Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course aims to address the main sociological theories on the subject of discrimination on the labor market with respect to ascribed characteristics such as gender, race, age and class of origin, and to some acquired characteristics such as qualifications and work experience. At the end of the course, students will be able to: identify and critically analyze the main theories on occupational discrimination in terms of gender and migratory status; · identify the different forms of occupational segregation present in post-Fordist and developing countries. evaluate case studies (national labor markets and labor policies) in the light of the theories learned.

Course contents

The course aims to provide a theoretical and empirical perspective for the analysis of the main forms of discrimination on the labor market. First of all it will provide the basis for the analysis of the labor market. then it will deal with some issues strictly related to gender (maternity and maternity services, reproductive market, violence in the workplace, women in academia, care cycle for immigrant women). Lastly, the course flexibility and the condition of immigrant in the labor market will be discussed, with a focus on the gig economy.

The course is organized in lectures and seminars, as detailed in the following program. Lectures (16 hours) aim to introduce students to the core tenets of the discipline. Seminars aim to provide occasions for in-depth discussions of class materials. The division into lessons and seminars is specified in the program that follows. For the seminar section (12 hours), students will be divided into 2 groups. Therefore, a total of 28 classroom hours are scheduled for each student. Students are required to carefully read the assigned material before the session and - in the case of seminars - active participation through presentations of existing scholarship and exercises will also be expected.


Marked readings are mandatory for both attending and non-attending students.

The structure of the lessons will be as follows:

  • Lessons 1-6: Nature and structure of the labor market. The new participation in the work of women. Flexibility of work and unstable occupations. Immigrants in a segmented labor market. Readings:
    • ***Reyneri, E. (2017) Introduzione alla sociologia del mercato del lavoro, Capp. 1,2,7,9. Bologna, il Mulino**.
  • Lessons 7-8: Feminist Theory: Transforming the Known World, Development, Intersectionality. Readings:
    • ***Disch, L. J., & Hawkesworth, M. E. (Eds.). (2016). The Oxford handbook of feminist theory. Chapters:1, 20 Oxford: Oxford University Press**
    • ***Naila Kabeer (2015) Gender, poverty, and inequality: a brief history of feminist contributions in the field of international development, Gender & Development, 23:2, 189-205, DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2015.1062300**
    • ***Angelucci, A. (2015). Origini e nuovi possibili scenari dell’Intersectionality Theory: Dal genere allo spazio urbano. AG AboutGender, 4(8), 262–283.***
    • Mary Ann Clements & Caroline Sweetman (2020) Introduction: Reimagining International Development, Gender & Development, 28:1, 1-9, DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2020.1735800
    • Gaëlle Ferrant & Keiko Nowacka (2015) Measuring the drivers of gender inequality and their impact on development: the role of discriminatory social institutions, Gender & Development, 23:2, 319-332, DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2015.1053221
    • Disch, L. J., & Hawkesworth, M. E. (Eds.). (2016). The Oxford handbook of feminist theory. Chapter:8, Oxford: Oxford University Press


  • Lesson 9: Women and market. Readings:
    • Bertolini S., Solera C. (2016). Il lavoro atipico in Italia: trappola o ponte verso la conciliazione? Le interruzioni lavorative intorno alla maternità di tre coorti di donne, in "Economia & lavoro, Rivista di politica sindacale, sociologia e relazioni industriali" 3, pp. 133-154, doi: 10.7384/85924
    • Boccagni, P. (2009). Come fare le madri da lontano? : percorsi, aspettative e pratiche della maternità transnazionale dall'Italia, in Mondi migranti. Fascicolo 1.
    • Stertz, A. M., Grether, T., Wiese, B. S. (2017) Gender-role attitudes and parental work decisions after childbirth: A longitudinal dyadic perspective with dual-earner couples. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 101. pp. 104-118.
    • Falletta L, Abbruzzese S, Fischbein R, Shura R, Eng A, Alemagno S. (2019) Work Reentry After Childbirth: Predictors of Self-Rated Health in Month One Among a Sample of University Faculty and Staff. Saf Health Work. 2020 Mar;11(1):19-25. doi:10.1016/j.shaw.2019.12.006.
    • Morgenroth, T., Heilman, M. E. (2017). Should I stay or should I go? Implications of maternity leave choice for perceptions of working mothers. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 72, Pages 53-56.
    • Del Boca, D., Locatelli, M., & Vuri, D. (2005). Child-Care Choices by Working Mothers: The Case of Italy. Review of Economics of the Household, 3(4), 453–477.
    • Del Boca, D. (2015) Child Care Arrangements and Labor Supply. InterAmerican Development Bank.
    • Per altre info: https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/259324 [http://]

