Aula

Theories about culture, ethnicity, national identity, gender and power

Course

Cultural Complexity and Global Processes

7.5 credits

Autumn / Spring

100%

Campus

The course provides you with basic knowledge of the theories that have shaped ethnological cultural analysis and in-depth knowledge of issues relevant to the study of cultural complexity, people, structures and processes. It also examines how nation-states manage cultural and ethnic differences, diversity, migration och globalisation.

Want to know why you should study at Södertörn University? Find out here.

Great demand for the knowledge found in this humanist subject As a trained ethnologist, you have a wide range of future employers – organisations, municipalities and authorities. For example, you could work as an evaluator, administrator or project manager in areas that deal with culture, tourism, issues for children and adolescents. There is a demand for ethnographic knowledge in many areas of work. The foundation of Ethnology – questions about gender, migration and integration – provide you with expertise on the labour market. The subject is closely linked to behavioural science and facilitates the understanding of a sometimes confusing world, providing tools that are useful in all areas of life. The historical perspective gives you the opportunity to discover and understand contemporary phenomena at a deeper level. Former students are now employed at embassies, museums, multicultural centres, the Swedish Migration Agency and in academia. Read about research in this subject
Critical evaluation of cultural and social processes in complex societies The central element of this Bachelor’s level course comprises theories relating to cultural variation, ethnicity, national identity, gender and power. You will discuss and work with issues found in cultural studies relating to class, gender, ethnicity and other socially constructed identities, using a comparative European perspective. The course also covers questions of ethnic relations and the organisation of diversity, as well as migration and globalisation. In studying these issues, you will analyse and critically review scholarly texts, problematising and apply a basic level of scholarly reflexivity to your own and others’ work. You are expected to take an evaluative approach to scholarly, visual, and literary representations of race, culture and ethnicity, as well as to societal problems, seen from the perspectives of issues related to diversity, based on gender, ethnicity, class and culture. The course consists of seminars, lectures, and group work and is examined through active participation in seminars, oral presentations, and written assignments.
Investigate contemporary culture using an historical basis and modern perspectives Ethnology has been called “the science of nations and peoples” and used to have an historical focus. It was a way of broadening how history was written to include things that had not been written by “trusted men” and thus preserved in archives and printed texts. Nowadays, there is a greater focus on the contemporary world, but the issues are largely the same. When you study Ethnology, you investigate issues about why people in various areas of the world, from different cultures and backgrounds, think, live and behave as they do. One approach in Ethnology is to regard culture as something changeable, but which also comprises shared agreements about how to live and work. Ethnologists are also interested in how these shared concepts are expressed – in texts, images, clothes, objects and rituals. The material studied is broad and may be anything from archive documents and photographs, stories and storytelling, to popular culture, television and social media. Ethnology has an intercultural perspective, with postcolonialism as its starting point, and a gender perspective, which makes the subject relevant in contemporary society. The historical elements of Ethnology help us to see the world around us using a comparative perspective. Because the subject encapsulates people’s everyday lives, ethnologists will always have close contacts with pressing and relevant societal issues. At Södertörn University, the focus of Ethnology is on issues of diversity and migration in Sweden. There is a specific focus on issues relating to multicultural Sweden and modern Europe, and how living conditions for various groups are affected by migration.