Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

SOCL 280 / SOCL 267

Spring 2013

ITALY TODAY

SOCIOLOGY 280-A01

Period: Spring Semester 2013                                   Professor: Sarah F. Maclaren Ph.D

Lessons: Monday-Wednesday                      E-mail: smaclar@luc.edu; sar.maclaren@gmail.com

Time: 11.30 a.m.-12.45 p.m.                          Office hours: Mondays: 12.45-1.45 - by appointment

Class: 118

 

 

Course Purpose

We will study Italy from a sociological, cultural, political and anthropological viewpoint, in order to gain an overview of a country which has been a nation for just over one hundred years, marks considerable regional disparities, and has undergone great social and cultural changes since the end of World War II. The course is divided into two parts. We will begin by studying the dramatic social, political, economic and cultural transformations which turned Italy into one of world's leading industrial democracies, starting from the post-war reconstruction, the industrialization, the economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s, and the great internal migration, to the social movements from 1968 to 1980, to the formation of a post-industrial society. We will see how Italy has achieved a high cultural profile and a level of material prosperity that have generated a post-modern, mass consumer and globalized society. Then, adopting an interdisciplinary focus, we will examine diverse sociological and cultural aspects of contemporary Italy such as Catholicism, gender identities, the role of the family, emigration and immigration, stereotypes and regional identities, media and material culture, etc.

 

We will also focus on how Italy is changing today in the modern and globalized world and how the challenges are impacting Italian society.

As a result, I hope you will better understand, enjoy and contribute to Italian society.

This course is open to undergraduates from any major who have completed a foundational social cultural knowledge core course.  It is an elective for non-sociology majors and is one of several options to fulfill the required number of sociology courses for majors. Sociology majors need to earn a “C-” or better for this course to count toward the department’s requirements for graduation. 

 

Course Overview and Goals

This course emphasizes the Italian experience, but also includes international comparisons and global perspectives. You will learn to think critically about contemporary Italian society and the transformation of values, behavior, gender relationships and lifestyles. You will learn to analyze Italy's specific cultural traits from the context and time in which they developed. You will learn to think critically about issues such as stereotypes, regional identities, and diversity in the global world.

We will study each topic descriptively and from a range of theoretical orientations. We will also learn from guest speakers – when feasible -, movies, and case studies.

 

In this course, I want students to:

Master some fundamental theories and facts about contemporary Italy.

Conduct a field study of a sociological topic in Rome or Italy.

Enjoy the Italian and Roman experience.

Learn about Italian contemporary society.

Explore one topic in depth.

 

 

 

Course Requirements

 

Students will complete the assigned readings and participate in class discussions and activities. The assigned reading materials should be read before (not only after) the lessons as the grade on class participation depends on demonstrating that the texts have been studied and the discussions on the topics dealt with are highly encouraged and are an integral part of the course

 

Discussion Leaders

Two students will lead the discussion each week. Each student will sign up to be discussion leader for at least two class periods. This means that these two people will be primarily responsible for facilitating the actual class discussion for that particular week using the questions set for the lessons.

 

Midterm exam:

The midterm exam will include selected questions based on the assigned readings and topics covered in the first part of the course.

 

Fieldwork assignment:

Each student will complete a fieldwork assignment. Each student will pick one topic related to Italian contemporary society. For each topic, students will have instructions about things to do and people to interview. As students carry out their research, they will take some notes, and write a fieldwork report. Students will finally report on their fieldwork results and compare them with their classmates. Deadline April 3rd 2013.

 

Review:

Each student will write review on a book, a film or a documentary. Each student will select a topic of interest related to aspects of Italian contemporary society. This provides an opportunity to either explore a subject from the course in more depth, or to pursue material not otherwise covered in the course. Deadline April 15th 2013.

 

Final exam:

The final exam will include questions based on the readings and discussions covered in the second part of the course.

 

Overview of Fieldwork Assignments

Topic                                                                                    Fieldwork

            1. Places of religious devotion in Rome                    Discover religious devotion in Rome

            for English-speaking people

            2. Government and Politics                                       Interview people about an election issue

            3. Gender and Family                                                           Interview people about gender relations                                                                                         and family in contemporary Italy

            4. Visit a museum                                                      Find artefacts of the community’s                                                                                                   history and society

 

Grade grading:

The final grade will be calculated as follows:

Attendance, assigned readings, class participation and discussion leader               30%

Midterm                                                                                                                   20%

Fieldwork assignment                                                                                              20%

Review                                                                                                                     10%

Final examination                                                                                                     20%

 

 

Grading scale:

93 – 100% A;                 90 – 92% A;               87 – 89% B+;                 83 – 86% B

80 – 82% B-;                   77 – 79% C+;                 73 – 76% C;                    70 – 72% C-

67 – 69% D+;                 63 – 66% D;                    0 - 62 % F

 

Attendance and Deadlines Policy

 

Students are highly recommended to attend the lessons regularly, as the course does not only address theoretical issues but also the social and cultural experience of living and learning about Italy. The success of this course depends on interaction among all the members of the class. Given, however, that fact that we meet twice a week, no more than TWO unexcused absences are permitted. Each additional absence will incur a 5% lowering of participation grade. If the student is ill and notifies the dean and me, that, of course, is an excused absence.

