Globalization, Social Justice and Human Rights

A.Y. 2020/2021
6
Max ECTS
40
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/08
Language
English
Learning objectives
The course analyses theories, problems and debates associated with the effects that the growing globalization processes have on social justice and respect for human rights. The course aims to provide students with adequate theoretical and analytical tools for the study of complex situations, characterized by the need for mediation between different cultural perspectives. In particular, it develops a sociological perspective on Human rights.
Students will be invited to analyse how the current processes of globalization - economic, political and cultural - have effects in defining the daily and institutional contexts of interaction. We will analyse the relationship between the processes of globalization and the idea of human rights, their effective implementation and their transformations in a context of growing planetary interconnection. Our attention will focus on the intersections between globalization, material inequalities, gender, and ethnicity and how such intersections affect human rights. Furthermore, we will analyse how local decisions can have global impact and how the global dimension can constrain or facilitate local action. The theme of the relationship between globalization processes and human rights will be evaluated empirically starting from the questions of gender difference, migratory processes, ethnic and religious identifications, formal and practical criteria of inclusion and exclusion in the public sphere, and transformation of citizenship, racism and other forms of discrimination.
Particular attention will be paid to the critical evaluation of the role of the cultural dimension, to intercultural relations and to the methods of classification, naming and evaluation of the alleged cultural diversity.
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
(general skills)
Knowledge and understanding of the main sociological interpretative paradigms related to the theme of globalization, social justice, human rights and social inclusion / exclusion processes. Students will acquire an understanding of how widely-used terms, such as globalization, social justice and human rights, have specific histories shaped in specific (and often changing) relations of power. Students will be able to explain the meaning of these terms with reference to both their histories and different theoretical perspectives.
Knowledge and understanding of the structural dimensions of social processes and their transformation in a globalized world. Knowledge and understanding of the dynamics and possibilities of individual and collective actions for the promotion and defence of human rights. Knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural dimension of human rights. Ability to use sociological knowledge to describe, understand and evaluate situations, processes and social problems, with particular attention to the dimensions of social justice and the promotion of human rights, inclusion and social participation. Ability to autonomously consult research reports, quantitative and qualitative data, scientific journals and databases concerning the themes of globalization, cultural difference, social justice and human rights.
Applying knowledge and understanding: Application of knowledge of the main sociological theories and social science concepts to the phenomena of globalization, multiculturalism, social justice and human rights. Acquisition of specific skills for analysing the cultural dimensions of globalization processes and the definition of human rights and social justice. Ability to evaluate the importance of the cultural dimension in the programs of protection and promotion of human rights; understanding of the dynamics of intercultural interactions. Students will enhance their capacity for critical analysis of social issues through the application of particular methods of analysis (e.g. intersectional analysis, case studies, qualitative comparative analysis) and critical social theory.
Communicating knowledge and understanding: Development of the ability to communicate, using a vehicular language, with students with different cultural backgrounds. Capacity to work in multicultural settings and to communicate and act respectfully and professionally across linguistic and cultural differences.
Expected learning outcomes
Undefined
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First trimester
Teaching methods
The lessons will be held online, synchronously, using the Microsoft Teams platform. Classes will follow the lesson timetable of the first quarter. Lessons will be recorded and left available to non-attending students on the same platform.

Course syllabus and Teaching Resources
The contents and reference material will not be changed.

Assessment methods and Criteria
A distinction between attending and non-attending students is fundamental for the organization of the course. Although there are neither facilitations nor penalties between the two options, students are asked to choose within the second lesson (22 September 2020) if they choose to register as attending or not attending. For organizational reasons - the course is held in collaboration with other international universities - it will not be possible to accept attending students after the first week of lessons.
Attending students must ensure a constant presence at the lessons and an active participation in the weekly activities that will take place with students from other international universities through a special online platform (NING).

