First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SFM0014290, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SU2297, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SOCIAL DYNAMICS IN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MATTEO BORTOLINI SPS/07

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses SPS/07 General Sociology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 26/02/2018
End of activities 01/06/2018
Show course schedule 2018/19 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Commissione 2017/18 01/12/2017 30/11/2018 BORTOLINI MATTEO (Presidente)
BERTONCIN MARINA (Membro Effettivo)
RIVA CLAUDIO (Supplente)
1 Commissione 2016/17 01/12/2016 30/11/2017 BORTOLINI MATTEO (Presidente)
BERTONCIN MARINA (Membro Effettivo)
RIVA CLAUDIO (Supplente)

Prerequisites: Prerequisite for this course is a working knowledge of major sociological and political science concepts. Some knowledge of contemporary political philosophy and post-colonial studies could also be of some help.
Target skills and knowledge: Disciplinary goals and skills
Understand what “experts” and “expertise” are
Understand what “being an expert” means
Link experts and their social environments
Learn/Use basic sociological concepts
Be able to analyze complex situations
Craft sound social science arguments

Organize research materials
Develop group skills in multidisciplinary work
Organize a sound presentation
Organize effective discussions
Examination methods: Learning assessment for attending students

Class participation and discussion sessions – 25% 
Group written materials – 25% each
First in-class exam or weekly briefs – 15%
Final written exam – 35% 

Learning assessment for non attending students

- 2 take-home papers - 25% each 
- Final written exam - 50% 
Course unit contents: The course will focus on the role of experts in local development. We will try to understand what an expert is, what an expert does, and how experts work with other social actors in the pursuit of their individual and collective goals.

The course is both analytical and reflexive in scope. From an analytical point of view, we aim at building a rock-solid set of concepts for interpreting actual practices and social relationships. From a reflexive point of view, since students are studying to become “experts of local development” themselves, the course is designed in order to encourage and foster reflexivity about one’s role, duties, and power.

During the 2017-2018 a.y. we will compare Western and Chinese development projects in Africa, from a cultural, structural, and social point of view.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course is divided into two sections (see table):
- a first analytical section, focused on defining expertise and the social role of the expert, on discussing and creating some consensus on a notion of development, and on working out some viable analytical tools;
- during the second section, groups of students will present and discuss different case-studies.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Some prerequisite and methodological stuff will be uploaded on the course's Moodle page a couple of months before the beginning of the course for students to refresh their basic sociological knowledge.

The ultimate list of mandatory readings will be published later this academic year.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)