SPS/08 - 6 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Knowledge of basic sociological and psycho-sociological concepts in order to understand intercultural communication dynamics. Special emphasis will be placed on the perspective of Symbolic Interactionism.

Theoretical and practical tools will be provided to support social interactions, to control stereotypes and stigmatization processes, and to develop role-taking skills.

Development of sociological sensitivity, improvement and enhancement of empathic skills in order to understand communication processes between different cultures and different ethnic groups.

Students will be involved in class activations and in empirical research workshops, which will help them to apply theoretical concepts in personal and professional interactions.

Course Structure

Lectures, presentations, video projections

Detailed Course Content

Role-taking (George Herbert Mead). Social construction of self. Primary socialization. Secondary socialization. Re-socialization. Significant Others and reference groups. Pygmalion effect and Looking Glass Self (Cooley).

Stereotypes and prejudices. Ethnocentrism. Stigma. Labeling processes and total institutions (Goffman). Subcultures (Becker). Moral Panic (Cohen) and social problems construction.

Sociological reflections on the stranger:

The Chicago School: migrations, urban subcultures and marginal man (Park, Thomas and Znaniecki, Whyte).

Textbook Information

1. Ken Plummer, Sociology: The Basics, Routledge, Milton Park, Abingdon, 2016.

2. Kent L. Sandstrom, K. J. Lively., D. D. Martin, G. A. Fine., Symbols, Selves, and Social Reality, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014. (Chapters: 1, 3, 4).

3. Robert E. Park, "Human Migration and the Marginal Man", in American Journal of Sociology, 33, 6, 1928, pp. 881-893.

4. Herbert Blumer, “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position”, in Pacific Sociological Review, 1, 1, 1958, pp. 3-7.

5. Alfred Schütz, "The Stranger: An Essay in Social Psychology", in American Journal of Sociology, 49, 6, 1944, pp. 499-507.

6. Milton J. Bennett, “Developing Intercultural Sensitivity. An Integrative Approach To Global And Domestic Diversity”, in Dan Landis, Janet M. Bennett, & Milton J. Bennett (Eds.), Handbook Of Intercultural Training, 3rd Ed. Thousand Oaks, Sage, 2004.

7. Marcello Maneri, Jessika ter Wal, "The Criminalisation of Ethnic Groups: An Issue for Media Analysis", in Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6, 3, 2005.

8. Caroline Howarth, “Race as stigma: positioning the stigmatized as agents, not objects”, in Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 16, 6, 2006, pp. 442–451.

9. W. Wagner, R. Sen, R. Permanadeli, C. S. Howarth, “The Veil and Muslim Women’s Identity: Cultural Pressures and Resistance to Stereotyping”, in Culture and Psychology, 18, 4, 2012, pp. 521-541.


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.

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