Departmental research centres

The Centre’s aim is to promote the study and research of demographic and family changes taking place in Italy.
Participants of the Centre have undertaken various research projects into:

  • demographic changes;
  • changing family units;
  • the elderly;
  • family roles and relationships;
  • domestic violence.

All members of the Centre have authored numerous publications in the field and have also participated in a range of conferences in university and other settings.

Furthermore, in December 2015, a national conference (the first in many years) on Italian research into family changes was organised.

Contact person: Professor Carla Facchini

Agreements with the Municipality of Milan on “Identifying weaknesses in the Milanese job market” and with the University of Aosta regarding labour policies.

“Network contracts” agreements with companies.

Research activities on work quality and satisfaction.

Company welfare.

Contact person: Professor Serafino Negrelli

The Diaforà workshop organises seminars and conferences and runs cross-discipline editorial and research projects around the topic of multiculturalism (in day-to-day matters, in communication, in the market, in social representations) and around changes to citizenship and national identity.

The project takes a reflective, critical approach to the mainstream debate on multiculturalism, whose intrinsic limit lays in a reified vision of differences and culture, or – on the contrary – in an idea of universalism which obliterates the differences that are produced in so-called host societies.

Contact persons: 

Professor Ilenya Camozzi

Professor Marcello Maneri

Professor Fabio Quassoli

Professor Tatjana Sekulić

Against Domestic Violence (ADV) is the continuation of EDV Italy Project, which was set up as part of an agreement signed by the Rector of the University of Milano-Bicocca and Patricia Scotland, a member of the House of Lords and President of the Eliminate Domestic Violence Global Foundation in London. Scotland is now the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

Against Domestic Violence (ADV) is now a Departmental Research Centre, which aims to produce and spread knowledge around domestic violence and all forms of violence against women and minors. ADV intends to: support an integrated, holistic approach to tackling gender-based violence; offer education on the subject to students, operators and professionals; undertake ad hoc research projects; contribute to raising public awareness of the phenomenon; get institutions and associations involved in its activities; cooperate with all parties involved in the fight against domestic violence and efforts to promote adequate public policies, in accordance with international conventions.

Contact person: Professor Marina Calloni



The Etnicos Centre of Studies was founded in 1995 by the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Milan and moved to the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Milano-Bicocca in 1998. Etnicos undertakes study and research activities into identity constructs, relationships and conflicts between groups in terms of politics, society and culture.

The Centre has a primary focus on the political and social transformation of post-communist societies, following the fall of socialist regimes in the 1990s. It also tackles issues associated with the integration, expansion and democratisation of European societies both in and out of the EU.

Contact person: Professor Tatjana Sekulić

FarSiCura draws on the many years of research experience held by the University of Milano-Bicocca’s Department of Sociology and Social Research in the field of social issues relating to urban insecurity, road safety and other potential “risks” for populations.

FarSiCura aims to promote a multi-dimensional approach to analysis of the subject of safety, something that cannot simply be reduced to the question of crime, but should be expanded to take in a series of aspects of day-to-day life that can have a profound impact on the perception of safety of each individual.

FarSiCura intends to focus its attention on aspects of insecurity that can be more directly linked to matters of sociological interest, specifically: the evolution of the lifestyles and social needs of the population; changes to urban settings and difficulties in relationships between new and old “inhabitants” who bear witness to these; the emergence of new forms of marginality and social vulnerability in contemporary societies; the evolution of the demand for security from the population and the more or less appropriate responses provided by the institutions; the transformations of the figures involved in urban security policies and measures on various scales.

Contact person: Professor Sonia Stefanizzi

Collaboration with ICOM Italia for the 24th General Conference – Museums and Cultural Landscapes, 3-9 July 2016, Milan.

Participation in the INTERREG SWARE – Sustainable Development of Waterway Regions project with Association Regio Water (VRW), Netherlands.

Plenary speaker “Rururbanscape: a Metropolis ante litteram?”, VII Mediterranean Conference on the Sociology of Tourism, Unical, 3 October 2014.

Plenary speaker “Tourism & economy”, World Canals Conference Plenary Session, 1 September 2014, Milan, Palazzo Lombardia.

Invited lecture “Mobilities and Hospitable City”, 16-18 January 2014, Italian Geographical Society, Rome.

Contact person: Professor Ezio Marra

The product of the Departmental Centre of the same name, it was set up in 2012 by the University of Milano-Bicocca and the University of Pavia.

It aims to promote research into the communication of science in the “knowledge society” and its experimentation within the context of the University’s third mission, as part of a direct link with the MaCSIS Postgraduate Programme.

Main research areas:

  • scientific communication and the University’s third mission;
  • sociology and the history of science and innovation;
  • relations between culture, art and science;
  • “science and society” in general.


