SPS/08 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Knowledge of classical and contemporary sociological theories on culture. Special emphasis will be placed on the perspective of Symbolic Interactionism.

Learning of conceptual outlines and basic notions of methodology of social research in order to develop hermeneutic skills in studying social phenomena and cultural practices.

Development of sociological sensitivity and analytical skills for approaching cultural phenomena. Specific focus will be placed on interpretive and constructivist sociological paradigms.

In-class presentations and empirical research workshops will be organized in order to help students to apply theoretical concepts in everyday social interactions.

Course Structure

Lectures, presentations, video projections

Detailed Course Content

Two ways of looking at culture: Social Sciences and Humanities.

Classical theories: Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel. Conflictualist perspectives (Bourdieu).

Structural-functionalist perspectives (Parsons, Merton, Alexander).

Symbolic Interactionism (Mead, Blumer, Becker, Denzin).

Culture and identity: the social construction of Self

Primary and secondary socialization, re-socialization, significant others and reference groups. Subcultures and Social Worlds

Art Worlds and Fields of production

Social construction of Performance Art.

«Cultural performances»: Turner, Schechner, Goffman.

Conventions, reputational entrepreneurs and legitimating processes.

Textbook Information

1. Wendy Griswold, Cultures and Societies in a Changing World, New York, Sage, 2008.

2. Peter Berger, Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality, New York, Doubleday, 1966. (Chapter 3)

3. R. Perrotta, G. Toscano, Osservare, immaginare e scrivere. Riflessioni sulla relazione tra Sociologia e Letteratura, a cura di G. Toscano, Kurumuny, Calimera (Le), 2017.

4. Giuseppe Toscano, Azioni in cornice. Costruzione sociale della Performance Art, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2011.

5. G. Toscano, “Hikikomori: la paura viene dall’Estremo Oriente. Costruzione del disagio giovanile e dinamiche di panico morale”, in Rivista italiana di Costruttivismo, 4, 1, 2016, pp. 63-82.


Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied. For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright). All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano