Name Cr Method of study Time Location Organiser
Politics of Consumption 5 Cr Lecture Course 7.1.2021 - 3.3.2021
Name Cr Method of study Time Location Organiser
Politics of Consumption 5 Cr Lecture Course 7.1.2020 - 14.2.2020
Politics of Consumption 5 Cr Lecture Course 9.1.2019 - 13.2.2019
Kulutuksen politiikat 5 Cr Lecture Course 15.1.2018 - 28.2.2018

Target group

The course is part of a set of three courses, of which the student must select at least two. It is also optional for certain degree programmes.

The course is designed for students in the Faculty of Social Sciences, study track "Consumption in Society".

The course is open for the following Master's Programmes: Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry: Master’s Programme in Food Economy and Consumption, Faculty of Social Sciences: Master's Programme in Society and Change and Master's Programme in Contemporary Societies.


After the course Introduction to consumer research.

It is recommended that the course be completed at the stage of studies when the student is planning to begin work on the master’s thesis.

Learning outcomes

The course examines the politics of consumption through power arrangements, structures and agencies. After completing the course, students will be able to examine and evaluate political action related to consumption as questions of, among others, governance, interests and materialism. Students will learn to examine consumption through political questions while taking into consideration the activities of consumer movements and countries on global markets. They will also be able to evaluate market developments and the formation of interests related to consumption in a critical and constructive manner.


Third period

1st study year in Master's degree, after the course Introduction to consumer research.


Consumption plays a central role in discussions on sustainability, social justice and identity politics. The course approaches societal development through concepts of consumption policy and identifies central actor types on the market. The power relations, structures and agency of consumption are key issues in the politics of consumption. The course provides a diverse overview of how and why people consume and how consumption patterns can be guided and changed. The course trains students in understanding and assessing the political perspectives of consumption through meanings, norms, control and lobbying.

Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

Learning is supported through a process in which students present a research plan during the course and, based on feedback from teachers, complete a written assignment, on which they receive feedback.

Study materials

Obligatory reading:

Campbell, Colin. 2010. What is Wrong with Consumerism? An Assessment of Some Common Criticism. Anuario Filosofico XLIII/2, 279-296.

Hirschman, Albert. 1970. Introduction and Doctrinal Background. p. 1-20. teoksesta Exit, Voice, and Loyalty

von Hippel, Eric.2005. Capter 9 Democratizing Innovation. p. 121-132. Teoksessa Democratizing Innovation. MIT Press.

Additional literature will be announced later.

Assessment practices and criteria

Course grades are based on the presentation of the research plan (max. 20 points) and the written work (max. 100 points) as follows:

  • less than 50 points: 0
  • 50-59 points: 1
  • 60-69 points: 2
  • 70-79 points: 3
  • 80-89 points: 4
  • 90 points or more: 5

Graded on a scale of 0 to 5 (0 = Fail, 1 = Passable, 2 = Satisfactory, 3 = Good, 4 = Very Good, 5 = Excellent)

Recommended optional studies

Kulutustutkimuksen lähteillä kurssi on pakollinen osana sosiaalitieteiden maisteriohjelmaa (Kulutus yhteiskunnassa -opintosuunta). Opintojaksoon liittyy kolmen kurssin kokonaisuus, joista opiskelijan on valittava vähintään kaksi kurssia.

Additional information

Teaching language is English.

Completion methods

The course will be implemented as contact teaching:

1) Contact teaching: 10 lectures

2) Critical panel discussion on consumption

3) The presentation of the research plan and a related written assignment (max. 4,000 words)