SOSGEO4801 – Social Movements in the Age of Migration

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Migration and diversity are high on the agenda of political debate in Europe today. In this course, we take a closer look at how collective action and political protest have related to these themes in earlier times and today. Although most of the research texts in the course will deal with collective action motivated by structural positions and identities related to class, ethnicity, religion, anti-racism, nationalism and diversity, we open for students wanting to focus on other themes such as for example climate, environment or anti-capitalism. 

How do activists identifying with queer, feminist, and class-based movements relate to an increasing diversity in terms of ethnicity, religion, and “race” in possible “constituencies”?  Do we see an increase in intersectional frames and mobilization efforts in feminist, nationalist and anti-racist movements, or, respectively in labor unions and religious movements? How do right-wing populism and extremism frame their messages and build organizations? And, how do ethnic, racial and religious minorities relate to transnational movements and political protest? Does political mobilization in the diaspora foremost relate to local or national interests in home countries, or to other identities and interests such as gender, sexuality, religion and anti-racism?

These, and similar questions, are central in this course, which uses sociological theory about social movements and empirical research on collective action and protest. The development of social movement theory over time, and different perspectives within the field, constitutes the theoretical core in the course. The analytical focus, however, is on empirical research on anti-racist, religious, ethnic and nationalist protest and movements and on intersectionality within and between movements. We will focus specifically on identity dilemmas in the so-called identity movements and their changing character and constituencies since the 1960s.  Both organized and more spontaneous forms of cultural and political contention and communication via different media will be covered in the course. 

Students will learn about democratization and political protest in a sociological perspective, based in the international social movement and mobilization literature.

Learning outcome


  • Provide examples of different social movements and various approaches to explain them. Explain how migration and diversity today constitutes new challenges for old social movements and for new efforts at social change in the Western world.
  • Understand both the need for and challenges to different methodological designs in the study of social movements related to diversity and migration;
  • The course will contribute to a theoretically grounded understanding of social change and new forms of collective action in diverse societies. The course provides a good foundation for working on a thesis concerning the study of mobilization and political contention.


  • Critically read and discuss academic studies of how different statuses and identities relate to collective action and political contention before and today.
  • Use different theories when discussingconcrete empirical cases;
  • Develop skills for oral and written presentation of knowledge and competencies;


  • Ability to explain linkages between diverse phenomena related to mobilization, migration and diversity
  • Capacity to understand complex issues from multiple perspectives
  • Improved capacity for self-reflection and self-awareness
  • Understanding of how to engage with migration and diversity related politics from a 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.


  • The course will be organized as 12 seminars including lectures and discussions
  • The lectures are given in English


  • Term paper

Assessment is based on a term paper (4000 Words). Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail.

Submit assignments in Inspera

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

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.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper 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 explanation will be given in Inspera.

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






This course will not be offered autumn 2020.


This course will not be offered autumn 2020. 

Teaching language