Ultima data aggiornamento: 20/09/2012
The aim of this course is to understand how a situation (a â€śputative conditionâ€ť such as pollution, presence of foreigners, unemployment) can be transformed into a â€śproblemâ€ť, worthy of public debate, mobilizations, public policies. Why does margarine becomes a target of public passions and policies in the 1880â€™s USA, why corruption becomes the focus of public attention in the 1990â€™s Italy and France, why Islam seems later to become a major public problem... when other stakes which could be considered as significant remain in the shade?
Students should be able to have a good understanding of the major questions, research and conceptual tools used during the course. But the real aim of the course would be reached if they were able to apply this small tool-kit to question some cases of â€śpublic problemsâ€ť in contemporary Italy
The course will start with an overview of the status and paradigms of â€śSocial Problems studiesâ€ť in the USA and western Europe since one century. It will question the identity of â€śsocial/public problemsâ€ť entrepreneurs. It will explore the questions of the â€śframingâ€ť (is Asbestos just a problem for the people working in mines and factories where this mineral is transformed? Or is it an environmental polluant, threatening all the population? Is drunk-driving a problem of individual behaviour or of social organisation?) and â€śjustificationâ€ť(How to argue: with figures and science, in the name of the demos, triggering emotions?) of problems. The question of the treatment (or silence) of social problems by the media and the public sphere will be another major point. Finally the course will try to make sense of the process of entrance (or not) in the policy agenda.
A bibliography will be given at the beginning of the course and some texts will be available on the faculty website.
Modalità di Esame
- 50% for a personnal work (Book review or analysis of the trajectory of a public problem in contemporary Italy)
- 50% for a small written essay (in Italian)