Protest movements, Culture, and Social Change
How do cultural diversity and inequality influence the potential
of social movements to promote social change on the local ground
and in global arenas of political and media debate? In a moment
where right wing political parties mobilize cultural difference as
a threat, social movements around the globe try to build coalitions
across social differences to address global collective action
problems including climate change and ethnic or religious
conflicts. How and to what extend do engaged citizens and the
current progressive movements succeed to reach out to ordinary
people to build broader coalitions? How do they use digital media
networks and everyday politics to support minorities, migrants and
This course provides a sociological introduction to the study of culture in protest movements, including debates about social class and group culture, race/ethnicity, gender/intersectionality, nationality, language, and religion. First, we will investigate culture within transnationally operating non-state organizations such as NGOs and activist groups. Second, we will look at culture as a set of discourses and practices analyzing news media framing digital media, narrative, and translation practices used by radical movements. Lectures and research presentations in this course will allow students to gain an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective on culture, protest movements, and social change focusing on case studies including the refugee solidarity movements in Europe and the resistance against Trump, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, as well as the Arab Spring, Occupy and Indignados movements.
Course package (MSc 2015):
Welfare, inequality and mobility
Knowledge, organisation and politics
Culture, lifestyle and everyday life
The course will provide the students with knowledge of
- the core sociological research literature within the thematic field of the course, and
- familiarity with the recent literature on Protest, Culture, and Social Change including interdisciplinary research on political participation, and research in cultural sociology, gender and media studies, narrative and discourse studies.
Students will have trained their ability to
- compare and contrast key theoretical perspectives that are central to the thematic field of research within the course
- identify significant international and interdisciplinary developments in research on Protest, Culture, and Social Change.
- apply and critically discuss key theoretical concepts within the thematic field of the course
- review and reflect on the interdisciplinary scientific literature on Protest, Culture, and Social Change acquiring insights into a number of different disciplines and their conceptualization of the themes we discuss as well as their state of the art.
Further, students should also be able to
- assess and discuss practical relevance of their analysis for key actors, issues, and problems within and across the methodological and thematic fields addressed by the course.
In carrying out the presentations, projects, and written assignments students demonstrate that they have acquired competencies that allow them to independently
- identify and analyse empirical cases and settings for research on the themes of the course.
Lectures, class discussions, student presentations, exercises
and written assignments based on the readings. The presentations
include project work (either individually or in groups).
Students are expected to contribute actively to discussion of core theoretical-analytical tools as well as the more specific analytical examples and case studies. In their written assignments, including the final written take-home essay assignment, students are expected to identify their own analytical questions and demonstrate their capacity to critically assess and analyse empirical data based on the examples and case studies we discuss in class.
Students should also expect to review literature and assess empirical data besides the course texts. Aspects of conducting literature reviews within the relevant field of research will be taught and trained.
Readings include peer-reviewed journal articles, book
chapters, films, literary narratives and digital media
storytelling, newspaper articles and videos. Students are required
to read approximately 600-700 pages.
Students are also expected to choose supplementary reading materials for their presentations, projects, and written assignments (approximately 300 pages).
Registration deadline for courses is June 1st for
Autumn semester and December 1st for Spring semester.
Registration deadline for Summer school is June 1st.
The ordinary period for registration for Summer courses is from November 15th to December 1st.
If the course is full after this period, it will NOT be offered for registration again, in the extra period for registration from May 15th to June 1st.
When registered you will be signed up for exam.
International exchange students must sign up by filling in an application form: course registration.
Credit students: klik her
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Free written take-home essays are assignments for which students define and formulate a problem within the parameters of the course and based on an individual exam syllabus. The free written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 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
- No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
Please see the learning outcome.
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
BachelorBachelor choiceFull Degree Master choice
- Aprox. 40 persons
- Department of Sociology, Study Council
- Department of Sociology
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Nicole Doerr (2-756b477a766a35727c356b72)
Nicole Doerr, e-mail: email@example.com
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Courseinformation of students