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Second semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

The course aims to guide young people towards civic participation by showing associative contexts and measuring their technical skills in them.

In this sense, the course is not a traditional exploration of social theory focused on the forms of civic political participation, but rather a laboratory of reading the city as a set of social action contexts, as a set of breeding grounds for generative conflict, exchange between groups and institutions, collective efforts for the management of social change towards horizons of less inequality and so on. The main objective of the course is therefore that students learn to read the possibilities of participation offered in the contexts where they live.

Another very important objective is that students learn to distinguish between the different forms of participation not only for "problematic" addressed but also for social composition and internal relational modalities. In this sense, at the end of the course students should have the ability to read the plurality of forms (relationships, interactions, leadership) that animate movements, associations, collectives of political civic participation.



Course contents summary

The course aims to the theme of civic participation as a historical phenomenon (evolutions across the time) and as a set of relationships (social practices) determined and different by class, gender, age, geopolitical context.

Theoretical lessons (social theory) will define more generally the dynamics of civic participation within the public sphere of the modern nation-state in reference to specific dimensions of social conflict (gender issues; migration issues; redistributive issues).

Other lessons will be more centered on the relational dynamics within "collective" subjects, on the elaborative transition from "I" to "Us" in political fields, with particular attention to Freirian theories and to Latin American thought.

The course will then deal with what is now called "sociology of the possible": the exploration of new imaginary dimensions and the relationship of participation that are specific to contemporary times, outside the modern ideological aggregations, but yet permeated by new utopian productions

Course contents


Recommended readings

The course is based on two types of reference materials:
- Some essays that will be distributed after classes, depending on the "guests" (of the associations) (the essays will be uploaded to Elly)
- The materials provided by each association involved in the project, where the students will do their internship (materials: historical excursus of the association, thematic, etc.) (documentation center of Forum Solidarity)

Teaching methods

1. The course adopts the method of "participated lessons".
The course will invite people living different forms of participation (migrants' associations, workers association, etc.) and who deal with different types of conflict (different objects of contention and different dynamics of confrontation with institutions, for example).

2. Laboratories with associations.
At the end of the lesson hours (about 18 hours) the students will carry out a number of hours within the associations involved in the course thanks to the intermediation of the Volunteering Service Center of Parma, Solidarity Forum (about 60 hours).
In this way, divided into small groups, also thanks to the presence of tutors in the associations, they will be able to reflect on the daily life of the participation.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is a written test, with the presentation of a dissertation (or "experience field diary" paper made with the course).
The paper will be about 8 \ 10 folders.

In the first part the student will expose the contents learned with the lessons by choosing a topic and deepening it.

In the second part the student will describe the experience made in the chosen association, the problem dealt with, the participative modalities, the way in which he himself was able to better understand that given problem through his participation.

Other informations