SPS/09 (SOCIOLOGIA DEI PROCESSI ECONOMICI E DEL LAVORO)
DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE POLITICHE E SOCIALI
Corso di studio
ECONOMIA, POLITICA E ISTITUZIONI INTERNAZIONALI
Secondo Semestre (26/02/2018 - 30/05/2018)
40 ore di attività frontale
Students with basic knowledge in modern and contemporary history, economics and sociology will be able to follow the course more productively. Recalling basic concepts such as GDP, per capita GDP, economic growth, capitalism, work, occupations, entrepreneurship, firm, science, technology and innovation would also help to attend lessons. Basic skills in oral and written reporting, and group work, as well as English proficiency will allow students to participate actively in the course.
The world economy has grown at an unprecedented pace in the last half-a-century pushed and sustained by the diffusion and strengthening of socio-economic forces such as entrepreneurship and innovation, human capital formation and mobility, science and technology. The course aims at offering a sociological view on these “engines of development” looking at relevant institutions, cultural elements and social relations associated with them, providing students with references to different theoretical approaches and empirical evidence.
At the end of the course students should have a general understanding of economic development in the long run and in recent times and gain a more specific knowledge of some constituent elements of the “engines of development” such as entrepreneurship & innovation, work & occupations, science & technology. They also should be able to search for empirical evidence describing these elements and to distinguish different theoretical approaches to the study of development. Finally, students should be able to detect relevant aspects connected to economic development in their immediate social context (e.g. city, region).
Programma e contenuti
The course begins describing economic growth in the very long run in order to identify different phases of economic development, their main features and their possible causes. In this way, the distinctive traits of contemporary economic development are pointed out and the stage is set to discuss how and why the aforementioned forces are connected to it.
After the introduction, the course is divided into three parts. The first part aims at introducing students to the study of entrepreneurship. The second is dedicated to work and human capital. The third part looks at the generation and application of new knowledge through science and technology. For each subject useful concepts and theoretical approaches are presented and the relationship with economic development is discussed looking, for instance, at the creation of new firms, the expansion of education systems, the functioning of the labour market, or the establishment of innovation systems. As far as possible, instruments of inquiry and data, examples and cases are also presented in order to provide students with a small but useful set of tools to study economic development.
The course consists of lectures, seminars and practicals. Although lectures may include a two-way communication between lecturer and students (with questions, answers, etc.), they are mainly based on the lecturer giving a speech. Seminars imply both discussion in the class, active participation by students who may be asked to give a short speech or report, and possibly the intervention of an external guest. Practicals consist of group visits to relevant corporate entities (institutions, firms, university units, etc.) and meetings with qualified informants. At the end of the course students will be invited to assess the didactical activities they have attended. Some instructions for preparing the exam will also be provided.
Testi di riferimento
The general reference books for the course are:
Smelser, N.J. & Swedberg, R. (Eds.), The Handbook of Economic Sociology (1st and 2nd editions), Princeton, Princeton University Press – New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1994 and 2005.
Swedberg, R. (ed.), Entrepreneurship. The Social Science View, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.
Fagerberg, J., David C. Mowery, D. C. and R. R. Nelson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Innovation, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006.
A complete reading list with other materials will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Modalità verifica apprendimento
Student assessment is based on students’ participation in seminars and practicals, and on a written exam. The exam consists of two parts: a) questions with very short answers; b) a short essay answering one among three questions. A defined number of points are associated to each question. Overall, the maximum score that students can gain is 34 points, corresponding to a grade of 30/30 cum laude.
No further information