Cultural anthropology (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Fabio Vicini
Fabio Vicini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding 1. Have a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of socio-cultural anthropology in the various fields of kinship, visions of the world, power relationships, economics, social inequalities and the modern globalized world in order to comparatively understand human variation from a social and cultural viewpoint. 2. Have a knowledge of the most widespread social and cultural inequality construction processes in order to understand the main forms of racism in the contemporary world. Applying knowledge and understanding 1. To promote cultural decentralization and therefore the affective, cognitive, relational and socio-cultural autonomies of the people with whom the student will work. 2. To use anthropological knowledge to intervene in marginality situations and integration difficulties also through the recognition and promotion of different family education models and different cultural styles of learning of the people with whom the student will work. 3. To plan, create and evaluate educational projects in an anti-racist perspective of social inclusion and intercultural dialogue.


The course is introductory. Therefore no previous knowledge of the topic is required.


The main contents of the course are the following:
- Introduction to the methods and conceptual tools of the cultural anthropologist: the concept of culture, a brief introductory note on the history of the discipline and on the ethnographic method;
- The main acquisitions of anthropology regarding human worldviews and creativity: play, myth, art, rituals, religion, and the cognitive dimension;
- The anthropological perspective on social dimensions of human life such as family, power, politics, economics, and forms of human organization;
- The contribution of the discipline to the study of inequality both on a local and a global scale;
- The applicability of anthropology to local and national policies with special emphasis on migration and refugee issues (illustrated through selected case studies).

The course is based on frontal lessons generally supported by multimedia content (slides, videos, and photos). The teaching will also be supported by the exploration of specific ethnographic cases in the second part of the course.

Note: In the cases provided by the law and/or of particular measures adopted by the University, the teaching activities might be conducted from remote.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
E. A. Schultz e R. H. Lavenda Antropologia culturale (Edizione 3) Zanichelli 2015 978-88-08-15131-5 Solo i capitoli 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, e 14 (escluse le pagg. da 413 a 424)
Laura Ferrero Protagoniste in secondo piano. Femminilità egiziane tra mobilità e immobilità CISU 2018 9788879756556
Cristina Notarangelo Tra il Maghreb e i carruggi. Giovani marocchini di seconda generazione CISU 2011 9788879755320

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination consists of a single written test. There is no difference between attending and non-attending students.

a) Objectives:
The students will have to demonstrate to:
- have understood and assimilated the key notions and the main theoretical debates of the discipline;
- be able to synthesize and expose rigorously their arguments in a limited time, demonstrating the capacity of selecting the essential elements in the written exposition;
- be able to associate each argument and theoretical synthesis with one or more ethnographic examples among those treated in class and/or illustrated in the monographic texts.

b) Assessment Methods:
The written examination will consist of:
a) 21 multiple-choice questions (1 correct option only; maximum score: 21 points) on the textbook by E. A. Schultz and R. H. Lavenda.
b) 2 open questions, 1 for each of the 2 monographic texts treated. The two open-ended answers will be given a maximum score of 5 points each. The answers must be a maximum of 20 lines each.
The entire examination will last 45 minutes.

Note: In the cases provided by the law and/or of particular measures adopted by the University, the examination might be conducted from remote.

c) Evaluation methods:
The evaluation of the written examination will be in thirtieths.