Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


SOCIOLOGY OF POLITICS
SOCIOLOGIA POLITICA

A.Y. Credits
2020/2021 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Elisa Lello Every week, after appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English French
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Sociology and Social Services (L-39 / L-40)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course of Political Sociology is aimed at the study of the social bases of politics and to seize useful instruments in order to understand and interpret the multiple and mutual influences between Politics and Society. One of the first concepts we will focus on is the “political culture”, after which we will analyze the debatable - and debated - notion of “amoral familism”, that is how pioneering comparative research described Italians’ political culture in the aftermath of the Second World War. The debate which followed this diagnosis is interesting since it helps us to understand how we were, and partially still are, seen from the outside; while at the same time it points out limits and new perspectives in the study of the political culture in broader terms.

Another key concept is “political participation”: we will see its various forms and the variables capable of “determining” it, and later on, we will critically concentrate on the space and meaning it keeps within the democratic context. Focusing on the transformations of both the forms and the nature of political engagement will lead us to introduce the debate about the evolutions of representative democracies, challenged by the globalization processes and by the contemporary neo-populist surge. In order to understand such trends, we also have to consider the changes involving those institutions which provide the mediation of the demands from the society towards the Government: political parties, social movements, and interest/pressure groups. 

At last, facing the concepts of political socialization and of generation, we will start the analysis on young people and on their relationship with adult generations in Italy in a comparative perspective. This theme will be analyzed at first by introducing the most important research literature since the sixties, in order to arrive then to the most recent research and debate.

Moreover, students will have the opportunity to take part in a collective class exercise consisting of the planning and development of a research project focused on the theme of emergent forms of political and contentious engagement. This will be aimed both to encourage a critical rethinking of theories and concepts introduced during the course, and to stimulate an exercise of translation of these concepts into research questions, in order to sharpen their methodological skills.

Program

Along with frontal lectures dealing with the presentation and discussion of concepts, theories and research results, students will take part to a classroom practice exercise, consisting in a research project. The whole classroom will become a research team and will have the opportunity to take part to the different phases of the research project, from the elaboration of the research design until the interpretation of its results in relation to the existing literature. The research project will be qualitative and the survey instruments will be semi-structured interviews. It will deal with the emergent forms of political and contentious engagement.

Frontal lectures will focus on the following topics:

  • The discipline’s origins and aims
  • Political engagement: main typologies, forms of activism, models of explanations (why do(n’t) people engage, and who actually engages?)
  • Political engagement and democracy
  • Political parties: definition, party models, perspectives of study
  • Social movements: definition, perspectives of study, how they are changing
  • Interest and pressure groups
  • The debate about the crisis of representative democracies and the neo-populist challenge
  • Political culture: definition and application to the Italian case in comparative perspective. The debate around the notion of “amoral familism”.
  • Political socialization and generational change: the younger generations according to sociological literature and in today's debate.
  • Class exercise: a research project about new forms of political engagement.

Bridging Courses

No bridging courses are needed.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and understanding.

  • Students will have to show their knowledge and their capacity of critical analysis about the main theoretical perspectives concerning the discipline and the most important objects of study, such as political parties, social movements and interest/pressure groups.
  • Students are expected to learn fundamental concepts such as political engagement, political culture, socialization and so on. With respect to these, they will have to show their capacity to define them in a precise way and to retrace the main research works which have structured theories and perspectives of research.

Applying knowledge and understanding.

A particular attention will be dedicated to the relationship between theory and empirical research. In this perspective, starting from the theories and the concepts explained during the lectures, a practice exercise will be organized consisting in the planning and developing of a qualitative research project focused on emerging forms of political engagement. The classroom will have the opportunity to become a research team and will be involved in all the phases of the project. Through this practice exercise, we expect the students:

  • to check and consolidate their degree of knowledge and understanding of theoretical notions;
  • to learn how to move from abstract theories and concepts to the formulation of research hypothesis;
  • to improve their capacities to translate complex concepts into variables, through the process of operationalization;
  • to enhance their ability to coordinate themselves with others and to team work.

