Scheda insegnamento

  • Docente Lorenza Gattamorta

  • Crediti formativi 10

  • SSD SPS/08

  • Modalità didattica Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza

  • Lingua di insegnamento Inglese

Anno Accademico 2019/2020

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

The course investigates the role played by culture in social relations and in institutional processes as well. In particular, culture is analysed such as one of the main resources developed by social groups, people and Nations, that is as the focus on some crucial geopolitical, economic and religious themes that dominate the international debate. At the end of the course, students are able to know the different perspectives outlined by classic authors about the relationship between society and culture. Moreover, they are able to point out and examine the cultural dynamics that are involved in social processes both nationwide and at an international level.


The course examines sociology’s main contributions to our understanding of national and international cultural processes, with particular focus on:


1st Part

Social and Intellectual Forces in the Rise of Sociological Theory; A. de Tocqueville; A. Comte; É. Durkheim; K. Marx.


2nd Part

Max Weber; G. Simmel; E. Goffman; Contemporary Theories of Modernity.


3rd Part

Globalization Theory.


Upon completion of the course, students are expected to: have an analytical and critical understanding of the specific contribution of the main social theorists and schools of thought they have studied; be able to identify sociological works and theories that have also had an impact on the study of international relations; have a good understanding of the fundamental problems of social epistemology and ontology (individualism vs. holism; materialism vs. cultural autonomy; realism vs. social constructionism; social order vs. social conflict; cosmopolitanism vs. communitarianism); know the main interpretations of the relationship between culture, society and politics with particular attention to the significance and role of cultural pluralism in modern contemporary society.


Section I

G. Ritzer, J.N. Stepniski, Sociological Theory, 10th edition, Sage, Los Angeles, 2018 (pp. 1-19; 42-159; 170-179; 347-364; 528-544; 549-554; 300-307; 592-609).

D. Held, A. McGrew, Globalization/Anti-Globalization: Beyond the great divide, Polity, Cambridge (Chapters 1 and 2).

Sh. Benahbib, The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2002 (Chapters 1 and 2).

Class notes


Section II (a chosen book)

J.C. Alexander, Performance and Power, Polity, Cambridge, 2011.  

M. A. Centeno, E. Enriquez, War and Society, Polity, Cambridge, 2016.

Ronald F. Inglehart, Cultural Evolution: People's Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World, Cambridge University Press, 2018.

B. Moffitt, The Global Rise of Populism. Performance, Political Style, and Representation, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2016.

Y. Mounk, The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It, Cambridge (MT), Harvard University Press, 2018.

J. S. Nye, Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics, Public Affairs, New York, 2005.

R. Soborski, Ideology in a Global Age. Continuity and Change, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2013.

Metodi didattici

The course consists of traditional lectures, each dealing with a specific topic. All students are asked to register to the distribution list in order to receive via e-mail information and teaching material the professor makes available (the service is available only to regularly matriculated students).

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Examinations for attending students

Attending students will carry out: three midterm written tests on the texts indicated in Section I and an oral examination on a chosen book indicated in Section II.


Each midterm written test will last 55 minutes and will consist of 6 open ended questions. The mark for each midterm test will be expressed out of a maximum of thirty points, the pass mark will be 18. Only those students who have sat and passed all three midterm tests may sit the oral exam that will take place during the Summer or September exam sessions.


The first midterm test will be held in March; the second midterm test in April; the third midterm test in May.


Should students not sit (or fail) one of the three midterm tests, they will be able to sit (or re-sit) this midterm test in the first exam date. Students who do not sit (or fail) 2 midterm tests, will be considered as non attending.


Examinations for non-attending students

During the Summer or September exam sessions, non-attending students will carry out a written test on the texts indicated in Section I (in this case the written test will last 2 hours and will consist in 15 open ended questions) and an oral exam on a chosen book indicated in Section II.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Video projector

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Lorenza Gattamorta