Advanced knowledge, organization and politics

Course content

This is the core mandatory course for the MA specialization in Knowledge, Organization and Politics. The course reviews a range of central theoretical-analytical perspectives and empirical studies, each contributing to the sociological analysis of the ways in which society is organized and governed as well as the role(s) played by the production and use of knowledge in different organizational and political fields. For this purpose, analytical tools from three branches of sociology will be introduced and discussed: organizational sociology, sociology of knowledge, and political sociology. The mutual relations, overlaps, and tensions between  these subject areas and fields serve as the object of both theoretical and empirical analysis, as well as being put to use by students in their independent project work, i.e. inquiries into a chosen topic or problematic within the thematic field.

 

The course is structured along two main analytical axes. First, we read and analyze core sociological texts dealing with politically central forms of societal organization, at and across micro-, meso- and macro-sociological levels of analysis (municipalities, state bureaucracies, social movements, professional elites, multinational companies, international organizations etc.). Second, we introduce and discuss a range of theoretical-analytical perspectives relevant for the thematic field (neo-institutional organizational theory, neo-Weberian sociology of professions, Bourdieu-inspired field analyses, pragmatic-sociological convention theory etc.).

 

In this context, one central question running throughout the course is how knowledge and power come to relate in specific organizational contexts, and how we might understand and analyze such contexts in terms of concepts such as validity, legitimacy, conflict, and democracy. Here, we link our analyses to contemporary and central sociological discussions on such themes as the knowledge- and risk society, neo-liberalism, and globalization. These and related theoretical-analytical concepts will be used as tools for contextualizing the project-based inquiries within the thematic field which students will carry out and discuss in-between themselves throughout the entirety of the course.

Education

Mandatory MA course 1. Semester
MA Sociology 2015 - Compulsory course package subject.

Sociology students must be enrolled under MSc Curriculum 2015 to take this exam.
BA-Undergraduates from foreign countries (exchange students) can sign up for this course


Course package (MSc 2015):

Viden, organisation og politik/Knowledge, organisation and politics

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is for students to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competencies forming the basics of the MA specialization in Knowledge, organization and politics.

 

The demonstration of the fulfilment of the learning goals is done through the project work.

 

As such, the project work should demonstrate that students have acquired the ability to independently identify and analyze cases and settings where knowledge, politics and organization interact.

 

The project should hence demonstrate:

 

Knowledge:

  • An overview of the core sociological research literature within the thematic field of knowledge, organization and politics provided through readings of a variety of exemplary cases.

     

  • Knowledge of central analytical approaches to the  thematic field of knowledge, organization and politics 

     

Skills:

  • To identify and analyze one or more empirical case(s) or settings which exemplifies how

     

  • To state a relevant research problem which relates to the course aims and course content.

     

  • To choose, motivate and apply central concepts from the literature to the analysis of the selected empirical cases and situations.

     

  • To generate adequate empirical data, perform a structured analysis of these data through the lens of relevant analytical perspectives and to reflect methodologically on their own knowledge production during the project work.

 

Competencies:

  • To thoroughly compare and contrast key analytical perspectives

     

  • To assess practical consequences of their analysis for key actors, issues, and problems within and across organizational fields where relations between knowledge and politics is important.

The course combines class-based teaching and project work (either individually or in groups). Project work consists in on-going writing of draft text, based on readings and independent research, which eventually becomes the written exam assignment (based on which an oral defence is held as the final part of the exam). Students are expected to give and receive feedback on draft texts from fellow students during some classes throughout the course. Apart from this, class-based teaching will consist in combinations of lectures (incl. guest lectures) and student-driven discussions, including student presentations. Students are expected to contribute actively to the discussion of core theoretical-analytical tools as well as more specific analytical examples and tasks. As part of the project work, aspects of conducting literature reviews within the relevant field of research will be taught and trained.

A compendium consisting of central texts within the thematic field will be put together and made available prior to course start. The total curriculum is app. 1000 pages. In addition, students are required to choose supplementary reading materials for their project work (app. 200 pages).

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Feedback and peer-feedback of student projects is integrated in the programme as described above.  The form and time dedicated to project work and peer feedback in class hours will be specified in the detailed course programme.

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio
Oral defence
Individual or group. A portfolio assignment is defined as a series of short assignments during the course that address one or more set questions and feedback is offered during the course. All of the assignments are submitted together for assessment at the end of the course. The portfolio assignments must be no longer than 30 pages. For group assignments, an extra 15 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 14
  • Course Preparation
  • 165
  • Exercises
  • 165
  • Exam Preparation
  • 13
  • English
  • 413