Protest movements, Culture, and Social Change

Course content

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. 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?

First, we will investigate culture within local or 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. We focus on case studies including the climate justice movement, indigenous people’s movements, anti-racist movements, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, as well as pro-democracy movements in Asia, the Arab Spring, Occupy and Indignados movements. We compare protests in the context of the global pandemic, including protests against Corona regulations. Last but not least we critically explore far right and populist right wing political mobilization online and offline.


NOTE! This is the course description from Fall 2023. To find the schedule for course, please make sure to look at the course description from Fall 2024.


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

Bachelor and Master Programmes in Sociology

Bachelor Programme in Anthropology

Bachelor Programme in Psychology

Master programme in Global Development


Course package (MSc 2015):
Velfærd, ulighed og mobilitet / Welfare, Inequality and Mobility

Kultur, livsstil og hverdagsliv / Culture, Lifestyle and Everyday Life


Bachelor elective course

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

Please contact the study administration at each programme for questions regarding registration.


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

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, -
Exam registration requirements

You need to be signed up for the course to attend the exam

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Find more information on your study page at KUnet.

Exchange students and Danish full degree guest students please see the homepage of Sociology; and


If the re-exam is taken during the ordinary exam period: see ordinary exam form

If the re-exam is taken during the re-exam period:

Individual/group. A written take-home essay is defined as an assignment that addresses one or more questions. The exam is based on the course syllabus, i.e. the literature set by the teacher. The 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.

Abovementioned applies to course registrations in Spring 2023 and onward.

If you have been registered for the course before Spring 2023, please write to the study administration:



This is an elective course. We can only guarantee that the exam can be taken during the 3 immediate exam periods after the course has ended.

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

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

Nicole Doerr, e-mail:

Saved on the 29-05-2024

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