Upcoming courses

PhD Course in Contemporary Sociological Theory (7,5 ECTS)

CAPS (Centre for Anthropological, Political and Social Theory) at University of Copenhagen is offering this course in collaboration with University of Gothenburg. The course is part of a series of theory courses, which also includes a collaboration with Lund University. The two other courses are Modern sociological theory and Classical sociological theory.

The course offers an extensive overview of currents in Contemporary Sociological theory. It also offers great opportunities for participants to develop their own theoretical interests.

The instruction language is English.

Course content

The course focuses on sociological theory after 1989. It will discuss what is considered central theoretical developments and problems. The course aims both at orienting participants in different theoretical areas and traditions, and make possible in-depth studies of particular fields. The course aims at enriching participants’ ability to relate the development of sociological theory to relevant social, cultural and political contexts. The course will be based on mandatory readings as well as on readings chosen by the participants according to their interest and in accordance with teachers.

Teaching and assessment

The course comprises a combination of lectures, including guest lectures, seminars, candidates’ presentations and the composition of an academic essay. Lectures will cover larger theoretical problems and traditions as well as present more specific perspectives and issues. Seminars are based on lectures and readings. Presentations by PhD candidates shall deal with theoretical topics that are chosen in advance and based on the participants’ own preparations. The course will comprise five days and take place in Gothenburg and Copenhagen. Assessment is based on oral and written elements. Participants are expected to attend all lectures and seminars and to contribute to these. Participants will give a substantial presentation on a theoretical topic selected with regard to relevance and interest and in accordance with the teachers. The students will write A) one “short paper” on the chosen book (appr 1000 words) on each theme as a preparation for the seminar (in total 4 OR 6 short papers) and B) one final examination paper. C) Active seminar participation will be compulsory. Required readings amounts to 1500 pages.

Course start December 2nd 2019 and deadline for application is December 1st

For application, further information and questions, please contact Mikael Carleheden mc@soc.ku.dk

PhD Course: Sociology of Emotions, Autumn 2019 (7,5 ECTS)

Aim of the course

The aim of the course it to familiarize students with classical and contemporary perspectives in the sociology of emotions, to enable students to critically discuss theoretical assumptions, methodological approaches and empirical results within the sociology of emotions and to construct a theoretical framework and methodological approach to a specific research problem in the student’s own ongoing or planned project.

Course content

The study of emotions is inherently multidisciplinary as it engages with biological and psychological as well as social and cultural theory and research. With this point of departure, the focus of the sociological discipline, as well as of this course, is on the social, and sociologically relevant, aspects of emotions. The course offers a broad overview of theories and research in the sociology of emotions, spanning from the classics to contemporary theories and research. Both structural and situational/interactional approaches to the role of emotions in social life are explored. Part of the course deals with the students’ research projects, through which there is opportunity to discuss project ideas in relation to the various perspectives on emotions presented. There will also be opportunity to discuss various methods employed and ways to apply and develop theory in the analysis of empirical data. All participants are required to read and relate some key texts (compulsory literature), but thereafter encouraged to focus independently on their own area of research.

The course begins with a series of lectures on sociological approaches to emotions, some current debates, and the exemplification of ongoing research projects. These lectures are followed by a series of short workshops where participant’s ideas and possible approaches are worked out with guidance from the teachers. An online midterm seminar, to discuss abstracts for exam papers, will be arranged about midterm of the course period. For the remaining part of the course students develop their papers and expand their chosen area of specialization, adding relevant emotion sociological literature. The course ends with the presentation and discussion of a working paper (optionally as a draft journal article) at the final seminar of the course. (see course plan)

Written and oral presentations take place throughout the course. Participants partake in at least two seminars (midterm and final) where they present their own work as well as comment on the work of other participants.

The course offers both a broad perspective on the state of the art of the sociology of emotions, as well as in-depth specialization in the chosen research area of each student.

The course is offered in collaboration between The Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen, the Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg and the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Aalborg University.

The course runs on half-time (50%) over ten weeks.

Course teachers

Merete Monrad, monrad@socsci.aau.dk
Poul Poder, pp@soc.ku.dk
Åsa Wettergren, asa.wettergren@socav.gu.se

Guest teachers

Jack Barbalet, Australian Catholic University, Australia jack.barbalet@acu.edu.au

Course language

The teaching language of the course is English.

Target group

This PhD course addresses both PhD students unfamiliar with the sociology of emotions and PhD students who are more experienced with the field. The first group will obtain knowledge about the key concepts, theoretical traditions and methodological discussions in the field. The second group will obtain new perspectives on their own work through the attentiveness to theoretical development, methodological concerns and discussions of how to apply theories and concepts in specific analyses.


The introductory series of lectures, seminar and workshops is located at the Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen, the final seminar and guest lecture by Jack Barbalet is located at the Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg. The midterm seminars will take place online via Adobe Connect (please make sure you have access to it via your university). The course has no fee but travel and accommodation costs as well as all meals need to be covered by each student’s home department.


The purpose of the online midterm seminars is to develop one’s research with emotion sociological perspectives in a synopsis of the course paper (1500-2000 words), which will be commented and discussed at the seminar. Students will read and comment on each other’s synopsis. See further information below.

The final seminar is a paper seminar with two appointed student commentators on each paper.