Making judgments.

The course intends to provide students with instruments useful for the analysis and the interpretation of politics, and of the relationship between politics and society, which are untrammeled by the immediacy and contingence of the media debate, since they are based on scientific analysis, on compared studies and on the long period. For this reason, we expect students to acquire useful instruments for a rigorous and autonomous critical analysis of the complex social and political changes occurring within contemporary political systems.

 Communication skills

  • We expect students, at the end of the course, to be able to critically analyse and discuss the proposed topics also through an appropriate language.
  • Moreover, the analysis of the research results will be carried out by groups made up of 3-4 students. At the end of the work, each group will be asked to present through an oral dissertation supported by PowerPoint slides the results and their interpretation to the classroom, and to take part to the following debate. Through this phase, we expect an enhancement of students’ public speaking and discussing ability.

Learning skills

 Students will have to develop adequate learning skills, useful in order to widen the competences acquired through the course and to apply them to new analysis and survey questions. The course will adopt different methods of educational work in order to attain these objectives, such as: frontal lectures on basic topics, use of visual materials, in-depth classroom debates focused on main topics and research, participation to the practice exercise consisting in the elaboration of a research project dealing with emerging forms of political engagement.  

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Class debate and collective research project on the theme of emergent forms of political and contentious engagement.


Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

Attendance to lectures and participation in class debates, participation to classroom practice exercise (reserch project).

Attendance

Attendance at at least three quarters of the lectures.

Course books

Bibliographies in English or French will be defined in agreement with each student according to her/his study interests.

Assessment

Students’ acquired skills and competencies will be evaluated through an oral exam, in order to check their capacity to support an argument and a discussion on the topics concerning the discipline. Also, individual work within the practice exercise will be evaluated. The oral exam will weight for the 2/3 on the final evaluation, while the last third will be determined by individual contribution to the classroom exercise.

Concerning the oral exam, the following are the dimensions which will be mainly valued:

  • Students’ capacity to clearly define the main theories and concepts of the discipline;
  • The degree of articulation of their answers and arguments;
  • Their capacity to critically assessing the concepts and of analyzing socio-political facts and events through the theoretical instruments proposed in the course.

Concerning the practice exercise, the evaluation will mainly take into account:

  • The degree of individual commitment in the research project;
  • Their capacity to personally contribute to the project in an appropriate and original way;
  • Their team working ability;
  • Their capacity to adopt appropriate methodological practices;
  • The acquisition of the ability to analyze and interpret empirical materials (interviews) at the light of the theoretical notions learned during the course;
  • Their public speaking and discussing abilities.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Attendance

Study of bibliography (defined in agreement with the lecturer).

Course books

Bibliographies in English or French will be defined in agreement with each student according to her/his study interests.

Assessment

Students’ acquired skills and competences will be evaluated through an oral exam, in order to check their capacity to support an argument and a discussion on the topics concerning the discipline. The following are the dimensions which will be mainly valued:

  • Students’ capacity to clearly define the main theories and concepts of the discipline;
  • The degree of articulation of their answers and arguments;
  • Their capacity of critically assessing the concepts and of analyzing socio-political facts and events through the theoretical instruments proposed in the course.
« back Last update: 16/07/2020

Condividi


Questo contenuto ha risposto alla tua domanda?


Il tuo feedback è importante

Raccontaci la tua esperienza e aiutaci a migliorare questa pagina.

Se sei vittima di violenza o stalking chiama il 1522

Il 1522 è un servizio pubblico promosso dalla Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri – Dipartimento per le Pari Opportunità. Il numero, gratuito è attivo 24 h su 24, accoglie con operatrici specializzate le richieste di aiuto e sostegno delle vittime di violenza e stalking.

Posta elettronica certificata

amministrazione@uniurb.legalmail.it

Social

Performance della pagina

Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
Via Aurelio Saffi, 2 – 61029 Urbino PU – IT
Partita IVA 00448830414 – Codice Fiscale 82002850418
2021 © Tutti i diritti sono riservati

Top