Sociology of Communication

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course will focus on the main orientations of the sociological approach to the study of mediated and digital communication. In particular, the following topics will be covered:

Definition and discussion of the concept of communication
Theories of mass communication and digital media
Digital sociology

The course aims to provide students with a general understanding of the complexity of contemporary media ecology. The course therefore aims to identify actors, media content, mediated communication flows, mediated communicative interactions, uses of digital media and traditional media, effects on cognitive skills and on social relations. Therefore, constantly changing communication models will be identified due to the hyper personalization of communication, linked to the possibility of constant intervention in the production of content due to digital media and social media. Consistent with the general objectives of the Degree Course in which it is inserted and above all with reference to the objectives of the communication area, the course of "Sociologia della comunicazione" aims to provide tools of knowledge and sociological competence with respect to communication mediated as a tool of a multiplicity of social relations in contemporary society.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will have developed: Knowledge and understanding of the functioning of communicative dynamics mediated on a daily level, at the level of organizations and institutions. Knowledge and understanding of the communicative dynamics of global corporations and national companies that professionally produce content. Knowledge and skills with respect to the areas of interaction in which the various actors of communication - from those with wide market margins such as the most important global media companies (Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon) to those who cover minority roles but not infrequently equally important for the current balance in the world of communication. Finally, the ability to apply knowledge and understanding even to the narrowest areas of everyday life characterized by capillary use and the constant production of content circulating through the media. Judgment, communication skills and learning skills will be developed through group work done by the students. The final exam aims to verify the expected learning outcomes in relation to the dynamics of knowledge and understanding, of critical presentation of concepts, theoretical perspectives, areas of discussion and empirical research concerning the topic of sociology of communication and digital sociology.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Third trimester
During the emergency teaching phase, the program is maintained with the following changes necessary for a good online use of the course originally designed for face-to-face teaching:

Teaching methods:
The lessons will be held mainly online synchronously using Teams, with the exception of some asynchronous lessons (video lessons).
The schedule of lessons and all the details of the activities will be published in the relative space of the course in ARIEL.

Reference materials:
Those who bring the program to be attended, in addition to the bibliography already reported in the program, must refer to all the lessons, materials and resources published in ARIEL.

Verification of learning and evaluation criteria:
The exam is oral and takes place in Teams, according to the indications provided by the University. The details and calendars of the oral tests will be published and constantly updated in ARIEL.
Course syllabus
Media, communication and culture
Media and society
Media Communications
Critical Theory
Medium Theory
Media Ecology
The effects of the media
Journalism: field, journalistic culture and the boundaries of the profession
Network society
Sociology of algorithms
Prerequisites for admission
Some knowledge of general sociology and in particular of sociology of culture are essential to take this exam. In addition, knowledge of media economics and media organizational structures
Teaching methods
The course is based entirely on lectures. During the year, communication professionals will be invited to tell about their work experiences. In general, the active participation of students will be solicited
Teaching Resources
Sara Bentivegna e Giovanni Boccia Artieri, Le teorie delle comunicazioni di massa e la sfida digitale, Laterza, Roma, 2019
Carlo Sorrentino e Sergio Splendore, Giornalismo in Italia, Il Mulino, Bologna, in uscita 2021.
Giovanni Boccia Artieri, & Alberto Marinelli. (2018). Introduzione: Piattaforme, algoritmi, formati. Come sta evolvendo l'informazione online. Problemi dell'informazione, 3, 349-368.
Colin Porlezza. (2018). Deconstructing data-driven journalism. Reflexivity between the datafied society and the datafication of news work. Problemi Dell'informazione, 3, 369-392.
Alhabash, S., & Ma, M. (2017). A Tale of Four Platforms: Motivations and Uses of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat Among College Students? Social Media + Society, 3(1), 2056305117691544.
Hemsley, J., Jacobson, J., Gruzd, A., & Mai, P. (2018). Social Media for Social Good or Evil: An Introduction. Social Media + Society, 4(3), 2056305118786719.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attending students need to pass an intermediate test during the course in the manner specified in class. Then a final oral exam.

For non-attending students the assessment of knowledge will be carried out through a written exam. The written exam includes a fair number of open questions covering all the program.
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor: Splendore Sergio