August 31, 2017

Culture and lifestyles (since 2017)

  • University name: University of Trento
  • Program name: Sociology and social research
  • Lecturer name: Francesca Forno
  • Dates: ongoing
  • Length and format: 48 hours, 4 per week, second semester; 6 CFU
  • Towards what degree: Master, sociology and social research; mandatory course
  • Class size: 40
  • Main learning outcomes: The course discusses the major social, cultural and economic changes of contemporary societies through the analysis of shifts occurred in consumption patterns and practices. The main objective of this course is to provide an advanced introduction to consumer theory and the (interdisciplinary) field of consumption studies.
  • The course is divided into three parts and addresses these three topics:
    • a) an introductory section where the various theories that have analyzed the changes in consumer culture and practice are presented and discussed;
    • b) methodological and empirical perspectives, in which the most common methods and techniques used to carry out research in this field are  illustrated;
    • c) more specific issues regarding the relationship between consumer behavior and sustainability. Within this last part, particular attention will be paid to the debate on the consequences of consumerism and on those social movements that express a critical view of the “consumer society”.
  • Key reading materials:
    • John Storey, 2017, Theories of Consumption, London Routledge, pp. 1-144
    • Celia Lury, 1996, Consumer Culture. Cambridge, Polity Press, pp. 1-245.
    • Cristina Grasseni, 2013, Beyond Alternative Food Networks, London, Bloomsbury, pp. 1-224
  • Assignments: 2 hours written exam. The exam consists of three open ended questions. Students attending at least 75 percent of classes can choose one of the following options:
    • First option: 2 hours written exam (as above).
    • Second option: oral and written presentation of a paper in a common seminar on an issue agreed upon with the instructor (max 2500 words).
  • Innovative approaches:
    • applied research projects
    • visioning or back-casting
    • guest speakers
  • Student feedback / evaluation: n/a to date
  • Syllabus: View online
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