SOCIOLOGY OF POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course will explore how environmental emergencies and risks enter the public debate, through information, mass media, the cultural industry and the intervention of political and social actors. Aspects such as resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, pollution, climate change, environmental conflicts and climate refugees help to define highly problematic scenarios of social transformation that require a rethinking of the political community and of the forms and institutions of democracy. Topics such as awareness of the limits, inter-generational responsibility, the contribution of scientific and social knowledge, transparency in information and communication, awareness of the risks and possible consequences of public choices, the rethinking of the decision-making process are the crucial pivot to define the direction and prospects of contemporary democracy.
The course does not require special prerequisites.
Course contents summary
Course of Sociology of Political and Environmental Communication (6 CFU)
Ecological crisis and democratic regeneration. The construction of a new socio-environmental public space
The course starts with a general introduction to political communication and environmental communication. Afterwards we will address some of the major emerging ecological problems. We will analyze the languages and the representations through which we speak about environmental risks and the possible future scenarios. The issue of environmental disasters, of social discontinuity and socio-political perspectives will be addressed. In conclusion, we will discuss the consequences of ecological crisis on scientific research, participation and democratic institutions.
Reading during the course:
Vandana Shiva, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 2015.
Danio Rossi, Il valore della condivisione. I comuni virtuosi della provincia di Parma, Battei, Parma, 2017.
At the end of the program a course handouts and a thematic bibliography will be supplied. Students will choose two texts to conduct a personal investigation for the final examination.
Lectures and interactive lessons combined with discussions. Vision, comment and discussion of films and documentaries. The course will include seminars with scholars and experts in the field of environmental, social and political communication, journalism and environmental sciences.
The course will also be offered in a blended way on the distance learning platform called Elly.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam consists of a general preparatory work and a written thematic investigation (small thesis).
For the thematic investigation:
Students must choose one of the themes of the course (see Thematic Bibliography of the course) and two texts related to it, to conduct a personal investigation. The thematic study (small thesis) will sent by mail at least two days prior to examination, to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be orally discussed in the appeal date.
The small thesis that forms the basis of the examination will be judged on the basis of the following criteria:
- coherence with the course topics;
-originality in proposed investigation;
-the capacity of deepening, of problematize and critical discuss the subject chosen;
-amplitude and 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 for the study and the course materials can be found on Elly platform.