Consumption, Lifestyle, and the Climate (SUMMER 2023+2024)

Course content

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:
Culture, lifestyle and everyday life


In summer 2024 the course is also offered to students at: 

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

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


Enrolled students can register the course directly through the Selfservice at KUnet without a preapproval.
Please contact the study administration at each programme for questions regarding registration.

Learning outcome


  • 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 (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
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
Active participation will consist of active engagement in class discussions, 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. Passing the class means that students are expected to submit short written assignments in class, as well as form part of group presentations or individual presentations in class.
Exam registration requirements

Sociology students must be enrolled under MSc Curriculum 2015 or 2022 to take this exam.

Credit students must be at master level.

All aids allowed

Policy on the Use of Generative AI Software and Large Language Models in Exams

The Department of Sociology prohibits the use of generative AI software and large language models (AI/LLMs), such as ChatGPT, for generating novel and creative content in written exams. However, students may use AI/LLMs to enhance the presentation of their own original work, such as text editing, argument validation, or improving statistical programming code. Students must disclose if and how AI/LLMs have been used in an appendix, which will not count toward the page limit of the exam. This policy is in place to ensure that students’ written exams accurately reflect their own knowledge and understanding of the material.

Marking scale
passed/not passed
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



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.

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 108
  • Exercises
  • 70
  • English
  • 206


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

1 semester

The Summer Course will take place in week 32. See timetable.
Department of Sociology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Social Data Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Nicole Doerr   (2-7c724e817d713c79833c7279)

Nicole Doerr, e-mail:

Saved on the 05-03-2024

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