Course teachers will be participating in the seminars and commenting on the papers too.

Registration for the course

The course is only open for doctoral students. Send registration via e-mail to one of the two addresses below; Swedish students register with Anna-Karin and Danish students register with Lene. In your e-mail state that you are registering for the PhD-course sociology of emotions, including name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, affiliation and supervisor. Moreover, include a ½ page statement of the expected relevance of the course for your doctoral research, as an attachment to your e-mail. If more than 18 students register for the course, we will use these descriptions as a basis for deciding who will be enrolled in the course. Once you know that you are accepted for the course you will be asked to submit an extended paper describing your project (max 2000 words) no later than June 30. See deadlines below.

Registration is sent before deadline June 15, 2019, to:
Lene El Mongy, phd@soc.ku.dk


Learning outcomes will be examined through an individually written working paper (see below). It is also possible to participate without paper. Participants without paper are required to participate in the introductory days and the mid-term seminar and will receive 3,5 ECTS for the course. We recommend participation with a paper.

The paper will be presented and discussed in a paper seminar. For their paper, students are required to engage with and refer to some mandatory parts of the literature (see the literature list!) and to a relevant amount of extra literature of their own choice pertinent to their paper topics (for suggestions see e.g. Reference literature in the literature). Students choose their own specialization, preferably in line with their topic of doctoral research.

Papers can be written either in the form of a scientific article or as a chapter for their dissertation, or as a standard academic paper. 10.000 words (maximum) including abstract and references.

Some useful advice on how to write a social scientific article is found in the links below:




Learning outcomes

After completion of the course the doctoral student shall be able to:

  1. Knowledge and understanding
  • Present and discuss a broad overview of the different approaches in the sociology of emotions in general and of theoretical assumptions within the chosen areas of specialization in particular
  • State and analyze the main empirical results within the chosen area of specialization
  • Present and discuss current areas of conflict within the chosen area of specialization
  1. Skills and abilities
  • Orally and in writing present, explain and problematize research within the sociology of emotions in a format that meets international standards.
  • In a more elaborate paper synthesize the theories and research within the chosen area of specialization and construct a theoretical framework and methodological approach to a specific research problem in the student’s own ongoing or planned project.
  1. Judgment and approach
  • Critically discuss theoretical assumptions and empirical results within the sociology of emotions in general and the chosen area of specialization in particular.
  • Critically discuss methods used within the chosen area of specialization.
  • Critically discuss trends and future development of the chosen area of specialization.

Grading and criteria

The grading scale encompasses the grades Fail (U), and Pass (G).

Pass = the student demonstrates satisfactory fulfillment of the learning outcomes through active participation in all the parts of the course, and by the submission of an exam paper.

Course evaluation

Course evaluation is organized by the teachers on the paper seminars. 

Important dates:

August 28–30: Course introduction, lectures (Copenhagen)

October 2 (13-16): Midterm seminar, online

November 21-22: Guest lecture, Paper seminars (Gothenburg)


15 June: Registration

30 June: 2000 words (maximum) description of the students’ doctoral research (research questions, context, methods, theoretical framework) and the role of the sociology of emotions in the project. These short papers will form the basis of the workshops in Copenhagen. 

25 September 5 pm: Synopsis of course paper, 1500-2000 words, to Åsa, Merete and Poul and peers to discuss in the online seminar.

6 November 11 pm: Full paper draft sent to Lene El Mongy, phd@soc.ku.dk                         

7 October: Commentators list is circulated. Each student will be the primary commentator on one paper and the secondary commentator on one more (but preferably read all).

7 December 11 pm: Final papers sent to Lene El Mongy, phd@soc.ku.dk                         

Contact the organizers if you have any queries!

Developing your research design

PhD Course: Sociological Analysis in Progress

Course details

The course takes place January 15-17, 2020 at the Department of Sociology.

Course content

Are you looking for an opportunity to try out some of your ideas about how to do your empirical analysis in your sociological phd-project? Then consider taking this course.

This is a research-project oriented doctoral course with focus on practicing and reflecting upon sociological procedures and arguments concerning theoretically informed empirical analysis. The aim is to support the participants in establishing high quality sociological analysis in their own research projects. The content of the course will cover issues such as varieties in connections between theory, state-of-art, data and research questions; questions of research quality of analysis; debates about empirical openness and systematics; and debates about heuristics and theorisation. The course addresses both quantitative and qualitative methodological perspectives.

The form consists of a combination of the following: There will be two master class senior presentations, where you will be invited into the workshop of experienced sociological researchers. There will be phd-fellow presentations of drafts for analysis and feedback, and furthermore, plenary discussions, and an exercise in analysis.

In order to participate, phd-fellows write a 10 page draft about one possible analysis of data in their own research project. On the course, the participants will present the procedures and arguments of this draft for a bit of analysis and receive feedback from the course organisers as well as the other participants (for further information, see detailed course program).

The course lasts 3 days and gives 4 ects points (it is not possible to participate without paper). The course is mandatory for phd-fellows enrolled at Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen.

Master class presenters

Claire Maxwell, professor, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen
Merlin Schaeffer, associate professor, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen


Jakob Demant, associate professor, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen
Bente Halkier, professor, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen


Register with Lene El Mongy, phd@soc.ku.dk
Deadline for registration is November 1, 2019