Servizi per la didattica

Methodologies for Social Inclusion and Participation


A.A. 2023/24

Course Language


Course degree

Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Pianificazione Territoriale, Urbanistica E Paesaggistico-Ambientale - Torino
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Digital Skills For Sustainable Societal Transitions - Torino

Course structure
Teaching Hours
Teacher Status SSD h.Les h.Ex h.Lab h.Tut Years teaching
Teaching assistant

SSD CFU Activities Area context
SPS/10 6 B - Caratterizzanti Economia, politica e sociologia
The course investigates urban phenomena, their transformations in developed and developing contemporary societies, paying particular attention to the debate on social inclusion in urban studies, the dynamics of inclusion/ exclusion, specific dimensions of social difference.
The course investigates urban phenomena of social inequalities, paying particular attention to processes and dynamics of social inclusion/exclusion and participation in urban spaces.
Knowledge and understanding of the urban phenomenon related to dynamics of inclusions/exclusion. Ability to analyze urban areas, policies and plans using both statistical data and qualitative methods.
Knowledge and understanding of urban phenomena related to dynamics of social inclusions/exclusion. Knowledge of relevant research methodologies to investigate urban phenomena.
There are no indispensable prerequisites. Some of the knowledge gained in higher education is useful, especially in history, philosophy, social sciences and statistics.
There are no indispensable prerequisites. Some of the knowledge gained in higher education is useful, especially in history, philosophy, social sciences and statistics.
Theoretical lessons The first module of lessons (5 hours) has the aim of explaining the keywords of the debate on social inclusion in urban studies. In particular, some fundamental concepts frequently used in current literature will be analyzed and compared: inclusion, integration, social cohesion, conflict, marginalization, discrimination, expulsion, polarization, segregation. The second module (20 hours) is dedicated to the analysis of the processes concerning contemporary metropolitan systems with reference to dynamics of inclusion/ exclusion. Different types of processes occurring in different areas of social life will be taken into consideration; in particular: - housing; - public space, culture, art, sports, leisure; - food system; - access and mobility aspects; - community facilities and welfare - citizens’ participation and subsidiarity between groups of citizens and institutions. Particular attention will be paid to understand how specific dimensions of social difference (including race, class, religion, income, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability) are implicated in processes and experiences of exclusion and inclusion. With reference to each area, possible guidelines for urban planning and policies will be analyzed. The third module (10 hours) is dedicated to an introduction to some fundamental methods for the empirical analysis of social phenomena in urban space, with particular emphasis on qualitative methodologies (interviews, focus groups, observation), tools for the analysis of urban processes, technics for the improvement of citizens’ participation In addition to the frontal lessons, the following activities will be carried out: - seminars with the intervention of external experts on specific topics (5 hours); - individual exercise: critical analysis of a recent article (10 hours); - group exercise: analysis of good practices on the territory (10 hours).
The course aims at problematizing socio-spatial inequalities, offering conceptual and methodological tools of analysis and intervention within the frame of urban studies. The first part of the course will provide the tools and concepts for developing a sociological perspective to critically address urban phenomena of social inclusion/exclusion and inequality (5h). Then, these tools and concepts will be put at work in analysing specific issues connected to urban processes. Residential segregation, lifestyle and consumption, use and control of public space, gentrification, housing, participation and urban governance are some of the topics that will be developed to thematize different forms of social stratification and inequality (20h). The course will also provide an overview of the main methodologies for social research, with a specific focus on participative approach (15h). Seminars with external experts on specific topics may be delivered to enrich the learning process in class hours. In addition to the frontal lessons, group exercise will be carried out (20 hours): the exact content of the exercise is decided upon evaluation of the ties and opportunities connected to the ongoing Covid-19 emergency. It may entail the development of a group research project elaborating the topics and methodologies discussed in class into an original research project on a local case study, to be designed and developed by the group.
In addition to lessons, the course provides an optional exercise aimed to the comparison of different cities or neighborhoods, using statistical data and qualitative information on urban policies and projects.
The course is organized in frontal lessons (40 hours) + individual/group exercise (20h). The frontal lessons (40h) deal with theoretical and methodological issues related to social inclusion/exclusion and participation in urban spaces. More specifically, the following macro-theme will be developed - A toolbox for a sociological imagination  Introduction to Sociology; Poverty & Social Exclusion; Social stratification and social inequalities - Social facts shaped in space: introduction to urban sociology  And why do we care about the urban - Phenomena and processes of socio-spatial inequality  Unequal cities, segregated spaces; public spaces, uses and control; social mix; housing; lifestyle and consumption; gentrification & displacement; studentification, touristification & urban playscapes; right to the city - Participation, social inclusion and the just city  participation and governance; participatory approach and decision making process - Methodology for social research Introduction to methodology; Quantitative and qualitative methods Finally, 20 hours will be devoted to the development of an group exercise that aims at bringing together the theoretical and the methodological knowledge acquired during the lessons in an original urban research project, that will be presented and discussed in class by the students at the end of the course .
Useful texts and bibliography will be communicated at the beginning of the course
- Mela A., Toldo A., 2019, Socio-Spatial Inequalities in Contemporary Cities, Springer - Ward, K. (ed.), 2020, Researching the City. A guide for student, Sage Additional texts and bibliography for attending and non-attending students will be shared at the beginning of the course
Modalità di esame: Prova orale obbligatoria;
Exam: Compulsory oral exam;
... The final assessment will take into consideration the global performance of each student in the following ways: Oral exam on the contents of theoretical lessons (three questions for each student regarding the topics of the three modules); Evaluation of the performance in the individual exercise; Evaluation of the individual contribution to group exercise. The oral exam weighs 60% on the total evaluation; exercises weigh 40%. The students that cannot attend the course and do group exercise will receive an additional text to study and comment during the oral exam.
Gli studenti e le studentesse con disabilità o con Disturbi Specifici di Apprendimento (DSA), oltre alla segnalazione tramite procedura informatizzata, sono invitati a comunicare anche direttamente al/la docente titolare dell'insegnamento, con un preavviso non inferiore ad una settimana dall'avvio della sessione d'esame, gli strumenti compensativi concordati con l'Unità Special Needs, al fine di permettere al/la docente la declinazione più idonea in riferimento alla specifica tipologia di esame.
Exam: Compulsory oral exam;
Exam: compulsory oral exam (lasting around 20 minutes). An individual oral exam is mandatory for all: both attending and non attending students. However, the materials on which the oral exam will be and the ‘weight’ of the oral exam for the final grade differ whether the student attended classes or not. Attending students The final assessment will take into consideration the global performance of each student in the following ways: 1) oral exam on the contents of the lessons and on selected reading materials and 2) evaluation of the performance in the exercise. The oral exam counts for the 60% of the final grade; the exercises count for the 40%. Students are considered as attending if they take active part to classes, group discussions and paper presentations and they submit the research project essay. The oral exam will start with a question on a reading material chosen by the student and it will continue with 2 further questions, 1 on the theoretical part, 1 on the methodological part (further follow-up questions are possible, if needed).
In addition to the message sent by the online system, students with disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) are invited to directly inform the professor in charge of the course about the special arrangements for the exam that have been agreed with the Special Needs Unit. The professor has to be informed at least one week before the beginning of the examination session in order to provide students with the most suitable arrangements for each specific type of exam.
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