  • Lesson 10: Old and new discriminations. Readings:
    • *** Disch, L. J., & Hawkesworth, M. E. (Eds.). (2016). The Oxford handbook of feminist theory. Chapter:22 Oxford: Oxford University Press ***
    • Vora K. (2019) ‘After the Housewife. Surrogacy labour and human reproduction’. Radical Philosophy 2.04. available at https://www.radicalphilosophy.com/article/after-the-housewife
    • Bandelli, D., Corradi C. (2019) Abolishing or regulating surrogacy : the meanings of freedom according to Italian feminism, in Salute e società: XVIII, 1.
    • Danna, D. (2019) The subrogation of motherhood : a judicial institution that puts kinship on the market, in Salute e società : XVIII, 1.
    • Jacobson, H. (2021). Commercial surrogacy in the age of intensive mothering. Current Sociology, 69(2), 193-211.
    • Rudrappa, S. (2021). The impossibility of gendered justice through surrogacy bans. Current Sociology, 69(2), 286-299.
    • Monaco, Salvatore, and Alfonso Pezzella. "Coming out in the workplace: A comparative study between Italy and England." Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health(2022): 1-20
    • Filandri, M., & Pasqua, S. (2019). “Being good isn”t good enough’: gender discrimination in Italian academia. Studies in Higher Education, 1–19. http://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1693990
    • Marra, M. (2020). Intersectionality and emergence in time use analysis: possible pathways for gender research and work–family reconciliation policy in Italy. Community, Work & Family, 23(1), 80-106
  • Lesson 11: Violence in the workplace. Readings:
    • Kawaguchi, A., (2019) Maternity harassment in Japan: Why do regular employees have higher risk than non-regular employees do? Japan and the World Economy 49, Pages 84-94.
    • Acquadro Maran, D., Varetto, A., & Civilotti, C. (2022). Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Consequences and Perceived Self-Efficacy in Women and Men Witnesses and Non-Witnesses. Behavioral Sciences, 12(9), 326
    • Areguin, M. A. (2021) Putting People Down and Pushing Them Out: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior 8:1, 285-309
    • Basile, K. C., D'Inverno, A. S., & Wang, J. (2020). National Prevalence of Sexual Violence by a Workplace-Related Perpetrator. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 58(2), 216-223.
    • Hersch, J. (2015) Sexual harassment in the workplace. IZA World of Labor 188 doi: 10.15185/izawol.188
  • Lesson 12: Youth and flexibility. Readings:
    • DE LUIGI, N., Santangelo, F., (2017) Transition from University to Work in Italy (1998-2011): Over-education and Gender Differences across Fields of Study ITALIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION, 2017, 9, pp. 176 - 206
    • Ballarino, G., & Bratti, M. (2009). Field of Study and University Graduates' Early Employment Outcomes in Italy during 1995–2004. Labour, 23(3), 421–457. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9914.2009.00459.x
    • Barbieri, P., Cutuli, G., Lugo, M., & Scherer, S. (2015). The Role of Gender and Education in Early Labor Market Careers: Long-Term Trends in Italy. In Gender, Education and Employment (pp. 142–160). Edward Elgar Publishing.http://doi.org/10.4337/9781784715038.00016
    • Çelik, Ç., Gökşen, F., Filiztekin, A., Öker, I., & Smith, M. (2019). Fragile transitions from education to employment: Youth, gender and migrant status in the EU. In Youth and the Politics of the Present (pp. 59-74). Routledge
    • Fellini, I., Fullin, G., (2015). Giovani adulti di fronte alla crisi occupazionale in Italia e Spagna. Immigrati e autoctoni a confronto. Mondi Migranti
    • Bozzon R., Murgia A. and Villa P. (2017). Precariousness and gender asymmetries among early career researchers: a focus on stem fields in the Italian academia. Polis, 31(1): 127-158. DOI: 10.1424/86082
    • Orfao, G., del Rey, A., & Malo, M. Á. (2021). A Multidimensional Approach to Precarious Employment Among Young Workers in EU-28 Countries. Social Indicators Research, 158(3), 1153-1178.
    • ***Barbieri, P., & Cutuli, G. (2014). Flessibilità ai margini, segmentazione del mercato del lavoro e disoccupazione in Europa. In Barbieri e Fullin (a cura di), Lavoro, Istituzioni, diseguaglianze. Bologna, il Mulino 71-95. ***
  • Lesson 13: Migrants and labor market. Readings:
    • *** Disch, L. J., & Hawkesworth, M. E. (Eds.). (2016). The Oxford handbook of feminist theory. Chapter: 25 Oxford: Oxford University Press ***
    • Perrotta D., (2011) Vite in cantiere, Capitolo 4 parr. 1-5, Bologna, Il Mulino
    • Bolzani, D., Crivellaro, F., & Grimaldi, R. (2021). Highly skilled, yet invisible. The potential of migrant women with a STEMM background in Italy between intersectional barriers and resources. Gender, Work & Organization, 28(6), 2132-2157
    • Näre, L. (2010). Sri Lankan men working as cleaners and carers: Negotiating masculinity in Naples. Men and Masculinities, 13(1), 65-86
    • Rosati, F., Coletta, V., Pistella, J., Scandurra, C., Laghi, F., & Baiocco, R. (2021). Experiences of Life and Intersectionality of Transgender Refugees Living in Italy: A Qualitative Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(23), 12385.
    • Vianello, F. A. (2012) Continuità e confini tra vita pubblica e vita privata. La doppia presenza delle assistenti familiari. AG About Gender: 1(2)
    • Boccagni, P. (2009). Come fare le madri da lontano? : percorsi, aspettative e pratiche della maternità transnazionale dall'Italia, in Mondi migranti. Fascicolo 1. 
  • Lesson 14. New challenges. Readings:
    • Casilli, A. A., (2020) Schiavi del clic Perché lavoriamo tutti per il nuovo capitalismo? Cap. 5 Feltrinelli. Torino
    • Pais, I. (2020) L'economia di piattaforma e l'economia collaborativa durante l'emergenza Covid-19, in Economia e società regionale: 2
    • Gandini, A., & Leonini, L. (2019). The myth of flexibility: young adults’ expectations of work in the digital economy in milan. In Youth and the Politics of the Present (pp. 101-112). Routledge
    • Lunghi, C., Mazzucotelli, S., Pais, I. (2018) La sharing economy nel panorama italiano : pratiche collaborative tra creatività, fiducia e intimità, in Studi di sociologia:2.
    • Vallas, S., & Schor, J. B. (2020). What Do Platforms Do? Understanding the Gig Economy. Annual Review of Sociology, 46(1), 273-294. doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-121919-054857
    • Romens, A. I. (2021). Lavoro da remoto, conciliazione tra tempi di vita e lockdown: per una prospettiva di genere. Sociologia del lavoro, 224-243.

