Media Sociology

A.Y. 2023/2024
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.
Single course

This course can be attended as a single course.

Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
Course syllabus
Transmission model of communication
Mass media sociology
Studying communication
Media studies perspectives
Lazarsfeld and the Columbia School
Robert Merton and Paul Lazarsfeld
Critical theory vs administrative reserach
Cultural Industry
Cultural studies
Stuart Hall
Medium Theory
Network society
Media effects
Uses and gratifications
Agenda Setting
Cultivation theory
Spiral of silence
Domestication and digital divide
Sociology of news
Prerequisites for admission
To take this exam some knowledge of sociology, and sociology of culture are necessary. Beyond that, media economics and expertise about media orgnaization may help.

Decisive is an interest in the world of media and journalism.
Teaching methods
The course is based on classic lectures and moments of discussion in the classroom. Each lecture will begin with the presentation and discussion of some relevant facts related to the topics in question.

During the year, communication professionals will be invited to tell about their work experiences. In general, the active participation of students will be requested
Teaching Resources
Sara Bentivegna e Giovanni Boccia Artieri, Le teorie delle comunicazioni di massa e la sfida digitale, Laterza, Roma, 2019
Sergio Splendore, Sociologia del giornalismo, Laterza, Roma (forthcoming)

For 9 cfus also
Per 9 crediti in aggiunta

Maares, P., Banjac, S., & Hanusch, F. (2021). The labour of visual authenticity on social media: Exploring producers' and audiences' perceptions on Instagram. Poetics, 84, 101502.
Nelson, J. L., & Lewis, S. C. (2021). Only "sheep" trust journalists? How citizens' self-perceptions shape their approach to news. new media & society, 14614448211018160.
Toff, B., & Nielsen, R. K. (2018). "I just google it": Folk theories of distributed discovery. Journal of communication, 68(3), 636-657.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is an oral test.

In any case, the exams include an adequate number of questions concerning all the texts included in the exam program. An optional additional question will be made to those who have attended the course and who, in addition to the exam program, will demonstrate that they have also studied the notes taken during the course.
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor: Splendore Sergio
Educational website(s)