Attending students:
Attendance and participation are essential parts of this class. Students are expected to participate in meaningful and respectful ways, and everyone should (1) keep up with assigned readings, (2) get involved in online class discussions, and (3) be open to other viewpoints and ideas. Your evaluation will reflect your attendance and involvement in class discussions (on-line).
Students are expected to write at least 8 weekly blogs (500-750 words per post) (one per week) that directly relate to the assigned readings.
Each student will be responsible of directing the discussion during a class meeting. S/he will organize the presentation of the weekly readings and will lead the discussion. The responsible for the discussion (1/4 students per week) will introduce the readings (preparing a PowerPoint/Prezi presentation if deemed necessary) and will promote a critical discussion, involving all the other students.
Students will be invited to work with an international team (4/6 students, max. two from the same university) exploring a specific issue/problem with global, social justice and human rights implications. This project is intended to be a briefing paper/ power point/Prezi presentation/ video/ or other forms of presentation which explores the problem (historically, across various national/cultural and disciplinary boundaries) and proposes sustainable solutions which critically reflects and operationalizes this course contents.
Grade calculation:
8 points max. for posting weekly blogs (only 1 blog per week will be taken into account)
8 points max. for posting weekly comments on blogs from other universities (only 1 blog per week will be taken into account)
5 points max. for class attendance/participation
4 points max. for class presentation and leading class discussion
5 points max. for Joint Project
The final evaluation will take into account:
Knowledge and understanding of the main interpretive paradigms, concepts and issues in sociology, with particular attention to the cultural dimension and the processes of inclusion and exclusion.
Knowledge and understanding of the structural dimensions of social processes and their transformations in a globalised world.
Capacity to use sociological knowledge and concepts to describe, understand, assess and explicate social problems, situations and processes, with particular attention to social justice dimensions and to promote inclusion and social participation.
Capacity to consult autonomously research reports, qualitative and quantitative data, journals and books on issues connected with globalization, cultural difference, social justice, and human rights.
Applying knowledge and understanding of the main sociological theories and concepts to the social phenomena, with particular attention to globalization, multiculturalism, social justice, and human rights.

NON attending students:
The exam for non-attending students consists of a written test in person which takes place in the form of 4/6 open questions on the program topics, with particular reference to the texts indicated.
The evaluation will take into account an in-depth and timely knowledge of the indicated texts; the knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of the processes of globalization; knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of the current debate on social justice, human rights and citizenship; knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of inclusion and exclusion processes, their main causes and anti-discrimination policies; an adequate understanding of the sociological debate concerning the issues of multiculturalism, interculture, citizenship and its transformations.
Students will be also evaluated on the basis of their capacity of critical thinking and to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the different theoretical sociological perspectives.
Students should have a good knowledge and understanding of all the text and articles indicated in the program.
Course syllabus
This course explores the theories, issues, and debates associated with intercultural relations, globalization, social justice, and human rights. It aims to provide students with appropriate theoretical and analytical tools for analysing and understanding complex social situations, characterised by the necessity to mediate between different cultural perspectives. Students will analyse how current frameworks - including institutions, values, assumptions, and actions - affect the economic, political, and cultural structures shaping our lives. We will look at how the decisions of the individual - such as in how and what they choose to wear, eat, and buy - can have global implications. As we move outward from the local scene, we will see similar concerns about equity, fairness and justice at the national and international levels. We will consider such issues as immigration policies, ethnic identification, definition of Otherness, criteria for inclusion and exclusion, forms of citizenship, technology and innovation all have social justice dimensions.
The course focuses on the theories, issues, and debates related to promoting social justice and human rights. We will analyse: the definition of 'culture' and 'cultural relations'; the ties between intercultural relations and human rights; how globalization is affecting belonging, social participation, nation-states and how it is transforming citizenship. Particular attention will be devoted to a sociological understanding of globalization, social justice and human rights.
Part of the course will be dedicated to analysing specific issues and debates related to counter specific forms of discrimination and exclusion: gender inequality; ethnic and racial discrimination; globalization and income inequality; migration, human rights, citizenship and discrimination.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of the sociological vocabulary acquired in a basic course in Sociology is required
Teaching methods
Teacher-led lessons; weekly blogs; class presentation; discussion in the classroom; final joint project with students from other universities.
Versions of this course are being taught around the world, and we will be learning from and working with students at a variety of partner institutions.
All the Partner Institutions will use a common syllabus, and all the students will discuss and share their ideas on a specific Internet site (NING). While exploring the course materials at UNIMI, we will be engaging in dialog with students in other institutions abroad who are also taking this course in their home institutions. The course, therefore, is partly on-line.
Teaching Resources
Attending students:
All the Partner Institutions will use a common syllabus, and all the students will discuss and share their ideas on a specific Internet site (NING). While exploring the course materials at UNIMI, we will be engaging in dialog with students in other institutions abroad who are also taking this course in their home institutions. The course, therefore, is partly on-line.
All the readings will be available on NING.