 

Students must take the examinations and tests when they are set, because make up sessions will not be given, except for very serious reasons and authorized by the Academic Dean.

 

Cheating or dishonesty of any kind on an examination will be penalized by an F (0 points).

 

Blackboard

We will use the Blackboard site for this course. Students are expected to check the site regularly, also because emails will be sent to the class.

 

Course Textbooks, Articles and Worksheets

Textbook:

- Mario Mignone, Italy Today: Facing the Challenges of the New Millennium, Peter Lang Publishing, 2008.

This volume will be placed on reserve in the library.

 

Academic Articles:

The students can access the articles directly from our e-journals.

Asher Colombo & Giuseppe Sciortino, ‘Italian Immigration: the origins, nature and evolution of Italy's migratory systems’, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 9 (1), 2004, pp. 49-70.

Claudia Finotelli & Giuseppe Sciortino, ‘The Importance of Being Southern: The Making of Policies of Immigration Control in Italy’, European Journal of Migration and Law, 11, 2009, pp. 119-138.

Peter J. Margry, Merchandising and Sanctity: the Invasive Cult of Padre Pio, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies 7 (1), 2002, pp. 88-115.

Enzo Pace, ‘A Peculiar Pluralism’, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies 12 (1), 2007, pp. 86-100.

Emilio Reyneri, ‘Immigrants in a segmented and often undeclared labour market’, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 9 (2), 2004, pp. 71-93.

Chiara Saraceno,The Italian Family from the 1960s to the present’, in Modern Italy, vol. 9, 1, 2004, pp. 47-57.

Luisa Tasca, ‘The “Average Housewife” in Post-World War II Italy’, in Journal of Women's History, vol. 16, n. 2, 2004, pp. 92-115.

 

Worksheets:

Worksheets dealing with an outline of the transformation of Italian contemporary society will be provided especially during the first part of the course.

 

Films and Documentaries:

Film and documentaries on Italy today will be watched and analyzed.

 

Course Schedule

 

Week 1

The Transformation of Italian Society 1

Read, Mignone, pp. 20-27; 141-150; 216-19.

Worksheet provided

 

Week 2

The Transformation of Italian Society 2

Read, Mignone, pp. 85-91; 150-154.

Worksheet provided

 

Week 3

The Transformation of Italian Society 3

Read, Mignone, pp. 157-173.

Worksheet provided

 

Week 4

Documentary “Forever Vespa”

Class discussion and analysis.

 

Week 5

New Immigration

Read:

1. Asher Colombo & Giuseppe Sciortino, ‘Italian Immigration: the origins, nature and evolution of Italy's migratory systems’, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 9 (1), 2004, pp. 49-70.

2. Claudia Finotelli & Giuseppe Sciortino, ‘The Importance of Being Southern: The Making of Policies of Immigration Control in Italy’, European Journal of Migration and Law, 11, 2009, pp. 119-138.

 

Week 6

New Immigration

Read:

Emilio Reyneri, ‘Immigrants in a segmented and often undeclared labour market’, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 9 (2), 2004, pp. 71-93.

Viewing and discussion of the film ‘Lamerica’

 

 

Week 7

Midterm exam

 

Week 8

Gender Relations

Read:

1. Chiara Saraceno,The Italian Family from the 1960s to the present’, in Modern Italy, vol. 9, 1, 2004, pp. 47-57.

2. Luisa Tasca, ‘The “Average Housewife” in Post-World War II Italy’, in Journal of Women's History, vol. 16, n. 2, 2004, pp. 92-115.

 

Week 9

Italian Catholicism

Read:

Enzo Pace, ‘A Peculiar Pluralism’, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies 12 (1), 2007, pp. 86-100.

 

Week 10

Italian Catholicism

Read:

Peter J. Margry, Merchandising and Sanctity: the Invasive Cult of Padre Pio, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies 7 (1), 2002, pp. 88-115.

 

Week 11

Deadline and presentations of Fieldwork Assignments

 

Week 12

Presentations of Fieldwork Assignments and Discussions

 

Week 13

Deadline of the Review

Revision before the exam

 

Week 14

Final exam