Sociology of Cultural Processes (2017/2018)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Sandro Stanzani
Sandro Stanzani
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semester 2 dal Feb 26, 2018 al Jun 9, 2018.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course is oriented to introduce students to the critical knowledge of:
1. the concept of culture and its components in a sociological perspective;
2. the characteristics of main cultural processes in act in contemporary western societies;
3. the role of books in contemporary cultural processes and in particular artistic communication.

At the end of the course the student must demonstrate:
1. to know how to use the concept of culture as defined by contemporary human and social sciences;
2. to have a conceptual repertoire and a specific lexicon to appropriately describe the cultural phenomena of contemporaneity;
3. to be aware of the major cultural processes that are at work in the complex western societies of this beginning of the millennium and in particular to be aware of the distinctive features of the modern culture of the Western societies;
4. to know how to apply general concepts to cultural processes that explain the cultural industry and in particular the industrial production of printed texts.


The course will be divided into three parts, in which the following topics will be developed:
Part one
Sociological introduction to the topics
What is society and what is a social fact. Social Relationship as the Basic Concept and Object of Sociological Knowledge. The different approaches to studying social relationships.

Part II
Culture and Society
1) The concept of culture in social sciences.
A. What is culture (humanistic, anthropological and sociological perspective in comparison);
B. What are the social functions of culture (relationship between culture and society)?
C. what are the basic elements of culture (meanings, symbols, languages, codes, values, social norms, rites, myths).
2) Production, Distribution and Reception of Culture.
A. The fields of production of culture (science, law, art, religion, communication).
3) Cultural Trends of Societies in Mature Modernity.

Part III
Tourism as a cultural product
1) Symbolic aspects of travel and sadness
2) The sociological definition of tourist behavior
3) Historical forms of tourism

Texts for the evaluation test
A. Donati, Sociology of the report, Bologna, Mulino, p. 96.
B. Griswold W., Sociology of Culture, Bologna, Il Mulino.
C. Savelli A., Sociology of Tourism, Milan, Hoepli (studying with the help of slides chapters 1 to 5, 7 to 9).
D. Slides available at the teacher's page link: announcements.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Griswold W. Sociologia della cultura il Mulino 2005 9788815107114
Donati P. Sociologia della relazione (Edizione 1) il Mulino 2013

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment test is aimed at verifying the acquisition of specific concepts and vocabulary enabling the student to independently elaborate an interpretation and a description of the main cultural processes in place in complex western societies. In particular, students will be required to independently analyze the communication processes transmitted by the press and the ongoing dynamics in the cultural production of the artistic field.

Bibliography for the evaluation:
A. Donati, Sociologia della relazione, Bologna, il Mulino, fino a pag. 96.
B. Griswold W., Sociologia della cultura, Bologna, Il Mulino.
C. Heinich N., La sociologia dell’arte, Bologna, Il Mulino.
D. Slides available at the teacher's page link: announcements.

Exam modality:
Normally the course requires a final oral assessment (exam) of the contents acquired by the students.
However, in order to facilitate students attending classes , at the end of the course, is scheduled a written exam (test of about 32 questions and 4 items per question) on the first two books of the reading list (A e B).
Only students who reach a mark of at least 18/30 pass the test.
The mark obtained is valid till February 2018.
The test takes place only once a year.
The written test is aimed at verifying the acquisition of concepts and the specific vocabulary of the sociology of cultural processes.
Those who pass the written test must support a further oral examination on the remaining part of the program (letter C of bibliography). The second oral assesment (exam) will be held in the ordinary calls of June, July, September 2017 and the months of January and February 2018.
Who doesn’t take or pass the first written exam, presents the whole syllabus at the oral exams that take place in the normal sessions.
Those who do not complete the examination procedure (the oral exam on the second part of the program) before February 2019 must take the exam on the whole syllabus in oral form.

Who won't take the written must present the whole syllabus in the ordinary exams in June, July, September, January, February.