PhD in Sociology and Social Research

Academic Year 2021-2022
Subject area Legal, Politological, Economic and Statistical Sciences
Cycle 37
Coordinator Prof. Antonio Francesco Maturo
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years
Positions 5 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 09, 2021 to Jul 19, 2021
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2021
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Sociology and Business Law - SDE
Associated Departments
Department of the Arts - DARvipem
Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures - LILEC
Mobility abroad
6 months
Research topics
  • Sociological theory and research methodology
  • Urban sociology, tourism and migratory processes
  • Sociology of cultural and communicative processes
  • Digital Sociology
  • Sociology of family and generations
  • Sociology of education and socialisation processes
  • Sociology of deviance, criminology and victimology
  • Sociology of Health
  • Sociology of well-being
  • Sociology of Social Policy
  • Sociology of economic processes, organisation and work
  • Sociology of Consumption
  • Social communication and participatory processes
  • Sociology of web society
  • Sociology of Social Innovation
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
The PhD candidates find their optimal position as researcher at universities, or in public and private research institutions. From an internal research, it came out that previous PhD candidates from our programme work in the following fields:
- Planning and evaluation of social and health policy
- In the public sector and in the third sector
- Human resources in big firms
- Trade unions relationship for big enterprises
- Marketing and consumer cultures
- Health care organisations (both public and private)
The PhD programme grants them high skills level in the field of sociology, both theoretical and applied. The PhDs are able to compete for the position of directors and coordinators of research programmes in public, private and third sector organisations, experts in security and safety, NGOs and professional training.
Admission Board

Surname Name University/Institution Role email
Migliorati Lorenzo Università di Verona Member
Musarò Pierluigi Università di Bologna Member
Sette Raffaella Università di Bologna Member
Castrignanò Marco Università di Bologna Substitute
Parmiggiani Paola Università di Bologna Substitute
Pitti Ilaria Università di Bologna Substitute
Learning outcomes
The main aims are the formation and improvement of highly qualified professionals with a strong and solid attitude for the elaboration, organisation and direction of empirical and theoretical research. The PhD programme is organised to educate scholars who will be able to manage:
- Theoretical and sociological reflections along with the most important and innovative emerging social issues;
- Field-work with qualitative and quantitative methodologies, also in the digital realm.
To achieve these goals the candidates are invited, in the first year, to participate to several methodological seminars, designed to improve their quantitative and qualitative techniques of sociological research. Along the whole period of study the candidates are invited to participate to regular methodological laboratories, organised to make them able to utilize statistical programmes for the social sciences, as SPSS and Stata.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
During the PhD programme the candidates will analyze critically the main theoretical sociological paradigms and its methodological consequences. More specifically, the candidates will carry out the following activities:
- Theoretical research
- Fieldwork, that is:
a) How to plan a sociological research
b) Operationalisation of the research
c) Selection of the best methodology and research techniques
d) Data collection by qualitative and quantitative
e) Data analysis and data interpretation
f) How to write the research paper
- Tutoring and teaching assistance in classes and group work with junior students
- Writing reviews and working papers
- Research activities carried out abroad for 6 months in a university.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
The PhD candidates are required to attend a methodological course of 90 hours, including specific units dedicated to quantitative and qualitative methodologies; research tecniques; utilisation of data base; elaboration of a research design; evaluation of research's results. They have to attend specialised seminars organised by the teaching staff and they are also invited to select national and international seminars, summer schools and conferences, related with their PhD thesis. They have at disposal a specialised library with all the main sociological journals and reviews: a laboratory where they can actually improve their methodological competencies, an several dedicated PC stations. Each candidate is attributed to a internal tutor which sustains and leads the personal research of the candidate.
Internationalization features
- Information about the PhD programme are sent by an institutional e-mail to a large number of sociological departments in several foreign countries. Moreover, information about the PhD programme are sent to international sociological networks (International Sociological Association, European Sociological Association, British Sociological Association) and then spread to their members.
- The PhD candidates are obliged to spend six months of their research period abroad, in foreign universities, to follow classes and/or to work on their dissertation. They are strongly invited to partecipate at international conferences and summer schools.
- The PhD programme hosts every year several international guests from foreign universities.
- The PhD programme offers classes in order to learn out to write an article for international journals and how to write abstracts in order to be accepted at international conferences.
- At the moment, a PhD candidate (Laura Tanzini - XXXV Cicle) is achieving a joint-PhD (with Barcelona Pompeo Fabra University).
- In 2020 a joint-PhD was achievied with a KU Leuven (Giulia Ganugi - XXXI Cicle).
- Agreements have been signed with Ghent University and University of Bielefeld.
Expected research results and products
On the basis of the deep learning of the main sociological paradigms and their connection with the methodological outcomes, the candidates are expected to acquire a personal and original research style. Moreover, the candidates should write:
- At least one scientific article in a sociological journal during the 3 years of the PhD programme;
- An innovative thesis;
- The publication of a paper with the results of the thesis or a second article, within 2 years after the end of the PhD programme.
The Academic Board will help the candidate to connect with publisher and journals. Moreover, the Board encourages the candidates to work on emerging social issues that can help solving social problems on local, national or international basis. Therefore, the Academic Board will help to spread candidates' research results towards the main institutions that could be affected and through the most appropriate channels. Candidates' research is timely monitored by the Academic Board.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Name Surname University/Institution Qualification
Maurizio Bergamaschi Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Paulus Albertus Blokker Università di Bologna Professore Associato Confermato
Vando Borghi Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Piet Bracke University of Ghent (Belgium) Professore Ordinario
Marco Castrignanò Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Antonella Ceccagno Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Federico Chicchi Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Dalton Clark Conley Princeton University (USA) Professore Ordinario
Piergiorgio Degli Esposti Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Andrea Maria Maccarini Università degli Studi di Padova Professore Ordinario
Gabriele Manella Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Alessandro Martelli Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Antonio Francesco Maturo Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Lorenzo Migliorati Università degli Studi di Verona Professore Associato
Pierluigi Musarò Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Roberta Paltrinieri Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Paola Parmiggiani Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Chiara Pattaro Università degli Studi di Padova Professore Associato
Giovanni Pieretti Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Ilaria Pitti Università di Bologna Ricercatore a tempo determinato
Raffaella Sette Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario


Final Ranking list