The Master’s programme in Cultural Sociology explores the social process of “meaning making”. It examines how people try to make sense of their worlds by telling stories, defining boundaries, creating categories or assigning value. It also studies how symbolic, meaningful cultural objects like books, artworks or clothing are produced, distributed and received in fields of cultural production.
Within the Cultural Sociology programme, you can study a broad range of questions. How do beauty standards differ between countries? How do new genres emerge in cultural fields? How does the structure of social networks affect the emergence of social norms? How has the meaning of individualism changed over time? Does the global exchange of media products – Disney movies, fashion magazines, popular music – pose a threat to local and national cultures?
The Cultural Sociology programme offers a thorough and broad training in recent theoretical perspectives within cultural sociology and several in-depth courses on specific cultural sociological themes. Staff members combine a strong interest in theory with an empirically grounded approach, often using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The research and teaching of staff members also stimulates a strong engagement with issues of cultural globalisation and cross-national comparative research.
This rigorous and intensive programme trains you at a high academic level. You are expected to develop the capacity to work independently and in group settings.
You will gain knowledge of aspects of contemporary cultural developments in relation to social processes and insight into the functioning of cultural policy areas. You will gain the ability to use these concepts and theories in creative ways. The combination of empirical studies with theoretical reflection gives you the intellectual tools and skills you need to analyse and understand complex social and cultural issues.
The UvA has a sophisticated, experienced and internationally oriented teaching staff, a well-built network of experts outside the university, specialised libraries and archives, and a student network. The staff of the sociology department guarantees that students will have the opportunity to acquire expertise in innovative sociological research. The programme culminates in students developing their own thesis research, closely mentored and guided by a supervisor with expertise in the particular area of investigation.
For students interested in this field of study, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in Social Sciences.
Cultural Sociology is a track of the accredited degree programme Sociology. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Sociology and the title Master of Science (MSc).
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