Anno Accademico 2023/2024

  • Modalità didattica: Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Laurea Magistrale in Sociologia e servizio sociale (cod. 8786)

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

At the end of the course, the student will be familiar with the main sociological concepts related to health, with a peculiar focus on the intersections between medicine and new technologies. More specifically, the concepts here involved are: medicalization, social determinants, health literacy, bio-socialities, genetization and pharmaceuticalization. Being more specific, the student will able to: - to analyze social phenomena related to health by sociological concepts ; - to evaluate from the standpoint of sociological theories the consequences of the technology and social networks related to medicine; - to analyze the relationship between new technologies in the health field and social inequalities.


Main concepts that will be discussed in the course:
Medicalization; Health cultures and healthscapes; Social theories for global health; Prevention health risks; Structural violence Pharmachologization; Wellbeing and mental health; Biomedicalization; Genetification; Human Enhancement; Reflexive longevity; STS; Digital health; Sociology of diagnosis; Neurochemical selves; Quantified self, Gamification, syndemic epidemics; endemic future.



Class #1

Introduction to the Course

Class #2

Conrad P. Shifting Engines of Medicalization, in Maturo A., Conrad P. (Eds.) (2009), The Medicalization of Life, Salute e Società, n. 2

Slides on 12 key words for Medical Sociology

Class #3

Link B. & Phelan J. (2000), Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Health Inequalities, in Bird C. et al. (eds), Handbook of Medical Sociology, Vanderbilt U.P., Nashville.


Class #4

Barker, K.K. (2014). Mindfulness meditation: Do-it-yourself medicalization of every moment. Social Science & Medicine, 106, 168-176.

Class #5

Scalvini M. (2010), Glamorizing sick body: how advertising has changed the representation of HIV/AIDS, Social Semiotics, 20(3): 219-231

Class #6

Kleinman P. (2010), Four social theories for global health, The Lancet, 375: 1518-1519

Farmer P. (2005), Pathologies of Power, University of California Press, Berkeley: Ch. 1 On suffering and structural violence, pp. 29-50.

Class #7

Maturo A. Shifting borders of medicalization, in Maturo A., Conrad P. (Eds.) (2009), The Medicalization of Life, Salute e Società, n. 2

Maturo A. (2012). Social Justice and Human Enhancement in Today's Bionic Society, “Salute e Societa'”, 2012, XI(2): 15-28

Class #8

Maturo, Mori and Moretti (2016), An Ambiguous Health Education: The Quantified Self and the Medicalization of the Mental Sphere. Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 8(3), 248- 268. doi: 10.14658/pupj-ijse-2016-3-12

Class #9

Horton R. (2020), COVID-19 is not a pandemic, The Lancet, VOLUME 396, ISSUE 10255, P874, SEPTEMBER 26, 2020 [https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/vol396no10255/PIIS0140-6736(20)X0039-0], 

Moretti V., Maturo A.,, Unhome’ Sweet Home: The Construction of New Normalities in Italy During COVID-19 in: Lupton D. Willis K. (Eds.), The COVID-19 Crisis. Social Perspectives, New York, Routledge, 2021, pp. 90 - 102

Class #10

Sismondo S. (2007), Science and Technology Studies and an Engaged Program. In The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (Third edition), pages 13–32. MIT PRess, Edward J. Hackett,‎ Olga Amsterdamska,‎ Michael E. Lynch,‎ Judy Wajcman (eds) edition, 2007.

Sismondo S. (2004), Ch. 7 Actor-Network Theory, in An Introduction to STS, Blackwell, Oxford.

Class #11

Marshall B.L. (2010), Science, medicine and virility surveillance: ‘sexy seniors' in the pharmaceutical imagination, Sociology of Health and Illness, 32/2 – Special Issue : Eds. Joyce K., Loe M. (2010), Technogenarians: studying health and illness through an ageing, science, and tecnology lens

Class #12

Maturo A. (2014) Fatism, Self-Monitoring and the Pursuit of Healthiness in the Time of Technological Solutionsim. “Italian Sociological Review”, 2014, 4 (2), 157-171

Class #13

Furedi F. (2006), The End of Professional Dominance, “Society”, 43(6): 14 18http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02698479?LI=true#page-1

Dodge, R., Daly, A., Huyton, J., & Sanders, L. (2012). The challenge of defining wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(3), 222-235.

Class #14

Wolf G. (2010), The Data-Driven Life, in «The New York Times – Sunday Review», May 2nd.

Maturo A., Setiffi F. (2016), The Gamification of Risk: How Health Apps Foster Self-Confidence And Why This Is Not Enough, (with F. Setiffi), “Health, Risk and Society”, 17(7-8): 477-494

Class #15

Kaufman S.R. (2010), Time, clinic technologies, and the making of reflexive longevity: the cultural work of time left in an ageing society, in: Sociology of Health and Illness, 32/2 – Special Issue : Eds. Joyce K., Loe M. (2010), Technogenarians: studying health and illness through an ageing, science, and tecnology lens

Class #16

Maturo A. (2022), Polysocial Risk Scores and Behavior-Based Health Insurance: Promises and Perils, Tecnoscienza, in press

Ruckenstein M., Savolainen L. (2022), Dimensions of autonomy in human–algorithm relations, "New Media & Society",

available on line:



Classes #17-20

Presentations by the students

Metodi didattici

Group discussion, class work, presentations.

Modalità di verifica e valutazione dell'apprendimento


Final examination.

Presentations in the classroom are part of the program.

Presentations will be based on one or more articles on HTS.

Students who do not attend classes must e-mail Prof. Maturo to discuss the syllabus.


Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Powerpoint, group discussion, papers.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Antonio Francesco Maturo


Salute e benessere Ridurre le disuguaglianze

L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.