Sociology and social research - SOCIOLOGIA (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Luca Mori
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 9, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at giving to the future social workers the knowledge and the skills necessary to understand how personal problems have deep social roots and how they often depends on complex mechanisms of social production of deviance.


The course will be dedicated almost exclusively to the work of the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman. Afetr having briefly illustrated the structuralist roots of Goffman's sociology, we will take into considerations those papers that face directly the analysis of individual self. Through their examination, will shed light on the process of social construction of individuals identity. More precisely, we will understand how personal dignity and personal demeanor depend on the capacity of the subjects to conforms to precise social norms. The lack of respect of these rules give rise to mechanisms of marginalization and stigmatization.

To fully understand the contents of the course it is not needed any particular knowledge.

Social facts;
the ritual construction of selfhood: face-work;
the ritual languages of deference and demeanor;
équipes and social construction of reality;
backregion and frontregion;
three forms of individual identity: virtual identity, actual identity and personal identity;
stigma as a form of identity incongruence;
the discredited and the discreditable;
Stigma and moral careers;
stigma acceptation as a form of marginalization and social exclusion;
The interaction order as a social order sui generis.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Goffman E. Il rituale dell'interazione Il Mulino 1988 SOLO pp. 7-122
Goffman E. La vita quotidiana come rappresentazione Il Mulino 1997 SOLO pp. 95-164
Durkheim É. Le forme elementari della vita religiosa Meltemi 2005 SOLO pp. 243-297
Durkheim É. Le regole del metodo sociologico. Sociologia e Filosofia Edizioni di Comunità 1996 SOLO pp. 23-57 e pp. 165-206
Goffman E. L'ordine dell'interazione Armando 1998
Goffman E. Stigma Ombre Corte 2003

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam consists of a written test. The candidate will have to answer to 3 open questions in 2 hours of time. Three questions will deal with the topics presented and discussed during the lessons. The third question will try to elicit the critical analysis skills of the candidates. The students will be asked to develop a personal reflection on some topics treated during the course (a comparison, a critical comment, an empirical exemplificaton, etc.)

Evaluation criteria:
- The degree of comprehension of the discipline;
- the degree of comprehension of the single concepts;
- the capacity of presenting theoretical problems;
- the mastery of the disciplinary lexicon;
- the capacity to connect different topics;
- the capacity to provide powerful empirical exemplification of the theoretical concepts discussed.