Sociology and analysis of social dynamics [indirizzo per l'educatore socio-culturale] (2008/2009)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mauro Niero
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. I A, Sem. I B

Lesson timetable

Sem. I A
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Tuesday 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5  
Thursday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5  
Sem. I B
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Wednesday 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Thursday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5  

Learning outcomes

Goals and objectives of this course have been accurately selected for the specific requirements of the professional profile of the socio-cultural educator (mainly adult, young adult and elderly life-cycle) and is recommended for the students who intend to follow the related curriculum. The course will introduce main concepts, theories ad research instruments (qualitative and quantitative) used in sociology for the study of social problems our days.


Part 1. General Sociology
1.Sociology and modern society. Culture, civil society and the main sociological interpretative cathegories. Classic sociologists ((Tonnies, Spencer, Durkheim, Weber, Marx, Simmel); the American sociology (the Chicago school and the functionalist thought).
2.Sociological frameworks. Micro- and macro-sociology. Social action and reality construction; groups, associations and organizations.
3.Culture, norms and social system. Social institutions and socialization; social function and social control.
4. Inequalities and differentiation. Social stratification and social classes; anomy and deviance.
5. Economy, sociey and social reproduction. Liberal and keynesian theories; work, production and consumption; the welfare state and its crisis.
Part 2. Social research methodloogyn and techniques
1.Method, science and sociology. Main methodological categories: inductive, deductive and abductive approaches; discovery, confirmation and falsification; scientific traditions (rationalism, rmpiricism, positivism, neo-positivism and post-positivism); traditions of qualitative research (phenomenology, hermeneutics, grounded theory and biographic approach).
2.Research design framework. General design requirements; handling a-priori or a-posteriori theories and hypothesis; the place of concepts and definitions; field cases selection; techniques of data collection and data analysis; types of reporting.
3.Quantitative research. Types of quantitative research design (experimental and quasi-experimental design; longitudinal and cross-sectional research; secondary research and meta-analuysis); measurement; univariate and bivariate statistics; attitude scales; general guidelines on questionnaire and sample design.
4.Qualitative research. Types of qualitative research design (objective hermneutics, grounded theory and phenomenology); the biographic approach.
Giddens A.(2006), Fondamenti di sociologia, Il Mulino Bologna.
Jedlowski P.(1998), Il mondo in questione, Carrocci Roma.
Niero M.(2005), Introduzione alla progettazione e alla pratica della ricerca sociale, Guerini e Associati, Milano.
One among the following:
Lonardi C.(2006), Raccontare e raccontarsi: il metodo biografico nelle scienze sociali, QuiEdit 2005.
Niero M. (2002), Qualità della vita e della salute, Angeli Milano;
Niero M. (2008) Il mix fra qualità e quantità nella ricerca sociale, QuiEdit Verona 2008.

Assessment methods and criteria

Free choice response questionnaire. Students attending classes (signature for each lesson is required) will undergo in-progress evaluations that can be used as components of the formal final mark.