Objectives of the course are a) to provide basic notions on the fundamental concepts of social and cultural anthropology and on the main issues that are today at the center of the debate and b) to provide conceptual tools useful for reasoning autonomously and critically on issues and problems related to contemporary globalization as a complex intertwining of local and transnational processes.

At the end of the course the student has:
- a knowledge of the main anthropological theories, with the ability to contextualize their historical-scientific development
- a knowledge of the main concepts of cultural and social anthropology.
teacher profile | teaching materials

Fruizione: 22902482 ANTROPOLOGIA CULTURALE E SOCIALE (6 CFU L39) in Educatore di nido e dei servizi per l'infanzia L-19 PINELLI BARBARA


The course focuses on ‘the border’ from an anthropological perspective. The border will be understood as a social space where multiple cultures, genders, bodies, social classes, and belongings overlap, conflict, or build new alliances and communities.
In the contemporary world, the anthropological perspective is a critical study aiming at understanding cultural diversity and similarities, processes building inequalities, differences, social hierarchies, new forms of action and resistance. The course aims to provide a) knowledge of anthropological perspectives and their main concepts and b) to develop an ability to understand currents of thought in their historical and social dimensions. In applying such knowledge, theories, and concepts, students will be able to c) develop a reflexive, autonomous, and critical gaze on the main topics of contemporary. On this background, d) a participatory method will be solicited to discuss explored social processes, especially related to the border issue. The border will be understood as that point in which two or more cultures, genders, bodies, social classes, and alliances intertwine (Gloria Anzaldùa, Borderland/La frontera). Suppose the border indicates a geographical boundary in a strict sense. In that case, it is generally conceived as a set of social and political processes questioning the construction of marginality and the violable and discriminated body. For these reasons, the border also expresses the place from which thinking new alliances and resistance, as well as processes engaging generations, training and educational institutions, and civil society to rethink new ways of belonging in the contemporary world.
The ethnographic method and ethnographic examples will encourage a participatory approach to understand the ‘otherness’, becoming a helpful means to develop a comparative and non-ethnocentric perspective, together with micro-macro levels of analysis.

Core Documentation

Palumbo Berardino, Pizza Giovanni, Schirripa Pino (2023). Antropologia culturale e sociale. Concetti, storia, prospettive. Hoepli.
Parte Prima. L’antropologia e i suoi campi (pp. 1-38).
Parte Seconda. Panoramica storica degli studi di antropologia culturale e sociale (pp. 39-114).
Parte terza. Parole chiave per un’antropologia contemporanea: Corpo (pp. 134-149); Femminismo e antropologia (pp.165-177); Genere (pp. 178-188); Mobilità (pp. 256-270); Resistenze (pp. 271-285)

2) A text of your choice (the books can be read in their original version - where available) - Further details and suggestions will be given during the courses depending on the specific classes

Fusaschi, Michela. (2011). Quando il corpo è delle altre. Retoriche della pietà e umanitarismo-spettacolo. Bollati Boringhieri.
Holmes, Seth M., (2023). Frutta fresca, corpi spezzati. Braccianti migranti negli Stati Uniti d’America. Meltemi.
Khosravi, Shahram (2019). Io sono confine. Eléuthera.
Marchetti, Chiara e Pinelli, Barbara (a cura) (2017). Confini d’Europa. Modelli di controllo e inclusioni informali. Edizioni Cortina, Milano.
Mattalucci, Claudia (a cura) (2017). Antropologia e riproduzione. Attese, fratture e ricomposizioni della procreazione e della genitorialità in Italia. Edizioni Cortina, Milano.
Ong Aihwa (2005). Da rifugiati a cittadini. Pratiche di governo nella nuova America. Raffaello Cortina, Milano.
Pinelli, Barbara (a cura) (2013). Migrazioni e asilo politico. “Antropologia”, 15, https://www.ledijournals.com/ojs/index.php/antropologia/issue/view/20.
Quagliariello Chiara, 2021, L’isola dove non si nasce. Lampedusa tra esperienze procreative, genere e migrazioni, Milano, Unicopli.
Sorgoni, Barbara (2022). Antropologia delle migrazioni. L’età dei rifugiati. Carocci.

3) A text of your choice (the books can be read in their original version - where available) - Further details and suggestions will be given during the courses depending on the specific classes

Susan Sontag, Davanti al dolore degli altri. Nottetempo.
Albahari Maurizio. Tra la guerra e il mare. Democrazia migrante e crimini di pace. Manifestolibri.
John Berger, Jean Mohr, Il settimo uomo. Contrasto.
Arendt Hannah. Noi rifugiati. Einaudi.
Adichie Ngozi Chimamande, Metà di un sole giallo. Einaudi.
Saidiya Hartman, Perdi la madre. Un viaggio lungo la rotta atlantica degli schiavi. Tamu.
Marco Omizzolo, Per motivi di giustizia. People.
Toni Morrison, L’importanza di ogni parola. Sperling & Kupfer.
Toni Morrison, Prima i bambini. Sperling & Kupfer.
Behrouz Boochani, Nessun amico se non le montagne. Add editore

Type of delivery of the course

Lectures will be supported by Power Point and audio-visual materials, as well as by the reading and analyzing ethnographic examples. These support tools intend to encourage the active participation of the students, dialogues, and discussions on the course topics.


Attendance is not mandatory. However, participation in the course is recommended for a greater understanding of the disciplinary debate, the bibliography, and active participation in classroom discussions.

Type of evaluation

Oral interview, about 15/20 minutes. Through questions/answers, it will be verified that: 1) the students have read the materials assigned 2) the students are able to interpret and reflect on concepts and perspectives illustrated; and 3) the students have developed the capacity of autonomous thought and to apply concepts to different contexts. The written examination, i.e. a multiple-choice or short-answer questionnaire, is optional: it can be requested or proposed according to the number of students.