SOCIOLOGY OF POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the importance of animating a public space for political and environmental discussion; to recognize the different subjects involved in the public debate and the different forms of communication used (texts, images, gestures and actions); to remember the main changes in the evolution of political and environmental communication.
- to be able to apply the learnt contents and carry out a complete analysis of different materials (texts, speeches, photographs, advertising, videos, etc.) with regard to statements and contents, narrative styles, emotional dimensions and reference values.
- to be able to interpret, evaluate and criticize the different forms of public intervention of a political and environmental nature with autonomy, reflexivity and rigor.
- to know how to communicate and compare ideas and opinions in a public debate, recognizing the complexity and legitimacy of different points of view, without renouncing one's own.
- to be able to participate with more awareness and with more critical tools in public life, preparing to take their responsibilities in front of the most important political and environmental issues that arise in particular in the relationship between different peoples, generations and species.
The course does not require special prerequisites.
Course contents summary
For a democracy open to the future. Ecological emergencies as democratic challenges
The course starts with a general introduction to political and environmental communication. An analysis will be proposed of the progressive simplification of communication and of the political debate, of the declining trust in democratic institutions and of the emergence of what has been called "post-democracy". Subsequently, some of the main emerging ecological issues will be addressed: the depletion of resources, the loss of biodiversity, pollution, climate change, environmental conflicts and climate refugees; it will be analysed how they enter the public debate, through information, mass media, cultural industry and the interventions of political and social subjects.
Finally, we will try to show how these environmental emergencies contribute to defining highly problematic processes of socio-economic transformation that challenge and deeply interrogate the meaning and the stability of democratic institutions. Addressing issues such as climate change in the post-democracy era confronts us with opposite scenarios of impasse and progressive depletion of democracy, or the regeneration and reinvention of an "ecological democracy".
- Introduction to the course and general information
- What is political communication
- Approaches and perspectives of analysis of political communication
- Trends in political communication and simplification of the debate
- The crisis of confidence in the institutions and the debate on "post-democracy"
- Environmental communication and its dimensions
- Le nuove pandemie e la comunicazione pubblica del rischio
- Pressure on resources, new conflicts and militarization of the environmental issue
- The loss of biodiversity and the sixth extinction
- The water and food crisis
- Climate change and crisis of paradigms
- Anthropocene, capitalocene, chthulucene: the debate on responsibilities
- Post-normal science and scientific information
- Between removing risks and fears of change: the challenges of environmental journalism
- A politics open to the future from postdemocracy to ecological democracy
- The paths of ecological democracy
The course will have as a general reference text the volume:
Marco Deriu, Rigenerazione. Per una democrazia capace di futuro, Castelvecchi, Roma, 2021 (forthcoming).
An extensive bibliography on the topics covered during the course will be made available on Elly in which students will choose an in-depth topic and two related texts to prepare the written paper on which the exam will focus.
The course will be delivered in mixed mode: the teacher will carry out the lessons in the classroom with the students and at the same time the lesson will be streamed for those who could not be present.
The course uses and integrates different teaching methods: lectures; dialectical and interactive lessons based on solicitations, interaction and moments of discussion; text analysis; vision, commentary and discussion of movies and documentaries. The course also includes some discussion seminars that will be communicated during the course.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam preparation for both attending and non-attending students consists of a general preparatory work (reference text of the course) a thematic study in the form of a little thesis.
For the thematic study:
Students must choose one of the course topics (see the course's thematic bibliography) and TWO texts related to it to conduct personal study. The In-depth thesis of 10-15 pages (18,000-25,000 characters including spaces) will be sent by email at least four days before the appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be discussed orally on the date of the appeal. Exclusively for attending students it is also possible to arrange research and in-depth study for small groups (2-3 people max.) Provided that the individual contribution in writing by each participant is clearly indicated in the essay (the length of the essays must be relatively proportional to the number of people involved).
The in-depth thesis, which forms the basis of the examination, will be judged on the basis of the following criteria:
- consistency with the course topics;
- originality in the proposed survey;
- ability to deepen, problematization and critical discussion of the chosen subject;
- breadth and appropriateness of bibliographic and documentary references compared to the in-depth literature used and to the materials of the course;
- exhibition capacity and quality of writing.
The exam consists of an interactive discussion around the contents of the essay.
The student who did not carry out the research and personal study required from the two selected books or who does not demonstrate an adequate understanding of the analyzed problem or the basic themes of the course will be considered insufficient. It will be assessed: sufficient or discreet, the student who has diligently carried out the research and the personal deepening and that proves to be able to handle with ownership the concepts and terms of the discipline; discreet or good, who in the discussion and discussion will show a greater capacity for elaboration and critical analysis; very good or excellent, who will have explored the matter in a more in depth and autonomous way, for example by consulting critical editions or by making comparisons on single editions of texts or different edition criteria. The votes will be expressed in thirtieths. The vote is communicated at the end of the test itself.
The thematic bibliography for further study and the course materials can be downloaded from the Elly 2021 platform, by entering the website of the course "Sociology of political and environmental communication" http://elly2021.dusic.unipr.it