Sociology of Mass Communication (p) (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 1:30 PM - 3:10 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.4  
Friday 3:10 PM - 4:50 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.1  

Learning outcomes

The course is divided into two parts: a theoretical one, and a practical one. The first lessons are focused on the analysis and the discussion of the key concepts extracted from Giovanni Boccia Artieri and Gino Frezza’s written works. Afterwards, there will be an expanded breakdown on Human – Non Human interaction, and on the relationship between technology and sensorial ability, aimed to promote a creative misreading. Here, students will be motivated to experiment and to apply the concepts acquired during lessons on trans-medial products, in order to work in the field as communications analysts.


The course aims to explore the theoretical lines of communication and mass culture under a sociological perspective. Medias are portrayed as an inter-action place, because they actively take part in the construction of socially shared values. Therefore, the course will be structured around three axes: the structural characteristics of trans-medial communications; the effects of mass communications; and the connections between media and social systems in virtual perspectives.
Media identities and units in networks constitute the privileged observation post to renegotiate the contents of relations networks, which Giovanni Boccia Artieri describes as “imaginary lives”. That is why the topics treated during the course are part of the following fields of knowledge: Postmodernity, STS and Post Human.
These approaches avoid the frequent distortion of communication theories anchored in strategies of mass persuasion and work on the eminently cultural component made by the contamination of different genres and languages. In this regard, it is useful to retrieve the concept of “Neobaroque”, which has been well defined by Omar Calabrese, concerning the social aesthetics of the 80s. The “Neobaroque” guidelines converge with STS and the post-human hypothesis because they consider the media as a social gathering, which pushes to the limits the boundaries of belief and knowledge. It is consequently in this background that cybernetic social structures entrusted to “optical-visual power”, as Donna Haraway states, create processes and experiences mediated by technological devices.
Here new languages are intertwined, which are capable of generating innovative changes in the fields of aesthetics, culture and habits. It’s no surprise that Katherine Hayles writes about an interconnected “panhumanity” that reconfigures humankind as a reactive category.
It is hence in today’s virtual world that the uninterrupted stream of sounds, signs and pictures not only saturates everyday life, but also normalizes negotiations between humans and non-humans, humans and technologies. These hybridizations affect directly the subjects’ past and renovate their languages, relationships and social behaviors.
It is deduced that “world-media” presume a rhizomatic look, even more so if imaginary and units assume teragonic profiles. Nevertheless, what does it mean being interconnected? Why do we talk about virtual reality? If, as stated by Donna Haraway, these narratives live within us and we live within them, communication will be used as an observation tool aimed to record traditional meanings’ implosion areas.

Books for Examination:

Boccia Artieri G., I media-mondo. Forme e linguaggi dell'esperienza contemporanea, Meltemi, Milano 2004;
Frezza G., Endoapocalisse, AreaBlu Edizioni, Salerno 2015.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral Examination