Bänk mot tegelvägg.

Examining and problematising “typically Swedish” phenomena


Sweden: Society and Culture

7.5 credits




This course provides insights into Swedish society and culture, focusing on the 20th century. It uses literature, traditions, folklore, film and museum exhibitions to examine Swedish social and cultural identity, and thus Swedish perceptions of the rest of the world.

This course is only open for exchange students.

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

Societal analysis, then and now After studying History, you will have the ability to see and analyse complex sequences of events from overall and long-term perspectives. Many people who have studied History choose to work as teachers or researchers, or in museums or in the heritage sector. The subject is also suitable if you want to work as a journalist, external analyst or in public administration. History provides a general education that is useful for numerous professions, and knowledge that will be beneficial in your private life too. Read about research in this subject
Swedish culture in a comparative and historical context On this course, you will examine the history of modern Sweden’s culture and society. Nations and national cultures are made, not born – both by national elites and through the gaze of outsiders. What has been defined as Swedish culture, what was preserved, what was rejected? Who was considered part of the nation and who was defined as an "outsider"? How might neutrality during WWII, progressive gender politics and multiculturalism be used to define (or challenge) the particular strengths of Swedish society? This course turns to cultural sources to understand the roots of Swedish culture and society, as well as the nature of Swedish "otherness". Course design The course consists of seminars and you will write analytical papers based on the course content. There may also be excursions to places of cultural or social relevance. Examination takes the form of active participation in seminars, shorter written assignments and a longer, take-home essay.
General education and understanding of contemporary society Knowledge of history is important for understanding the world we live in. Contemporary society and the human condition are the result of historical processes. Investigating and explaining historical processes, events and decisions help us understand contemporary society and major societal issues. For example, an historical perspective on gender, class and ethnicity can show us the changes that have taken place and led us to where we are today. If you study history, you will have the tools and skills to conduct these analyses. History is a broad subject that is part of the humanities, so you will study humans as cultural beings through different periods of history. The subject deals with developments and changes in human societies over time. As a subject, History has many different perspectives on, and approaches to, human history. Source criticism, gender theory and the management of historical source material are just a few examples of issues you will discuss during your studies. History at Södertörn University focuses on describing, understanding and explaining different types of historical events and processes using a factual and reflective approach.