Master’s degree in Marketing and Corporate Communication

Sociology and psychology of consumption

Course code
Name of lecturers
Cristina Lonardi, Debora Viviani
Cristina Lonardi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
primo semestre lauree magistrali dal Oct 1, 2018 al Dec 21, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course objectives of the course converge towards the ability to understand consumer action as social action, particularly in its symbolic and relational aspects. It is intended to provide students with a vision of the phenomenon in its symbolic aspects that can integrate the knowledge acquired from other courses of this degree course. Also through case studies and lectures to lecturers in the sector, we intend to provide the student with logical schemes and interpretative tools that enable him to analyze the phenomenon of consumer action in a transparent way, grasping the "irrational" aspects of social action and social relationship.


The topics addressed will be:
consumer behavior in their micro and social macro dimensions;
the psychological and symbolic dimension of the consumption action and the meaning expressed by the goods and realized in their purchase and use;
the emerging lines of analysis of the consumption phenomenon.
Some thematic analyzes will be planned, proposed by expert researchers in the field of consumption and social research on consumption.
A part of the course (18 hours given by Prof. Debora Viviani) will focus on the concept of material culture, from its anthropological beginnings to its applications in the field of consumer sociology.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Douglas M., Isherwood B. Il mondo delle cose Il Mulino 2013 Questo testo è riferito alle lezioni della Prof.ssa Debora Viviani
Codeluppi V. Manuale di Sociologia dei Consumi (Edizione 10) Carocci 2016 9788843035526 Il volume va preparato per intero ad esclusione dei capitoli 7 (L'economia) e 10 (La semiotica).

Assessment methods and criteria

The methods of assessment of learning include a written test.
The written test offers questions on the topics of the program treated in class, present in the exam texts and proposed during the thematic analysis of the guests who will speak during the course.
The written test is aimed at ascertaining that the student:
- has a solid knowledge of the distinctive traits that characterize consumer behavior and relations with the commodity object with respect to other social actions;
- know how to develop the proposed theme, exposing it with a correct language and arguing it with coherence and critical sense.

Further elements that will be evaluated in the analysis of the answers provided by the student will be:
- depth and extent of the concepts learned;
- language properties in the exposition of concepts and notions;
- ability to connect the acquired knowledge in a systemic way.

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