Sociology of Cultural Diversity

Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Seat of the course: 
Como - Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (50 hours)

The teaching of Sociology of Cultures does require any preliminary basic knowledge of contemporary history; besides, a basic knowledge of sociological terminology is desirable. To this end, students are advised to consult a Dictionary of Sociology.

The method of verifying knowledge and skills consists of an oral exam, the purpose of which is to ascertain students’ understanding of the elements introduced in the class, their mastery of the language used to express them, and their ability to focus on and problematize the main issues addressed in the course, as well as critical appropriation of the content introduced. The assessment takes into account the relevance and clarity of the answers given. A mark is given out of a maximum of thirty.

Voto Finale

The course aims to contribute to one of the educational objectives of the Degree Course, namely the acquisition of the tools necessary to understand the socio-cultural specificities of the geographical areas connected to the languages the student learns to a high level. The general learning goal pursued by the course consists of the development and practice of a self-reflective perspective, capable of contextualising, thematising and problematising the cultural social dimension of social phenomena. Specifically, the teaching aims to:
• provide knowledge, methods and tools for the analysis of cultural and communication processes, with particular attention on diversity and cultural conflicts;
• promote interpretation skills and the analysis of social phenomena through the presentation of the main theoretical perspectives for cultural analysis and their application to some areas of empirical research.

The course aims to equip students with tools for interpreting and analysing socio-cultural phenomena, with particular attention to diversity and cultural changes. Students must be able to make conscious use of the conceptual tools acquired for the purpose of a critical and pluralistic analysis of cultural phenomena.

The course is divided into two thematic sections: the first dedicated to introducing the sociological thinking of the so-called "founding fathers" of the discipline and the second to discussing the relevant categories in relation to the themes of diversity and cultural conflicts. The first part of the course is preparatory to the second, in terms of approach and familiarisation with the sociological perspective, the language and the basic categories of the discipline, developed in relation to the analysis of modernity, of its main components (economic, cultural and social) and the associated phenomenology (e.g. civil society, city, morality, collective phenomena ...).
The second part of the course is specifically focused on the issues of diversity and cultural conflict, to address which particular attention will be given to everyday life, the notion of culture as a perspective, the language of emotions and the dynamics of knowledge.

Students that will have assigned 6 credits for this teaching have to study both the reading documents (at disposal on the teaching page on elearning and according to the teacher's instructions) and the following book:
Jedlowski P. (2009) The world in question. Introduction to the history of sociological thought, Carocci, Rome.

Students that will have assigned 8 credits for this teaching add to the previous material also the following book:
Sclavi M. (2003), Art of listening and possible worlds. How to get out of the frames we are part of, Bruno Mondadori, Milan.

The course includes 50 hours of lectures. The first lesson unit has an introductory function. It serves to present the course objectives, the working methodology, the texts and the evaluation methods – in other words, to define a training contract with the students. The following units are dedicated to detailed study of the course programme, with the first 20 hours reserved for an introduction to the history of sociological thought and the following 30 for issues of diversity and cultural conflict. The lessons include the introduction by the teacher of general perspectives and specific research topics, class discussion aimed at deepening and clarifying the elements introduced and exercises through which will be sustained to apply the introduced perspectives to empirical material freely chosen. Exercises will be held following detailed instructions given by the teacher.

The teacher is available to see students in the Sant’Abbondio office, Office 1.6., according to the calendar displayed on the bulletin board and on the Department website. The teacher can be contacted by email at: