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Social sciences and humanities



Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Unico
Related or Additional Studies (lesson)
  • TAF: Supplementary compulsory subjects SSD: SPS/08 CFU: 9
Teachers: Giancarlo CORSI
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Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
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Giancarlo CORSI


The course aims to provide knowledge on the birth and development of the welfare state and to stimulate the ability to analyze the ways in which values, welfare programs and the problems generated by welfare itself are communicated in the public sphere and addressed on a political level. At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
- Know and understand the evolution of modern politics, placing the idea of the Welfare State in the structural and semantic context of modernity. The most important concepts that will be analyzed are: social inclusion and exclusion, values and decision-making programs, risk and uncertainty;
- Apply this knowledge and understanding to the critical analysis of the forms the welfare has taken, especially from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present day;
- Analyze the positive and negative consequences of the development of welfare policies, in particular at an organizational level (administrative hypertrophy) and in the relationship between society and individuals (expectations and pretensions).
For a more complete understanding of the training objectives, please refer to the reading of the expected learning outcomes.

Admission requirements

Elements of general sociology.

Course contents

This is just a draft. The details of the contents will be communicated later.
- History of the welfare state, in particular from the end of the 19th century to the present day
- Politics as a social system
- Social inclusion/exclusion
- Values and societal structures
- Moralization of communication
- The means of welfare: money and law
- Social risks
- Welfare problems: organizational hypertrophy and individual pretensions
- Centers and peripheries of modernity: welfare and the South of the world
- Values-welfare-development and the evolution of society

Teaching methods

The course includes lectures and seminar discussions in class. Attendance is not mandatory, but strongly recommended. Teaching takes place in Italian. Classroom lessons will be recorded and made available to students on the ONELab platform of the Department of Communication and Economics.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of a written test to be held in the institutional exam sessions. Details will be communicated as soon as the program and texts have been completely defined. The written test aims to verify: - The knowledge acquired and the ability to understand; - The ability to apply knowledge and understanding of concepts to specific cases; - Autonomy of judgement. The results will be available on the Esse3 portal no later than 15 days following the test.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the students will be able to:
- Knowledge and understanding: identify the main concepts of the theories dealt with; learn and illustrate the scope of these concepts on a theoretical and empirical level; define and describe the ways in which welfare is presented as a topic of public discussion, with particular attention to the public administration and the public sphere.

- Applied knowledge and understanding: recognizing and interpreting the communication processes related to welfare, especially with regard to social problems such as exclusion, the moralization of communication, the evaluation of social differences; apply the conceptuality learned to the analysis of public communication on welfare; observe and identify the most important steps in the development of the welfare state and the public sphere.

- Autonomy of judgment: analyze and evaluate both the concepts learned (in particular communication media, social inclusion/exclusion, morality, risk, decision, public sphere) and their descriptive capacity; express critical judgments on the current theoretical approaches to the welfare state as well as on the communication methods adopted by the mass media and by the political-administrative apparatus.

- Communication skills: use correctly and appropriately the concepts and theoretical approaches learned; describe the communication processes typical of contemporary welfare, highlighting critical issues (such as the moralization of communication and the difficulties of communicating the risks associated with the development of welfare) using the tools of the sociology of communication.

- Ability to learn: compare and critically evaluate different theoretical approaches, independently updating their knowledge base; understand and evaluate the changes taking place in a sector that is both unstable and persistent such as that of the welfare state.


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