SPS/08 - 6 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Aim of the course is to give students critical and analytical tools in order to understand communication processes between different cultures and different ethnic groups.
Theoretical and practical tools will be provided in order to support social interactions, to control stereotypes and stigmatization processes, and to develop role-taking skills.
Special emphasis will be placed on the perspective of Symbolic Interactionism.

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:
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.

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