The module aims to analyze a crucial socio-economic issue of South Italy, the industrial development and its environmental, socio-cultural, political effects in a long term. Students will be encouraged to critically read some anthropological works and also practice life contexts that are “close” to them, with the aim of directly applying ethnographic field research methods.
The Mediterranean is not only a sea: it is a system of symbols, a repertoire of myths, an imaginary sphere, at least for the West. Readings addressed during the first module attest the journey undertaken by anthropology in this cultural area. The course introduces the process of institutionalization, development and dissemination of the sector known as "Anthropology of the Mediterranean", as well as the reasons for its strong internal dispute and theoretical radical reformulations. Among the many anthropologists who have done research in the Mediterranean, there is no agreement on a central point: there is or not a homogeneous and distinctive Mediterranean culture that distinguishes this anthropological area from others? The module also addresses the gap between “external” and "internal" perspectives on the Mediterranean, and highlights the risk of "orientalization" of its cultures and peoples.
This module takes into consideration a group of ethnographies, in order to see how they differently decline the core issues of the Anthropology of the Mediterranean: the cultural syndrome of "honour and shame", the so-called "amoral familism", the themes of "female segregation” and “patronage”, the concepts of heritage and "patrimonialization". Students are encouraged to identify the specificities of these monographs, their different ethnographic postures, communication styles and the politics of identity linked to field research. In producing an original reading of the selected texts, they will be divided into working groups, with the task to present a case and provide its analytical interpretation in front of the class.
The third module deepens the study of the Mediterranean as a place of friction between forces that operate on different scales of social action: local, national, transnational. The students will analyse ethnographic studies that explore the relationship between environment and capital in the Mediterranean, the social construction of risk and governmental devices of space control and planning, the de-industrialization and its socio-cultural and economic consequences. Through reading exercises and collective participation in practical sessions directly in the field, this module illustrates both methodological issues and key topics in anthropological theory that are related to social change and the practices of resistance or adaptation of local people.