Sociology of Social Movements and Social Change

Course content

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 refugees? 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.


The title has been change after the reservation and therefore you will find a different title in the schedule but the reservation is correct


Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

  • Master Programme in Social Data Science
  • Master Programme in Political Science
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Sociology
  • Master programme in Global Development
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Psychology
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Anthropology 

Enrolled students can register the course directly through the Selfservice a KUnet without a preapproval.


The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities


Learning outcome


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).

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

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.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, -
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 124
  • Project work
  • 40
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master

1 semester

Autumn And Spring
See timetable
Vejl 40 personer.
Department of Sociology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Social Data Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Nicole Doerr   (2-7c724e817d713c79833c7279)

Nicole Doerr, e-mail:

Saved on the 15-05-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students