Consumption, Lifestyle, and the Climate
Consumption is part of pretty much everything we do in society. There is consumption involved in the most mundane routines like sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee and the cell phone. At the same time, consumption and lifestyle are embedded in global challenges such as climate change and increasing inequality. Consumption comes with everyday social activities and local communities such as student life, leisure life and family life and yet its regulated in institutionally, in Denmark and at the level of the European Union through consumer, welfare and agricultural policies embedded in the global economy. Furthermore, sociological research on consumption is one of the areas where societal discussions about climate change and degrowth unfold embedded and influenced in interaction with social movements promoting new practices and habits. This course approaches the sociology of consumption and lifestyle based on Max Weber's and Bourdieu’s work, and international comparative research on key sociological themes such as identity, social change, inequality and power. In the course, the participants insights of what characterizes the field of the sociology of consumption and lifestyle based on timely theoretical perspectives with a focus on students working on concrete empirical case studies on a diversity of topics (including political consumption and media consumption), current discussions (such as change of consumer habits and policy in the context of debates about climate change and degrowth). Students develop research projects that connect theoretical and empirically based analysis of a current consumption and lifestyle phenomenon of their choice.
MA elective course
Course package (MSc 2015):
Culture, lifestyle and everyday life
- account for the core sociological research literature within the thematic field of the course including the recent literature on consumption, lifestyle, and interdisciplinary research on cultural consumption, and political consumption, and research on consumerism, habits in light of debates about climate change.
- review and reflect on the interdisciplinary and international sociological literature on Consumerism and lifestyle showing insights into a number of different disciplines and their conceptualization
- carry out presentations, projects, and written assignments
- 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 Consumerism, Lifestyle, and the Climate
- assess and discuss practical relevance of their analysis for key actors, issues, and problems within and across the methodological and thematic fields
- apply and critically discuss key theoretical concepts within the thematic field of the course
- independently identify and analyse empirical cases and settings for research on the themes of the course including an international research perspective on consumption and lifestyle
- carry out current analytical discussions, e.g. the impact of climate change
- carry out empirical case studies translating the course themes to connect to different societal contexts and actors
- carry out independent and reflected sociological analyses of patterns of consumption and lifestyle within societies
Lectures, class discussions, student presentations, exercises and short 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 presentations and case study exercises, students are expected to identify their own analytical questions and demonstrate their capacity to critically assess and analyze 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.
Articles are uploaded online before the course starts. The syllabus will be approximately 600 pages.
Participants are also expected to include additional literature in connection with their project assignment (approximately 100 pages).
Students should be able to read social science based research and write essays independently.
Peer feedback is integrated into the teaching through feedback on the ideas for the analysis of empirical case studies, societal debates and theories discussed in the course
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
- Type of assessment details
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.
- All aids allowed
- 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
Full Degree Master choice
- Department of Sociology, Study Council
- Department of Sociology
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Nicole Doerr (2-7c724e817d713c79833c7279)
Nicole Doerr, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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