SOSGEO4800 – Cultural differences, migration and integration

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course explores issues related to cultural differences and cross-cultural interactions, both between and within societies, which result from globalization and international migration. The course is based on various theoretical approaches and empirical contributions from sociology and related social sciences.

What is culture, where do the cultural differences come from and how is the culture of contemporary societies further evolving alongside changing standards of living and increased cross-cultural interactions? Are large differences in values and identities inevitably leading to culture clashes as some scholars alarm? The answers to these questions are increasingly important for our understanding of the process and outcomes of intensifying interaction between cultures. Societies differ in their attitudes towards immigrants and adapt diverse integration policies to deal with the increasing cultural diversity brought by international migration. The rise of the populist radical right in Western societies is another problem that is related to societal values and attitudes regarding globalization and immigration.

Competences in international migration, relationships within culturally heterogeneous communities as well as cultural awareness are becoming increasingly relevant in the labor market, both in the public and private sectors.

Learning outcome


  • Explain and provide examples of different frameworks and approaches to understanding culture, cultural change as well as their importance for migration and integration from the point of view of both the migrants and the larger society;
  • Understand both the need for and challenges to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the study of culture, migration and integration;
  • The course will contribute to a theoretically grounded understanding of cultural differences, acculturation, and key processes that affect various aspects of the migration process. The course provides a good foundation for working on a thesis concerning the study of cross-cultural communication and acculturation.


  • Critically read and discuss articles and chapters on the topics of culture, migration and integration, recognizing the importance of different discourses and approaches;
  • Use different theories when discussing a more concrete empirical phenomenon;
  • Develop skills for oral and written presentation of knowledge and competencies;


  • Ability to explain linkages between diverse phenomena related to culture, migration and integration
  • Capacity to understand complex issues from multiple perspectives
  • Improved capacity for self-reflection and self-awareness
  • Understanding of how to engage with migration issues from a more knowledge-based perspective


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.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.

This course is a part of the Master's programme in Sociology and Human Geography.

The course is also open for master's students on Lektorprogrammet and Organisasjon, ledelse og arbeid at UiO. 

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course as guest student if this is cleared by their own study programme. Admission as a guest student will vary from semester to semester, as guest students will be allotted any vacant seats on the course.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with SOS4800 – Globalisation, migration and religion (continued)


  • The course will be organized as 11 seminars including lectures and discussions
  • The lectures are given in English
  • In relation to the term paper, each student is offered one hour individual counseling (including counseling and preparation)


  • Short term paper
  • 1-hour written school exam

Assessment is based on a short term paper (4000 Words) and a written school exam. The short term paper counts 2/3 of the final grade whilst the written school exam counts 1/3.

Both term paper and written school exam must be passed the same semester in order to receive a valid final grade.

Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read more about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

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

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally.

Ask for explanation of your grade in this course:

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language