Readings can change until September

Teaching methods

The first 8 lessons will be lectures.

From lesson 9 individual or group student presentations on the indicated topics are expected.

From lesson 9 students need to study the basic literature (indicated from lesson 1 to 8) and the texts marked with an asterisk for subsequent lessons, before lesson not after. The program of presentations will be agreed during the first week of lessons. Discussants will be assigned to every presentation.

Assessment methods

Attending Students:

Attending students will be evaluated as follows:

  • In lessons 6 and 8 students will take two multiple-choice in class-tests consisting of 8 questions each. Correct answers will be worth 2 points, incorrect or not given 0 points, for a total of 30 cum laude. Students are therefore invited to come to class with a tablet, mobile phone or laptop. (The mark obtained in the two tests will contribute to 25% of the final mark)
  • Presentation and participation in class (will contribute 35% of the final grade)
  • The review of an article (1000 words) agreed with the teacher at the end of the course to be delivered no later than one week after the end of the course. (The grade obtained for the review will contribute 40% of the grade).
  • To be considered attending, the two in class-tests must be taken, and an article presentation must be discussed in class.
  • The grade obtained by the attending students must be recorded no later than September 2023.
  • Students are required to register for in-class tests.

NON Attending Students:

Non attending students will be assessed with an open book take home exam lasting 24 hours. Please always carefully check the exam notes in which the date and time of the exam will be indicated, in general the exam will be available 24 hours before the official date of the exam.

The valid mark is the last one obtained in a session. The mark can be refused only once: the passing mark obtained after the first refusal will be automatically recorded, according to the University regulations.

The determination of the final mark takes place on the basis of the following criteria:

  • 18-19: very poor knowledge of the course's contents
  • 20-24: poor knowledge of the course's contents and limited capacity to organize critical thoughts
  • 25-29: good knowledge of the course's contents and good capacity to organize critical thoughts
  • 30-30 cum laude: excellent knowledge of the course's contents and excellent capacity to organize critical thoughts

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentation.

We will make extensive use of Virtuael where it will also be possible to find all the readings (mandatory and not) with the exception of Reyneri's manual of introduction to the sociology of the labor market.

Office hours

See the website of Federica Santangelo