Comparative Cultural Studies – University of Copenhagen

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Academic profile

The core area of Comparative Cultural Studies is the study of society and culture from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Within the broad empirical field covered by the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies in time and space, there are great variations but also similarities between the way people produce cultural meaning and organise themselves socially.

The courses from Comparative Cultural Studies focus on these differences and similarities and give students insight into how people in different parts of the world negotiate, experience, construct, and live cultural preferences; how culture creates and changes us; and how the way we study culture changes over time. The comparative approach to cultural studies involves discovering what different realities say – and can be made to say – to each other analytically, allowing us to rethink the world and discover new connections in the past and present.

As a student, you will learn about other ways of living and become more aware of your own cultural background. We will discuss how it is possible to obtain knowledge of cultural conditions that are different from our own.

The courses emphasise the mutual relationship between the general and the specific, i.e., how general analytical concepts can be applied to the study of specific, empirical cases and how specific case studies can form the basis for general theories.

The aim is not only to make theoretical considerations relevant and meaningful in specific contexts, but also to use empirical data to provide new perspectives on theoretical discussions. You will gain experience in conducting cultural and social analysis of an empirical field of your own choice studied in conjunction with other relevant disciplines at the Humanities, as well as learn how to seek theoretical inspiration from studies from other parts of the world.

The teachers have specialised in teaching elective-study students from many different disciplines at the same time, and our own research is based on ethnographic fieldwork in various parts of the world, where we also engage with stakeholders and issues outside the university context (such as e.g. architects, NGOs, the UN, the World Bank, government agencies, associations, media and museums). See descriptions of the research projects.

Study programmes

Language of instruction

The courses are primarily taught in Danish but some courses in English is offered.

You can find a list of current and upcoming courses taught in English in the Faculty’s course catalogue.