cod. 16543

Academic year 2023/24
3° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Sociologia dei processi culturali e comunicativi (SPS/08)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student is able to:
- apply the main theoretical and methodological tools of the sociology of culture and communication to the understanding of contemporary cultural and communication dynamics, the issues of socio-cultural reproduction and change, cultural diversity, cultural and media industries, language and media representations.
- participate with greater awareness, autonomy and reflexivity in the world of contemporary communication and in cultural negotiations and contentions
- communicate and compare their ideas and opinions in public debate, recognizing the complexity and legitimacy of different points of view without giving up their own


No specific prior knowledge is required.
For attending students, a basic understanding of Italian is required.

Those who need an introduction to sociology, can refer to: Laura Gherardi (a cura di), Scoprire la sociologia: teorie e temi essenziali, Pearson, Milano, 2021. Or, alternatively, to Giddens, Anthony, and Sutton, Philip W. (any edition) Sociology. Polity press. These texts do NOT constitute material for the exam.

Course unit content

The course is designed as an introduction to the sociology of cultural and communicative processes, and aims to provide the cognitive tools for understanding and critically analyzing the social world, with particular reference to its cultural and communicative dimensions.
After an introduction to the sociological outlook and the sociology of cultural processes, the course will focus on two macro-themes: a) culture and cultural processes in contemporary society, b) communication in contemporary society. We will therefore reason about the concept of culture, the study of cultural dynamics, the relationship between culture, society and social order/change, the nexus between material and symbolic dimensions of social life, pluralism and cultural diversity. We will then map the various forms of contemporary communication (interpersonal, public, mediated) and focus on the dimensions of language and cultural and media representations.

Full programme

- Introduction to sociology and to sociology of communication and cultural processes
- What is culture and how it is studied
- Culture, social order and social change. Innovation/tradition. How culture changes (or does not)
- Cultural pluralism (generations, social classes, genders, origins)
- Material culture, cultural industries
- Common sense and the order of interaction
- Communication from a sociological point of view
- Interpersonal and mediated communication
- Language and social change
- Cultural representations, media representations.


1) Sciolla, Loredana, e Torrioni, Paola Maria (2020). Sociologia dei processi culturali. Cultura, individui, società. Il Mulino

2) Belluati, Marinella, e Tirocchi, Simona (2023). Sociologia della comunicazione e degli ambienti mediali. Pearson.

The mandatory parts of the above texts, as well as any other reference texts, will be indicated at the beginning of the course.

Teaching methods

The course will integrate the following teaching methods: frontal lectures, discussion of visual and audiovisual materials, interactive discussions, group work, analysis of case studies, seminars with external lecturers and experts. The course will be delivered in presence. Slides and other teaching materials will be uploaded as a learning support for attending and nonattending students.

Assessment methods and criteria

Both attending and nonattending students should read and study the reference texts (see Section "Reference texts") supported by the slides and materials uploaded onto the Elly platform.

The oral exam will consist, for both attending and non-attending students, of an interactive discussion around the contents of the course and reference texts.

The evaluation will be according to the following criteria:
- Knowledge and understanding of the program content
- Ability to apply concepts and theories to concrete examples (research examples, examples from own experience)
- Critical reworking of the course contents
- Clarity of exposition and argumentation

Grades will be given in thirtieths.

Other information

The slides and other teaching materials will be uploaded on the course webpage on the Elly 2023 platform.