the topic of their presentation with the teacher by October 10, 2021, by submitting an abstract (1500-2500 characters including spaces) via e-mail with the title, the aim, research tools and three bibliographic references. Students will present their work in one of the lessons in November, no later than one week before the written exam at the end of the course (15-20 minutes for each presentation: all the group members are requested to be at class or connected online the day of the presentation, and each one is requested to present a part of the work). The presentation will receive an evaluation from 0 to 2 points which will be added to the final grade obtained at the end-of-course exam or at the oral talk in one of the ordinary sessions (see the following paragraph). 



Students who do not want to take the end-of-course exam are requested to have their oral exam in one of the ordinary sessions. The exam usually consists on 3-4 open questions. For those who have attended the lessons, please see the clarifications in the section "Rules for the exam during the course", both for the topics and for any rounding of the final grade.

Oral integration of the written exam

Students have the right to request the integration of the end of course exam with an oral talk in the ordinary sessions, however this can be both an improvement and a pejorative for the final grade. In some exceptional cases, it is possible to agree other forms with the teacher.

Evaluation criteria

An appropriate language for the specificity of the discipline and the skill to deepen and connect the main topics of the course will result in excellent evaluations. A correct language, a mnemonic knowledge of the contents and a good skill to link the topics will result in good evaluations. Inappropriate language, some training gaps but the achievement of a minimum amount of knowledge on the issues will result in a sufficient evaluation.  Lack of orientation in the topics, inappropriate language and training gaps will result in a poor evaluation.

Teaching tools

Use of Powerpoint slides, use of videos, presentation of websites.

Office hours

See the website of Gabriele Manella