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CODE 106913
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 9274 DESIGN DEL PRODOTTO E DELLA NAUTICA(L-4) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 3nd year of 9274 DESIGN DEL PRODOTTO E DELLA NAUTICA(L-4) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 9274 DESIGN DEL PRODOTTO E DELLA NAUTICA(L-4) - LA SPEZIA
  • 6 cfu during the 3nd year of 9274 DESIGN DEL PRODOTTO E DELLA NAUTICA(L-4) - LA SPEZIA
    LANGUAGE Italian
  • SEMESTER 2° Semester


    The widespread demographic aging requires more and more specific skills to deepen the heterogeneity of the elderly condition both with respect to the state of health and socio-economic dimensions, and in the profound differentiations for lifestyles, consumption, attitudes and behaviors of seniors.
    In this sense, the increased longevity produces not only a numerical growth of the elderly, who have become an important target of services and market, but also a growing differentiation between them, in the transversal hybridization of inequalities by age with gender, ethnicity and social background, as well as in the heterogeneous identity, cultural and value composition that sees several older generations co-present.
    Therefore, it is increasingly important for designers, architects and urban planners to be able to interpret aging processes in the light of differences in the generational, conditions and lifestyle of seniors.



    This course aims to provide students with the fundamental notions of the sociology of aging in the various theoretical perspectives in a post-structuralist, post-modernist, socio-structural and cultural sense.
    By the end of the course, students will be able to:
    - understand the concepts relating to the issue of population aging, with a specific focus on the Italian and Ligurian contexts;
    - understand the various generational differences in terms of identity, values, and lifestyle among the senior population;
    - classify, segment and profile seniors according to their different health, socioeconomic and lifestyle conditions, with a focus on the relationship between clinical frailty and social vulnerability, while analyzing their available cultural and social activation processes;
    - understand, through lab simulations, the physical frailty of vulnerable seniors;
    - apply cluster analysis techniques to segment the senior population as a specific target for marketing and service purposes.


    By the end of this course, students will be expected to:

    • know the main sociological theories on the topic of aging;
    • relate the above theories to the issues and concepts covered throughout the course;
    • critically analyze the phenomenon of aging in contemporary society.


    Face-to-face lessons, with the possibility of participating in practical-guided experiences on the topics covered, Aulaweb.

    In the event of a continuing COVID-19 emergency, lessons will be held online on the Teams platform. In this case, the laboratory experiences in presence will be replaced with practical-guided experiences at a distance and in asynchronous form.


    - Demographic aging: the different perspectives at an international, Italian and local level
    - Generational differentiation: from the elderly to the emerging profile of baby boomers
    - Physical and cognitive decline, fragility in the aging process and social vulnerability.
    - The social construction of old age: body, gender, roles in the aging process
    - The socio-economic factors associated with inequalities in the trajectories of active and healthy aging.
    - The attitudes and lifestyles of the elderly and their impact on aging differentials.
    - How the physical aspects of society (environment, buildings, spaces and transport) and technology influence the experience of aging.
    - The theme of ageism and its various connotations
    - Experiences of simulation of the physical conditions of the frail elderly (compatibly with the conditions of the Covid-19 social and health emergency)
    - Methodological elements for the application of cluster techniques


    Poli. S (2021), in press, Gli anziani che verranno. La generazione dei Baby Boomer tra impegno, identità e disincanto. FrancoAngeli, Milano.

    Moreover, reading the following articles is advised for a better understanding of the discipline

    Stefano Poli, Claudio Torrigiani e Alberto Pilotto (2021), in press, Anziani in bilico: fragilità e resilienza al tempo del Covid-19 Il Progetto PRESTIGE, Genua University Press, Genova

    For foreign students it is available the following material

    • Poli, S., con Pandolfini V. e Torrigiani, G. (2020) Frailty and Its Social Predictors Among Older People: Some Empirical Evidence and a Lesson From Covid-19 for Revising Public Health and Social Policies, Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 12, pp. 151-176, ISSN:2035-4983 vol. 12, DOI:10.14658/pupj-ijse-2020-3-8.
    • Poli, S. (2018), Attitudes Toward Active Voluntary Euthanasia Among Community-Dwelling Older Subjects, SAGE Open, January-March 2018: 1–11, DOI: 10.1177/2158244017753868, in press.
    • Palumbo, M., Poli, S. (2017), Aging in the Contemporary Urban Context: The Mortality Rates of Older Residents in Genoa, Italy. In A. Karakitsiou et al. (eds.), City Networks, Springer Optimization and Its Applications 128, Springer International Publishing AG 2017, 10.1007/978-3-319-65338-9_9.
    • Poli, S., Cella, A., Puntoni, M., Musacchio, C., Pomata, M., Torriglia, D., Vello, N., Molinari, B., Pandolfini, V., Torrigiani, C., Pilotto, A. (2016) Frailty is associated with socioeconomic and lifestyle factors in community-dwelling older subjects, Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, pp. 1-8, published online 27 August 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. DOI: 10.1007/s40520-016-0623-5.
    • Poli S. (2014, July). Beyond Stereotypes: Talent, Resources and Social Activity among the Postmodern Elderly. Research on Ageing and Social Policies, 2 (1), July, pp. 58-86, doi: 10.4471/rasp.2014.03.


    Exam Board

    STEFANO POLI (President)



    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.



    Written exam with the possibility of oral integration. Students wishing to take the exam must enroll in the "Written and oral" mode in the sessions indicated in the exam session. Registration for the exam is mandatory.


    The exam will be carried out in written form (5 open-ended questions, 4 of which on the manual and 1 on in-depth and reading contributions), with possible oral integration if requested by the teacher or student for further verification of preparation.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    09/01/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    23/01/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    05/06/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    19/06/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    03/07/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    08/09/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale


    All students are invited to periodically consult the page of this course on the AulaWeb e-learning portal (accessible from the University website or at: All information and materials relating to this course are published exclusively on this site.

    Reception hours take place from Monday to Thursday 12:00-14:00 by appointment by sending an email to