Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
The course introduces the students to the key themes, concepts and theoretical perspectives of economic sociology and of the analysis of welfare systems’.
It therefore contributes to a sound sociological knowledge basis that fosters the understanding of the dynamics of contemporary societies.
The course is particularly oriented to providing baic knowledge of the historical transformations of economic and welfare systems.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students:
- Know the most important terms and concepts used in classical sociology to study economic processes and in particular the rise and development of capitalism;
- Know the main themes and concepts of “new economic sociology”;
- Can place the rise, development, crisis and transformation of the welfare state in a historical and comparative perspective;
- Are aware of and can work with the different theoretical approach that explain the rise and consequences of the welfare state;
- Critically understand the theory of welfare regimes and can apply it to the study to issues and problems of contemporary European societies.
No specific pre-conditions
The first part of the course focusses on the historical roots of the sociological analysis of economic systems, originating from the study of the modernization process and capitalistic development. Key concepts that are essential also for the analysis of contemporary problems are being introduced at this stage.
Moreover, the course introduces the students to the areas of investigation of the “new economic sociology” and in particular to the idea of the economy as an institutional process, to the concept of embeddedness of economic processes within social systems and to the different forms of exchange.
These fundamental themes and concepts provide a necessary basis for the second part of the course. Here the focus is the analysis of welfare systems. After introducing the development f the welfare state from a comparative and historical perspective, the course critically discusses the theory of welfare systems. The lectures touch upon the different theories that explain the rise, development, crisis and transformation of the welfare states and their consequences.
The basic text is:
C. Trigilia (2009) Sociologia Economica, Bologna, Il Mulino
- vol.1 Profilo storico
- vol.2 Temi e percorsi contemporanei
Additional texts (articles and book excerpts) will be communicated at the beginning of the course.
The written exam consists of open questions relative to the themes of the lectures and of the course texts. During the exam it is not possible to make use of texts, notes and other materials.
The assessment concerns:
- the understanding of the key themes, concepts, theories and empirical evidence discussed during the course;
- the clear exposition of the above-mentioned key elements and of the historical and contemporary debates relative to economic processes and welfare systems;
- the ability to apply theories and concepts to concrete cases;
- critical thinking.
The course consists of two lectures per week (2,5 hours each). The lecturer introduces the main themes, concepts and theories also by means of powerpoint presentations and other documents (photo’s, video’s, etc.).
During the course the students will be given short home assignments the will be discussed during class. These assignments are aimed at supporting understanding of the contents and to stimulate critical thinking and discussions of contemporary themes and problems in the light of the conceptual and theoretical tools and of the empirical evidence made available by economic sociology. The assignments are not assessed, but represent an important instrument to prepare the final exam.
Type of exam
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals
This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development
Last update of the programme: 11/04/2018
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