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Culture and diversity in policy processes

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

What makes culture and diversity a political issue? Why do we discuss nation building in relation to national culture and cultural diversity, and how do nations find their cultural representations? How do migration and globalization influence negotiations and policies on cultural change? Which impact do issues like culture, identity and diversity have in negotiations on urban planning and place management?
The course thematises how material and immaterial expressions and practices, and historical events, are involved in political, cultural and social processes, and used as points of reference in identity building, political conflicts and cultural unities.

Learning outcome

Upon completion of the course, students should have achieved knowledge about:
  • various theoretical approaches to culture and Cultural Heritage
  • the impact of different positions on political processes, practices and institutions, exemplified by educational and dissemination institutions, management policies and urban planning
  • how history, memories and Cultural Heritage are used as political resources in negotiations of identities, human rights and sustainable development, and activated in cultural conflicts and processes of reconciliation and unity in local, national and international contexts

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
  • explain and apply independently, the most significant concepts of the field
  • identify cultural valuation and negotiations of cultural values in political processes like urban planning, where buildings and other material structures and traces are involved
  • approach, analytically, the politics and processes of Identity and the policies towards diversity in the context of minority politics, migration and transnational and global processes
  • problematize and discuss how migration and globalization challenge cultural borders in a national perspective and the understanding of cultural change

General competence
Upon completion of the course, students should have:
  • insight in different dimensions of and uses of the concept of culture
  • understanding of how cultural similarities and differences are negotiated in dynamic processes and how they are expressed in political and social practices
  • competence and understanding of the complex character of cultural processes, in professional context and in everyday life, where cultural encounters take place
  • ability to present orally, the issues of the course to professional colleagues


The course offers critical perspectives on historical references and Cultural Heritage. The literature and lectures present and discuss Culture Heritage and cultural institutions as tools of governments and as political resources, and the contested nature of processes of identities and unities. Uses of cultural expressions, memories and history in the production of collective identities and diversities are emphasized. Contestations of the natural environment are touched upon in relation to management, tourism and biological diversity.
The cultural institutions of the western world emerged with the nation building and the development of the nation states in the 19th and 20th century, based on ideas about natural origins of cultural and territorial borders. As part of the nation building, the institutions have represented the policies of unity and the majorities, and thus blurred and denied cultural diversity and the culture and history and rights of minority groups. For the last 30-40 years, this policy has been challenged by postcolonial theory and experience, and globalization.
Technological development and media make new relations and communities possible, crossing traditional borders. This is especially noticeably in peoples' experience of historical events and conflicts, but also through social media in peoples' everyday life. Together with migration, this has consequences for meaning making, opinions, expressions and action, which are created across national, cultural and territorial borders. In the course, these aspects of the cultural field are highlighted and thus we elucidate the dynamic character of culture in processes of inclusion and exclusion in cultural and political practices. Cultural Heritage and class is a significant subject and especially linked to industrialization, planning and globalization. Concepts like time and space, universal values, cultural property and cultural rights are discussed.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
Oral exam1/130 minutesA - F
Individual oral presentation and examination on a subject which is set the day before. All kinds of supporting material are allowed for the preparation of the presentation

Coursework requirements

Grupperarbeid og gruppepresentasjon
One group work with presentation in seminar / workshop is mandatory activities that the students must pass in order to take the individual exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Ragnhild Johanne Sjurseike

Method of work

Lectures/ workshops, group work and seminars.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Culture between aesthetics and politics (BKS230_1) 10

Open to

Political science - bachelor studies, Sosiology - bachelor studies, Exchange students

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Faculty of Social Science evaluation system.


Literatur will be published as soon as it has been prepared by the course coordinator/teacher

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 08.08.2020