Contact person: Professor Andrea Cerroni

The Observatory was set up in 2002 with the objective of promoting study and research into social professions and current changes affecting the job market and the skills required by these professions.

The following national-level research projects have been run in the last ten years:

  • “Characteristics of Students of the Undergraduate Degree Course in Social Work.” Builds on previous national research and draws on the historic archive. (Research funded by all Undergraduate Degree Courses involved. Supervisor: C. Facchini);
  • “Educational Journeys and Professional Roles of Social Assistants” (PRIN 2006-09, support from the National Council of the Order of Social Assistants. Supervisor: C. Facchini);
  • “Professional Skills and Social Participation” (PRIN local centre of national research 2010-12 on Zone Plans. Supervisor: C. Facchini);
  • “Educational Journeys and Professional Roles of Recent Graduates in Social Work” (Research undertaken in collaboration with the Undergraduate Degree Course in Social Work. Supervisor: M. Tognetti);
  • “Educational Journeys and Professional Roles of Recent Graduates from Bachelor Degrees in Sociology” (Research sponsored by the AIS and funded by all Undergraduate Degree Courses involved. Supervisor: C. Facchini).


A number of conferences have been organised on these subjects. Training has also been provided to local bodies.

Contact person: Professor Carla Facchini

This Research Centre sees participation from Department colleagues (M. Lucchini, M. Terraneo, etc) who have undertaken a range of research projects on specific subjects (i.e. on Self-help for Lombardy Region; on Childhood Obesity for the National Association of Parents; on Huntington’s Disease and Sufferers, Cariplo Funding, Nord Milano Foundation etc; on ESPs, funding for the S. Anna Hospital in Como etc).

The Centre organises an annual summer school focusing on matters relating to health (this is being planned for next year with ISTAT).

OsMeSa has a monthly newsletter.

Contact person: Professor Mara Tognetti



Public Reasoning and Global Society in Action (PRAGSIA) aims to contribute to the analysis of: processes of public reasoning; the formation of critical public discourse; relations between civil society, institutions and cultures; changes to gender and identity relationships; human rights between laws and facts; criticism of violence; matters relating to political constraints and imagination.

PRAGSIA brings together lecturers and researchers from Italy and abroad who operate in the fields of political philosophy, social sciences and cultural studies.

Contact person: Professor Marina Calloni



The Workshop was set up in 2002 in order to provide a space for research and scientific dialogue around issues relating to the institutions, public policies, the reorganisation of public administration on a local level, active citizenship and participative governance, with a particular focus on welfare, health and social care services and urban governance.

The Workshop has been involved in an extensive list of scientific exchange programmes on both national and international levels, including:

  • with the EHESS on pragmatic sociology in France, with Eve Chiappello, Claudette Lafaye, Danel Cefai, Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot;
  • on the tools approach, with Patrick Le Galès;
  • on urban welfare and city policies, with Arnaldo Bagnasco, Robert Castel, Jacques Donzelot, Ingrid Breckner and Barbara Czarniawska;
  • on transformations in the public sphere, with Marisol Garcia, Nicoletta Bosco, Luigi Pellizzoni and Franco Rositi;
  • on the managerial state, with Janet Newman;
  • on the metamorphosis of law, with Alain Supiot and Tamar Pitch;
  • on the role of knowledge in the public sphere and the information basis of policies, with Robert Salais, Jean-Michel Bonvin, Vando Borghi, Sandro Busso and Carlo Donolo;
  • on the process of social recognition, with Alessandro Pizzorno.


The Workshop undertakes research on both the national and international levels. It has participated in three Research Programmes of National Interest and two FP7 European projects (Capright and Workable). It has operated various different research projects on behalf of third parties (including for the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Province of Milan, the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, Trieste Health and Social Care, the Cariplo Foundation).

The Workshop also organised three cycles (2003-06) of the Postgraduate Programme in “Local Development and Social Quality: Planning and Managing Social Networks”. The aim of the course was to provide skills relevant to the construction and organisation of cooperation networks between various figures regarding integrated local economic development and social cohesion projects. It had a special focus on particularly problematic areas, working on the ground at times, in addition to drawing on comparisons with experiences in the southern hemisphere (the Progest Master’s Degree Course later benefited from this network of contacts).

Contact person: Professor Ota De Leonardis


Analysis of youth and its redefinition is interlinked with reflections on cultures of which the “new youth” is the custodian. Within this context, consumer practices and the use of new media take on a central role.

Main study and research areas include: multiple transitions to adulthood; role of belonging in gender and migration; youth movement; stages of life and the day to day; new cultural models; relationships with IT.

Contact person: Professor Carmen Leccardi