SOCIOLOGY OF GLOBALIZATION
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students with tools for analysis and understanding of the phenomena of globalization, with particular attention to detect the complexity and interconnections between different dimensions (economic, social, political, ecological etc.). Through an interactive approach, the course intends to allow students to build their own "orientation map" through some of the most debated issues in globalization studies, also providing insight on global scale and at the same time on local and personal implications of transnational mobility (particularly forced migration).
The course does not require special prerequisites.
Course contents summary
The course aims to critically explore the different dimensions of "globalization", with particular attention to the interconnections that bind - even if contradictory and conflicting - choices, policies, consumption and decisions taken in one part of the world to what happens in another geographically far away place.
Lessons will first of all dwell on a general overview of the spread - and at the same time the crisis - of globalization in recent decades, with particular attention to a perspective that comes from the Global South. It will be analyzed in its economic, political, cultural and ecological dimensions.
Secondly, some central issues of the contemporary phase of globalization will be explored: its tense relationship with nation State and national identity; the emergence of particularisms, localisms, fundamentalisms as apparent unexpected outcome of the dynamics of globalization; global cities; classes of new global consumers; digital communities and transnational networks; climate change (causes and effects related to institutions and individuals); critiques to globalization and its alternatives.
Finally a monographic part of the course will be dedicated to mobility as the predominant factor of social stratification in the era of globalization, with a particular reference to the issue of forced migrations and refugees. This theme will be developed through lectures and seminars that - through the intervention of researchers and other "privileged witnesses" - will give an overview from significant "areas of crisis" regarding international migration, but at the same time crossing several other political, social, religious, ecological dimensions: from the analyzed areas, through extensive "transit zones", to the seemingly distant places in the Global North.
To be studied (compulsory):
Saskia Sassen, Una sociologia della globalizzazione, Giulio Einaudi Editore, Torino, 2008.
Marco Deriu (a cura di), Verso una civiltà della decrescita. Prospettive sulla transizione, Marotta&Cafiero, Napoli, 2016: Introduction + First part (pp. 13-134).
Suggested readings (valid also for the personal investigation/essay):
Clifford Geertz, Mondo globale, mondi locali. Cultura e politica alla fine del ventesimo secolo, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1999.
Saskia Sassen, Espulsioni. Brutalità e complessità nell’economia globale, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2015.
Anthony Elliott, John Urry, Vite mobili, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2013.
Oliver Roy, La santa ignoranza. Religioni senza cultura, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2009.
Luca Ciabarri (a cura di), I rifugiati e l’Europa. Tra crisi internazionali e corridoi d’accesso, Edizioni Libreria Cortina, Milano, 2015.
Chiara Giaccardi, Mauro Magatti, La globalizzazione non è un destino. Mutamenti strutturali ed esperienze soggettive nell’età contemporanea. Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2001.
The course handouts and a thematic bibliography will be supplied during the course. Students will choose two texts to conduct a personal investigation (essay) for the final examination.
- Lectures combined with discussions
- Vision, comment and discussion of films and documentaries.
- Lessons based on the presentation and discussion of texts by the students
- Thematic seminars with xternal experts (researchers, journalists, social workers, “witnesses of globalization” – e.g. refugees)
Assessment methods and criteria
Learning will be verified in different ways:
1) During the course, individual study of some texts (related to the topics of the course) and presentation / discussion by the students during class;
2) During the course, group work (in the manner described in class) and presentation of results in class;
3) At the end of the course, individual essay.
The final evaluation will be based primarily the individual essay; other assessment methods will serve as a supplement to integrate the vote.
For individual essay:
Students can base their investigation on the topics discussed in class, or on the ones more specifically studied during seminars (with specific bibliography at seminars). In any case, the essay must be based on at least two texts (books or equivalent, which can be arranged directly with the professor). The essay must be sent by mail at least three days prior to the exam to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be discussed orally in the appeal date.
The essay will be judged based on the following criteria:
- consistence with the course topics;
- originality in the proposed investigation;
- capacity of deepening, problematization and critical discussion on the subject chosen;
- suitability of the bibliographic and documentary references with respect to the literature used and the course materials;
- capacity and quality of writing.
The thematic bibliography and the course materials can be found on Elly platform.