Sociology of Symbolic Systems (2013/2014)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Paola Di Nicola
Paola Di Nicola
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem IA, Sem IB

Lesson timetable

Sem IA
Day Time Type Place Note
Tuesday 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM lesson Lecture Hall 1.6  
Sem IB
Day Time Type Place Note
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM lesson Lecture Hall 1.6  

Learning outcomes

The course aims to give students critical tools of analysis of the process of social construction of reality of everyday life. Starting from the concepts of 'reality' and 'knowledge', we will highlight how the culture and the symbolic systems constitute the basic elements of the human experience of the reality of daily life at different institutional levels. For the whole society, their system integration and social cohesion, culture plays a central role, because makes 'possible' the communication between systems and between social actors and institutions and provides stability over time and conditions for its reproduction. The debate on multiculturalism and struggles for recognition provides an opportunity to analyze how, in new political, economic and social backgrounds, the symbol systems changes.


Part one: After a presentation of general theories of the relationship between culture and society (culture and social system, culture and social interaction), it will be highlighted the social processes through societies produce complex systems of interactions, which ensure stability and transmissibility. It will underlined the processes that are the basis of the formation of identity and role of 'symbols'.
Part two: it will be analyzed and highlighted the economic, political, historical and social process that have radically changed the ordering function in relation to the symbolic universe of individual experience in multicultural societies which have given rise to debate on policies for the recognition . It will be discussed the following topics: relationship society-culture, identity and sense of belonging, equality and diversity, multiculturalism and politics for recognition.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam