cod. 1004248

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Sociologia dei processi culturali e comunicativi (SPS/08)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
15 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course presents a general introduction to the Sociology of cultural and communicative processes and first analyses the main concepts, theories, authors and research strands of the discipline. The course focuses on the analysis of the construction and reproduction of social inequalities and stigma in the educational worlds, through the use of classical literature and recent research. The aim of the course is that the students, at the end of the course, will be able to move between the main conceptual horizons of the discipline.


The course has no prerequisites in particular, but some basic knowledge in Social Sciences is useful.

Course unit content

This course is an introduction to the Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes and first examines the main concepts, theories and research strands of the discipline. The course focuses on conflict theories and the social reproduction paradigm in the analysis of the construction and reproduction of social inequalities within the educational worlds. A key concept of the course will be the notion of “stigma”, analysed through classical literature and recent research on the intersectional construction of inequalities in educational contexts.

Full programme

The first part of the course consists of a handbook path on the main concepts, theories, authors and research strands of the Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes. The historical origins of the scientific concept of 'culture' are presented, as well as the different processes of definition, and the main authors and theories relating to the two main disciplinary macro-positions: on the one hand, systemic theories and structuralism, which attribute structures a prevalence over individual acting; on the other hand, the Weberian approach and symbolic interactionism, which consider society above all as the result of the acting of individuals. The course then analyses the theme of the construction and reproduction of social inequalities in the educational worlds, through the classic contribution of Pierre Bourdieu, emphasising concepts such as cultural capital, social capital, habitus, field, The political and far from neutral nature of formal education in the construction of school and social trajectories is analysed and the role of schools in the processes of reproduction of social inequalities is explored. The last part of the course will present a series of recent research on the subject of the schooling of the working classes, students of migrant origin and multicultural schools, analysing the reproductive processes of the educational paths of subaltern subjects. One of the crucial concepts of the course will be that of 'stigma', thought of in intersectional terms (from class, race, gender, etc.), which is linked to theories of labelling and more generally to the reproductive dimension of social inequalities.


Crespi F. (2003) Manuale di sociologia della cultura. Laterza: Bari-Roma, capitoli 1 e 2, pp. 1-96.

Bourdieu P. (1997) Le disuguaglianze di fronte alla scuola e alla cultura. In: Morgagni E. e Russo A. (a cura di) L’educazione in sociologia. Testi scelti. Bologna, Clueb: 107- 123.

One essay of your choice from a list of essays indicated at the beginning of the course and uploaded on Elly Platform

Teaching methods

The course favours an approach centred on participation and the co-production of knowledge, involving the use and integration of different teaching methods: lectures; dialectical and interactive lessons based on discussion moments; viewing of documentaries related to the topics in question and debate; seminar meetings with experts and members of associations.

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination is conducted by means of an oral interview, in which students will be able to demonstrate that they have acquired the main concepts and theories of the discipline, that they know how to analyse and argue the perspectives and results of the research of their choice, and that they have developed the ability to reason critically on the topics studied. The programme texts and materials presented during the course (slides, documentaries, etc.) will be examined. The assessment of the examination is structured according to the following criteria: knowledge and understanding of the programme content; critical ability to analyse, rework the contents and argue the studied issues; ability to apply concepts and theories of the discipline to the research analysed and to one's own experience; ability to expound clearly and with appropriate language.

Other information

All course materials, including pdf essays (both the compulsory and the optional ones) and the list of choice essays, can be found on the Elly Platform.