Anno Accademico 2023/2024

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

By the end of this course, students will be able to distinguish and analyze the different notions of globalization, and how information technologies affect everyday life, markets, and the process of consumption. In particular, the student will be able to: - develop an understanding of “Globalization” through a sociological lens - understand the culture of the Internet and the relationship between globalization and web society - analyze the impact on individual behaviors and society at large within Social Networks & Online Communities through the mainstreaming of private information posted to the public sphere - frame the emergence of a new rhetoric of “democratization” and participation in the web society - understand the changing relationship between producers, consumers and “prosumers” in the web society - recognize consequences and effects of the Digital Divide nationally and worldwide.


A printed detailed syllabus will be provided to students on the first day of class. The course is structured in four learnings modules as follows:
1. Globalizations: Definitions, History, Critiques & Social Consequences

2. Digital society and media: Context analysis, Media Evolution, Platformization & Social Consequences

3. Production, consumption, prosumption: Paradigm and definition, The rise of the digital prosumer, Prosumer capitalism & exploitation

4. Digital divide and inequalities: Definition, Characteristics & Social Consequences

Each module will have specific reading material and planned classroom activities.



  • G. Ritzer (2018), The McDonaldization of Society: Into the Digital Age, SAGE Publications.
  • J. van Dijk (2018), The Platform Society: Public Values in a Connective World, Oxford University Press.


  • G. Ritzer, P. Degli Esposti (2020), Creative Destruction and Cultural Lag in the Digital Age, Sociology Between the Gaps
  • Ritzer, G., & Degli Esposti, P. (2020). The increasing centrality of prosumption in the digital capitalist economy. Österreichische Zeitschrift Für Soziologie: Vierteljahresschrift Der Österreichischen Gesellschaft Für Soziologie, 45(3), 351. https://doi-org.ezproxy.unibo.it/10.1007/s11614-020-00422-z

During the lectures will be given mandatory specific teaching materials (book chapters, articles, papers, documents, video). All the references will be available on the University of Bologna online teaching material platform.

To balance classroom activities, nonattending students, or those who do not pass the midterm test, in addition to the above syllabus, will have to choose one book and two articles from these:


  • Lupton, D. (2015), Digital Sociology, Routledge, London.
  • N. Agar (2019), How to BeHuman in the Digital Economy, The MIT Press.
  • Finn, E. (2018), What Algorithms Want. Imagination in the Age of Computing, The MIT Press.
  • Garten, J. (2016), From Silk to Silicon: The Story of Globalization, Amberley Publishing Limited.
  • Swartz, L. (2020). New money : how payment became social media. Yale University Press. Tapscott, D., Tapscot, A. (2016), Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Penguin.


  • G. Ahrne, P. Aspers, N. Brunsson (2015) The Organization of Markets, Organization Studies, Vol. 36(1) 7-22, Sage.
  • R. J. Foster, The Work of the New Economy: Consumers, Brands and Value Creation, Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 2 issue 4, pp. 707-731, University of California Press.
  • B. Cova, D. Dalli (2009), Working Consumers: The Next Step in Marketing Theory?, Marketing Theory, Volume: 9 issue: 3, page(s): 315-339, Sage.
  • D. Lyon (2010), Liquid Surveillance. The Contribution of Zygmunt Bauman to Surveillance Studies, International Political Sociology 4.
  • D. Lyon (2002), Surveillance in Cyberspace: The Internet, Personal Data, & Social Control, Queen's Quarterly, 109 (3).

Metodi didattici

A mix of lectures, seminars, collective discussion, student's presentations, documentaries and films.
Students are expected to be prepared on the assigned readings before each class.    
Participation is expected and rewarded. 

Modalità di verifica e valutazione dell'apprendimento

Students must do each week's readings before class and attend each lecture and section meeting. Attendance, participation, and engagement are crucial to the course's quality and success.

There are four major components of the course, all of which are required:

  1. Active participation in class debates and activities
  2. Individual or group presentation
  3. Mid Term Test
  4. Final Test

Those who do not attend the course and would like to take the exam are quick to contact the professor in advance (please refer to the specific examination modalities for non-attendees).

Assessment methods

The final exam aims to verify the achievement of the educational objectives. Students must attend at least 75% of classes.

Evaluation criteria:

A. Active participation in class debates and activities 25%

B. Individual or group presentation 25%

C. Mid-Term Test 25%

D. Final Test 25%

To succeed in the course students must pass ALL assessments.

To register for the final grade, enroll in the official dates on the website Almaesami https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm


Writing a 5000-word paper on a topic agreed upon with the lecturer is mandatory for those who do not attend, those who failed the midterm test, or wish to improve their score.

The paper is due two weeks before the oral exam date. The second part of the exam will be defending the paper and an interview on the whole syllabus.

The final score will be a weighted average of the two tests: written paper and interview.


Strumenti a supporto della didattica

In-person lectures and seminar activities will be supported by educational material in digital form: slides and scientific articles in particular. Students will be able to use computers or tablets for class activities.
An extensive bibliography will also be provided for those who wish to study the subject in depth.

All student papers will be verified through the Compilatio.net plagiarism verification system

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Piergiorgio Degli Esposti


Parità di genere Città e comunità sostenibili Consumo e produzione responsabili Pace, giustizia e istituzioni forti

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