Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Mara BENADUSI

Expected Learning Outcomes

Aimed at students of the three-year degree in Social Work (L39), this course will be held jointly by Prof. Mara Benadusi and Prof. Antonio Vesco. At the end of the course students will be able to: 
  • problematize cultural dynamics linked to social work and social services with an anthropological key; 
  • critically analyze the "relationships of care" in both formal and informal contexts; 
  • reflect on the applied socio-cultural implications linked to social work professions.

Course Structure

The course comprises of both classic teaching of anthropological theories and methods, and interactive teaching with an active involvement of students in presenting and analyzing their readings and in making direct experience of anthropological methodologies and data collection technics. 

Information for students with diverse abilities and/or with special needs:
As a guarantee of equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan a better way to foster their teaching objectives.  It is also possible to ask the departmental contacts of CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and/or DSAs).

Required Prerequisites

No prerequisites are needed.

Attendance of Lessons

This course is designed in a seminar style and students are encouraged to prepare before class. Punctuality, participation and overall contribution to the activities carried out in the classroom also affect the final grade.

Detailed Course Content

This course is an introduction to the anthropology of welfare, and consists of two parts.The first partwill help students to adopt a critical approach to handle concepts such as nature/culture, identity/otherness, ethnicity/ethnocentrism, belief/religion, practice/cognition, by using a perspective attentive to the intersections between public welfare and social sciences.Methodological key features of anthropology and rudiments of ethnographic research will also be explored.The second part of the course will get to the heart of what anthropologists have written on many topics related to social protection systems: social security, health, education, housing, labor policies, reception systems. Finally, divided into working groups, the students will work on a monograph exploring the linkages between anthropology and social work within one of the intervention sectors indicated above.

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The final evaluation will be an oral exam. Students attending the course can also have an intermediate test: divided in small groups, they will present a monographs chosen among the books included in the syllabus. Students will be assessed on the basis of: a) their active participation in the course; b) the results of their group activity; c) the ability to connect theoretical knowledge and issues emerging from specific ethnographic cases.