SUM4019 - Consumption, Sustainability and Social Change
This course will address the increasing importance of consumption in everyday life, the ways consumption affect the environment, and both the theories and public policies which address sustainable consumption. The module will examine the practices of every day life across cultures with a view to understanding consumption and its relationship to values, attitudes and social structures. Cases will be used to illustrate the ways in which consumption has become integral parts of both the routines of every day life and in conceptions of the ‘good life’. Cross-cultural differences in consumption will be highlighted, but the point will be made that social structures and physical infrastructures surrounding consumption are firmly anchored. Seen in this way, achieving a sustainable society will constitute a significant social change. The module will take up theoretical debates concerning social change and relate these to how change is theorized in public policy on sustainability.
- To critically discuss the increasing importance of consumption in everyday life in countries of both the North and South
- To interpret and apply the theories of consumption on which sustainable consumption policies are founded
- To categorize, compare, interpret, and compare new theoretical perspectives on the social, economic and technological contributions to consumption
Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in StudentWeb.
Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.
International applicants, if you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.
Formal prerequisite knowledge
The Masters study is directed at students with a background in humanities, social sciences or the natural sciences. The minimum requirement for admission is that the students must have a bachelor’s degree (equivalent at least to a good second class honours degree from a reputable university). Students with a natural science background should have at least half a year's studies within the humantities or social sciences to prepare them for the interdisciplinary challenges this programme offers. Students must also have a good working knowledge of English, and should be able to read and follow lectures in this language as well as writing a term paper in English.
Lectures and seminars
Access to teaching
A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.
One week home exam.
Examination support material
No examination support material is allowed.
Language of examination
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
You may request an explanation of your grades, and you may also appeal against your grades or make a complaint about formal examination errors. Read more about explanations and appeals.
Resit an examination
You can usually resit an exam, but the conditions depend on whether you had a valid reason for absence from the regular exam. Read more about resitting an exam.
Withdrawal from an examination
A student may sit this exam up to 3 times. If a student wishes to withdraw from the exam, s/he must do so in StudentWeb at least two weeks prior to the first day of the exam. Failure to do so will be counted as one of the three opportunities to sit the exam.
Special examination arrangements
If you have a disability or a health problem that entails significant inconvenience in an examination situation, you may be considered for special examination arrangements. Mothers who are breastfeeding may apply for extra time to complete the exam.