Sociology of Communication (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Lorenzo Migliorati
Lorenzo Migliorati
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
NN - -
Language of instruction
Sem. IIA dal Feb 27, 2017 al Apr 22, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Sem. IIA
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 8:30 AM - 10:10 AM lesson Lecture Hall SPA  
Friday 11:50 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall 1.5  

Learning outcomes

The course is structured in a theoretical part and in a practical one. The first lessons are focused on the analysis and the discussion of the key concepts extracted from Paddy Scannell and Jean Baudrillard’s written works. Afterwards, there will be an expanded breakdown on visual consumption mediated by screens. In order to promote a creative misreading, here students will be motivated to experiment and to apply the concepts acquired during lessons on cultural products, in order to work in the field as communications analysts.


The course aims to provide the theoretical basis to study social communication processes and deepen communication forms in daily life.
These objectives will be achieved through exposition of the main theoretical approaches of different research traditions, fitting the knowledge of communications sociology. Among the various models for the study of communications and media phenomenon, we will refer to communications as interaction, to encoding/decoding mechanisms, to media and audience studies, and to the relationship between communications and publicness inside information societies.
Nevertheless, during the lessons it will be also examined the hybridization between old and new media, since modern social scenarios are affected from the mutations introduced by technological innovations. The comparison between modernity and postmodernity allows us to question ourselves on the processes that Habermas defines with the concept of “new feudalization of everyday life”.
This project casts new light on the well-known sentence “The medium is the message” by McLuhan, and marks the passage from the making of societal life into a show to the screen logic, theorized by Baudrillard. The French thinker speculates that in today’s societies the message is already broken into countless signs with no referent. That is why Baudrillard defines contemporary culture as a “videogame one”: not only because it is indeed interconnected, but also because of a communications medley created from the euphoria within the messages that pass through our screens. If, as McLuhan states, “we become what we behold”, it is legitimate to question ourselves also on the way that communications are entrusted to soft and seductive technologies.
In order to deconstruct visual consumerism practices, spread particularly by hyper-textual absorption, Baudrillard’s thoughts will be the paradigm to perform a comparison between the different theoretical models explained during the course. It will be therefore applied a critic perspective in order to strengthen the media approach on cultural products.

Books for Examination:

Scannell P., Media e comunicazione, Il Mulino, Bologna 2009;
Baudrillard J., Il sogno della merce, Lupetti, Bologna 1995.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral Examination