NON attending students:
Mark Frezzo, The Sociology of Human Rights, Cambridge: Polity Press 2015
Seyla Benhabib, The Claim of Culture, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2002
and the following articles (available electronically from the library site or on the page of the course on Ariel):
Eigin F. Isin, Bryan Turner, Investigating Citizenship: An Agenda for Citizenship Studies, in «Citizenship Studies», vol. 11, n. 1, 2007, pp. 5-17.
Boaventura de Sousa Santos 2002, Toward a Multicultural Conception of Human Rights, in Hernandez-Truyol B. (ed), Moral Imperialism. A Critical Anthology, 2002, New York: New York University Press, available at: http://www.ces.uc.pt/bss/documentos/toward_multicultural_conception_hum…
Darren O'Byrne, Re-imagining the Theory of Human Rights, in «The International Journal of Human Rights», vol. 16, n. 7, 2012, pp. 1078-1093
Jack Donnelly 2007, The relative universality of human rights, in «Human Rights Quarterly», vol. 29, pp. 281-306
Enzo Colombo 2015, Multiculturalisms: An overview of multicultural debates in western societies, in «Current Sociology», vol. 63, n. 6, pp. 800-824
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attending students:
Attendance and participation are essential parts of this class. Students are expected to participate in meaningful and respectful ways, and everyone should (1) keep up with assigned readings, (2) get involved in class discussions, and (3) be open to other viewpoints and ideas. Your evaluation will reflect your attendance and involvement in class discussions (in person and on-line).
Students are expected to write at least 8 weekly blogs (500-750 words per post) (one per week) that directly relate to the assigned readings.
Each student will be responsible of directing the discussion during a class meeting. S/he will organize the presentation of the weekly readings and will lead the discussion. The responsible for the discussion (1/4 students per week) will introduce the readings (preparing a PowerPoint/Prezi presentation if deemed necessary) and will promote a critical discussion, involving all the other students.
Students signed to work with an international team (4/6 students, max. two from the same university) exploring a specific issue/problem with global, social justice and human rights implications. This project is intended to be a briefing paper/ power point/Prezi presentation/ video/ or other forms of presentation which explores the problem (historically, across various national/cultural and disciplinary boundaries) and proposes sustainable solutions which critically reflects and operationalizes this course contents.
Grade calculation:
8 points max. for posting weekly blogs (only 1 blog per week will be taken into account)
8 points max. for posting weekly comments on blogs from other universities (only 1 blog per week will be taken into account)
5 points max. for class attendance/participation
4 points max. for class presentation and leading class discussion
5 points max. for Joint Project
The final evaluation will take into account:
Knowledge and understanding of the main interpretive paradigms, concepts and issues in sociology, with particular attention to the cultural dimension and the processes of inclusion and exclusion.
Knowledge and understanding of the structural dimensions of social processes and their transformations in a globalised world.
Capacity to use sociological knowledge and concepts to describe, understand, assess and explicate social problems, situations and processes, with particular attention to social justice dimensions and to promote inclusion and social participation.
Capacity to consult autonomously research reports, qualitative and quantitative data, journals and books on issues connected with globalization, cultural difference, social justice, and human rights.
Applying knowledge and understanding of the main sociological theories and concepts to the social phenomena, with particular attention to globalization, multiculturalism, social justice, and human rights.

NON attending students:
The exam for non-attending students consists of a written test which takes place in the form of 4/6 open questions on the program topics, with particular reference to the texts indicated.
The evaluation will take into account an in-depth and timely knowledge of the indicated texts; the knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of the processes of globalization; knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of the current debate on social justice, human rights and citizenship; knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of inclusion and exclusion processes, their main causes and anti-discrimination policies; an adequate understanding of the sociological debate concerning the issues of multiculturalism, interculture, citizenship and its transformations.
Students will be also evaluated on the basis of their capacity of critical thinking and to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the different theoretical sociological perspectives.
Students should have a good knowledge and understanding of all the text and articles indicated in the program.
SPS/08 - SOCIOLOGY OF CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION - University credits: 6
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Colombo Enzo
Professor(s)
Reception:
Thursday 16.30-18.30 and Friday 15.00-17.00
Department of Social and Political Sciences - Room 321