cod. 1010272

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
- Marco DERIU
Academic discipline
Sociologia dei processi culturali e comunicativi (SPS/08)
"discipline tecniche dell'informazione e della comunicazione"
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, students are expected to be able:
- to understand the importance of animating a public space for communication and discussion on issues of social interest; to recognise the multiple actors involved in social communication and the different forms of communication used (events, billposting, advertising in newspapers, TV, radio, new media, sponsorship, unconventional marketing, etc.); to recall the main changes in the evolution of social communication.
- to apply the content learnt and carry out an accomplished analysis of different textual and visual materials with regard to utterances and content, narrative styles, emotional dimensions and reference values.
- to autonomously, reflexively and rigorously interpret, evaluate and criticise different forms of social communication.
- to know how to communicate and compare social values and demands in the public space, recognising the complexity of different audiences and different modes, styles and tools of communication.
- to relate to possible public actors in order to design social communication paths with more awareness.


The course does not require special prerequisites.

Course unit content

The course aims to explore the topic of social communication from a critical and cultural, rather than a technical, point of view. The aim of the course is mainly to raise awareness on conscious and unconscious messages conveyed through social campaigns, to strengthen critical tools to understand the presence of frames, stereotypes, canons and communication codes incorporated also in 'ethical' or 'socially sensitive' communications.
The path starts with an analysis of what social communication is, what elements characterise it and distinguish it from other forms of communication. It proceeds by discussing the actors involved in the production of social communication (institutions and administrations, associations and non-profit organisations, NGOs, humanitarian agencies, private companies), the mission and objectives of this type of communication, as well as the production phases of an advertising campaign.
Subsequently, campaigns from different subject areas will be examined and analysed as texts to be deciphered and interpreted by discussing their contribution and output in terms of ideas, representations, worldviews, and practical and performative effects.

Full programme

-What is social communication;
-Short history of social communication;
-The actors of social communication;
- Social advertising campaigns and production phases;
-The technical elements and the language of social communication;
-Gender campaigns (men, women, maternity and paternity, family, etc.);
- Campaigns against violence (violence, rape, femicide, stalking, homophobia, gender equality, empowerment);
-Humanitarian campaigns (solidarity, aid and cooperation);
- Campaigns on migrants and refugees (reception, rights, discrimination, recognition);
-The ecological and environmental campaigns (sustainability, green energy and technologies, biodiversity, pollution, climate);
-Other examples of social campaigns;
- Concluding reflections and tools for in-depth analysis.


The reference text, particularly for non-attenders, is the following volume:

Roberto Bernocchi, Alberto Contri, Alessandro Rea, Comunicazione sociale e media digitali, Carocci, Roma, 2018.

Teaching methods

The course will use and integrate different teaching methods: face-to-face lectures; viewing, commenting on and discussing images and videos; dialectical and interactive lectures with prompts and moments of discussion; group work for analysis and production of texts. The course will be delivered in presence. Video recordings, slides and other materials will be uploaded online for those who are unable to attend the lectures for work or health reasons.
Meetings are planned with representatives of third sector organisations who will present their needs in terms of communication, in order to discuss possible concrete projects.

Assessment methods and criteria

For attending students: the examination consists of working around the slides and materials covered during the course and the realisation and presentation (during the examination) of a prototype social advertising campaign according to the methods and tools that will be presented and agreed upon during the course.
Or, alternatively, in the presentation and discussion (during the examination) of a powerpoint comparative analysis of at least 6 different advertising campaigns on the same topic.

For non-attending students: starting from the study of the material published by the lecturer on Elly and the text indicated in the bibliography (Roberto Bernocchi, Alberto Contri, Alessandro Rea, Comunicazione sociale e media digitali, Carocci, Rome, 2018), the exam consists of the presentation and discussion of a powerpoint of comparative analysis between at least 6 different advertising campaigns on the same topic.

The examination consists of an interactive discussion around the presented campaign or comparison. Powerpoints must be sent to the lecturer at least 2 days before the call.

The student who has not realised the prototype campaign or the comparative analysis powerpoint or who does not demonstrate an adequate understanding of the issues analysed or the underlying themes of the course will be considered insufficient. The student who has diligently realised the prototype communication campaign or the comparative analysis and who demonstrates the ability to handle the concepts and terms of the discipline with propriety will be graded as: sufficient or fair; fair or good who in the same products shows a greater capacity for elaboration and critical analysis; very good or excellent who has explored the subject in a more in-depth and autonomous manner, producing a prototype social communication campaign or a comparative analysis work in a complete and convincing manner, demonstrating the ability to critically elaborate on the underlying themes and issues of the corresponding social problems. Grades will be expressed in thirtieths.

Other information

The slides and other course materials will be uploaded onto the Elly 2023 platform at the end of the course by entering the "Communication and Social Advertising" teaching page (Course: Journalism, Editorial Culture, Environmental and Multimedia Communication), from where they can be downloaded.