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The politics of consumption

The course approaches societal development with concepts from the politics of consumption.

Consumption is central to debates about sustainability, social justice and identity politics. This master’s course approaches societal development with concepts from the politics of consumption and empowers students to recognise different kinds of market actors.

Power relations, structures and agency constitute key issues of interest in the politics of consumption. The course offers pluralistic insights into how and why people consume and how consumption can be steered and changed. The course prepares students to understand and assess political aspects of consumption with the help of key perspectives: governance, interest representation as well as materiality and practices.

The course consists of (i) ten lectures, (ii) a critical panel debate on consumption, and (iii) one written assignment (- max 4,000 words). Students are supervised in the written assignment, which will help them author their master’s thesis, and are warmly encouraged to examine issues which are of interest to their own research and discipline. Students are provided with a reading list to assist them with connecting their research interests to theoretical insights in consumption studies.
English is the language of the course with the exception that assignments can be written in English, Finnish or Swedish.

Professors Frank Trentmann and Visa Heinonen and research directors Päivi Timonen and Petteri Repo act as teachers on the course. Päivi Timonen is the coordinator of the course.

Meddelande

Bild för Päivi Timonen

Päivi Timonen

Publicerad, 29.1.2019 kl. 11:27

Hi you that are participating the course of Politics of Consumption
Tomorrow's panel discussion is at the Tiedekulma, Think Lounge 1st Floor, and starts at 14:00, exactly.
Debaters are consumer activist Mari Koistinen, consumer advocator Juha Beurling and consumer politician Tuomas Viskari.

Best
Päivi Timonen

Interaktion

The course consists of (i) ten lectures, (ii) a critical panel debate on consumption, and (iii) one written assignment (- max 4,000 words). Students are supervised in the written assignment, which will help them author their master’s thesis, and are warmly encouraged to examine issues which are of interest to their own research and discipline. Students are provided with a reading list to assist them with connecting their research interests to theoretical insights in consumption studies.

Tidsschema

The timetable of the course - (i) lectures, (ii) a panel debate, and (iii) assignment

Wed 9.1 - Introduction to the course and its key concepts: consumer, politics, actors, interests and exit/voice.
Discussion on written assignments and the panel debate. Päivi Timonen, Frank Trentmann, Visa Heinonen,
Petteri Repo. (09:15 – 10:15 Soc&Kom, sali 210, Snellmaninkatu 12)
(i) Wed 9.1 – The historical rise of consumption - Frank Trenmann (10.15 – 11:45 Soc&Kom, sali 210,
Snellmaninkatu 12)
(i) Fri 11.1 - Consumer movements - Frank Trentmann (11.01.2019 10:15 – 11:45, Soc&Kom, sali 210,
Snellmaninkatu 12)
(i) Mon 14.1 - Consumers, boycotts and power - Frank Trentmann and (iii) Discussing research interest
(14:15 – 15:45 Unionink. 37, LS, Unioninkatu 37)
(i) Fri 16.1 - The consumer as a political actor - Visa Heinonen and (iii) Discussing research interest (14:15 –
15:45 Päärakennus, sali 8, Fabianinkatu 33)
(i) Mon 21.1 - Consumer policy in Europe - Päivi Timonen and (iii) Discussing disposition for assignment
(14:15 – 15:45 Unionink. 37, LS, Unioninkatu 37)
(i) Wed 23.1 - Consumers’ interests - Petteri Repo and (ii) Assessing of questions for the panellists (14:15 –
15:45 Päärakennus, sali 8, Fabianinkatu 33)
(i) Mon 28.1 - The societal meaning/importance of consumption - Visa Heinonen and (iii) Discussing
disposition for assignment (14:15 – 15:45 Unionink. 37, LS, Unioninkatu 37)
(ii) Wed 30.1 Panel debate – Consumer Power, NOW! (14:00 – 15:45 Tiedekulma, Think Lounge 1st Floor,
Yliopistonkatu 4)
(i) Mon 4.2 - Consumers as innovators - Petteri Repo and (iii) Discussing assignments (14:15 – 15:45
Unionink. 37, LS, Unioninkatu 37)
(i) Wed 6.2 - Public services and consumers as producers - Päivi Timonen and (iii) Discussing assignments
(14:15 – 15:45 Päärakennus, sali 8, Fabianinkatu 33)
(iii) Mon 11.2 - Presentation of written assignments, Q&A’s (14:15 – 15:45 Unionink. 37, LS, Unioninkatu
37)
(iii) Wed 13.2 - Presentation of written assignments, Q&A’s (14:15 – 15:45 Päärakennus, sali 8, Fabianinkatu
33)
(iii) Mon 27.2 - Submission of final written assignments in Moodle

DatumTidPlats
ons 9.1.2019
09:15 - 11:45
fre 11.1.2019
10:15 - 11:45
mån 14.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
ons 16.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
mån 21.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
ons 23.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
mån 28.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
ons 30.1.2019
14:15 - 15:45
mån 4.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45
ons 6.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45
mån 11.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45
ons 13.2.2019
14:15 - 15:45

Kursbeskrivningen

Graded on a scale 0-5. Students write one assignment , max. 4,000 words. Evaluation criteria for assignment: application of knowledge, understanding, argumentation, logical structure and personal reflection. Assignments can be written in English, Finnish or Swedish.

Students are supervised in the written assignment, which will help them author their master’s thesis, and are warmly encouraged to examine issues which are of interest to their own research and discipline.

Two teachers of the course will review the assignment. First reviewer decides grade, the second can discuss it. Papers are assigned evenly to reviewers according to thematics and language.

Feedback

Students are encouraged for presentation of written assignments and all are invited to present questions and give feedback.
Students are supervised in the written assignment, which will help them author their master’s thesis

Beskrivning

The course is designed for students in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and Faculty of Education. Please make sure that the course fits your degree. No more than 60 students will be admitted, of which no more than 20 from the Master’s Programme in Food Economy and Consumption.

Bachelor’s degree

Courses from the Consumption in Society module

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

The course examines the consumer as a politically active party, the functionality of European consumer politics, the historical change and social significance of consumption, interests related to consumption, consumer movements as market challengers, public services and the freedom of choice, as well as consumers as developers, producers and market creators through the concepts of consumer and consumer citizen, politics, active parties and interests.

Goldsmith, Elizabeth (2017). Consumer Economics: Issues and Behaviors. Routledge. Chapters 4 and 5.

Baldwin, Robert & Cave, Martin (1999). Understanding Regulation. Theory, Strategy and Practice. Oxford.

Halkier, Bente (2010). Consumption Challenged: Food in Mediated Everyday Life. Routledge: London.

Stolle, Dietlind & Micheletti, Michele (2013). Political Consumerism. Global Responsibility in Action. Cambridge University Press.

Related literature will be announced during the course.

Assessment will focus on the central concepts of the discipline, students’ ability to engage in critical thinking, conceptual argumentation and communication as well as the utilisation of feedback.

The grade will be determined as described below:

Preparation and interaction in contact teaching 20%

Essay 60%

Oral assignment 20%

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

The course will be implemented as lectures and completed by writing an essay of 10 to 12 pages and giving an oral presentation. The course consists of 12 lectures (the duration of each lecture is 2 x 45 minutes, 24 hours in total).

1) Contact teaching: 12 lectures

2) Written assignment: an individual essay

3) Oral assignment: a 10-minute presentation of the essay