SOCIOLOGY OF CONSUMPTIONS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Competences and outcomes:
a. Knowledge and understanding. Students learn to use the categories of analysis of consumer behavior and to understand the complexity of interrelationships between individual and social dimensions, such as between different determinants of choice.
b. Applying knowledge and understanding. At the end of the course, students will acquire general knowledge related to the scenarios of consumption, the main methods for the analysis of trends, as well as tools for analyzing reports from various sources and answering specific questions.
c. Making Judgments. Throughout the course, students acquire the independence of judgment required to understand the different communication strategies implemented by brands and their relationship with the socio-cultural context.
d. Communication Skills. The multidisciplinary approach, the variety of cases considered, together with presentations made by the students in class, explains how to handle different types of means of communication. The specific attention to new brand messages enables the students to acquire communication skills. Different materials and case studies strengthen the ability to communicate in different contexts. The multidisciplinary approach requires a strong ability to make connections, compare methodologies and results, and facilitates the development of learning skills. In particular, it urges research and the use of different sources for analysis (secondary data sources, business reports, etc.). The course aims to develop independent judgment and ability to interpret several topics on consumption.
Course contents summary
Description of content.
Description of content. This course will tackle the key concepts and main theories of the Sociology of Consumption in order to understand aspects related to consumer behaviour. Sociological theories will be compared with contributions from other disciplines, including psychology and neuroscience. Particular attention will be paid to emerging trends in the new context of social networks, communication between consumers and brands and tools for consumer analysis. The course will give ample space to case studies.
The course has three central focus: Consumption choices: dynamics and influencing factors, New consumer behavior Storytelling and advertising
The course has three central focus
Consumption choices: dynamics and influencing factors
The purpose of this section is to outline a theory of consumer choice, in order to understand the complexity of factors that influence the choices themselves. For this purpose, contributions from different disciplines will be used: sociology, psychology, neuroscience. The main arguments will be: the role of emotions, identity, relationships and belief in consumption choices. In addition, emerging issues will be addressed in the scenario of the web, such as nudging and persuasive technologies.
New consumer behavior
This part is intended to outline the scenarios of consumption in contemporary society, the relationship between consumption and lifestyles. Among the topics discussed: the sharing economy; the role of the App in consumption choices; environmental sustainability; the role of aesthetics as part of the value of goods, the role of feelings.
Storytelling and advertising
The third part of the course will focus on the forms of communication between brands and consumers. By analyzing several cases, spots and video commercials, we will analyze the archetypes of the brand communication and demonstrate storytelling technics. In brief, we will explain the premise of narrative marketing: practical and symbolic brand functions, the evolution of techniques in consumer engagement for the co-production of brand value.
M. FRANCHI, A. SCHIANCHI (2014), L’intelligenza delle formiche. Scelte interconnesse, Diabasis.
Giuseppe Morici, fare marketing rimanendo brave persone, Feltrinelli.
Lectures, experts/managers lectures, group and individual work on case studies and analysis of various materials
Assessment methods and criteria
Assessment methods. The assessment of learning takes place through written tests lasting one hour: the student must answer three open questions. Through the responses, knowledge and understanding of the issues proposed (a) and the ability of the student to apply the knowledge to specific questions (b) are assessed. Furthermore, by means of open questions, students are able to use their independent judgment (c) the student’s communication skills can be analyzed. (d). Finally, during specific cases studies, the need for handling categories and qualitative information acquired during the course, requires the students to apply their knowledge and to learn and evaluate new information (e).