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Political Popular Culture

Tuition fee


EARLY BIRD prices valid until 28.2.2019
NORMAL prices after 28.2.2019

More information 



The course on Political Popular Culture explores how popular culture and social media influence politics in contemporary transnational digital culture. We will critically evaluate methods and consequences that the mediatisation and digitalisation of popular culture have had for political debates, issues, values and practices.

The course approaches the relationships between culture and power from a multidisciplinary perspective. The focus is on intercultural encounters where political ideas transcend the borders and become international and transnational practices through popular culture and everyday media behaviour. We ask why politicians should care about popular culture, and why the argument that popular culture is ‘just entertainment’ has been transformed into notions of ‘pop politics’. We seek answers to such events as why Beyoncé tweeted to the Finnish Prime Minister about poverty issues or why a fictional African country of Wakanda has become a part of black political culture.

Learning objectives

After taking this course, the students can understand how and why popular culture has such a decisive role in contemporary political debate and rhetoric. The students are familiar with such concepts as transnational, mediatisation, digitalisation of culture, and affective political culture. The course will increase students’ intercultural competence in understanding different political cultures and interaction within global politics. They will also gain skills to study popular culture materials and get experience in using digital research methods.

Course format and teaching methods

The course offers lectures and discussions with leading Finnish and international scholars. The students will work within groups, give presentations, organise debates and engage in reading groups in order to formulate their interests and thoughts. Excursions to political and popular culture institutions will add a pragmatic perspective into intersections of politics and popular culture. The course will utilise digital learning tools and research methods.

Target students

The course is designed for students who are at the beginning of their Master’s degree and have completed two to four years of study in the humanities and/or social sciences. The course is relevant to students interested in cultural studies, media and communication, film and television studies, popular culture studies, music studies, literature, gender studies, politics, global politics, sociology.


Outi Hakola
You may contact the course coordinator with questions concerning the course content.

With any other questions concerning Helsinki Summer Schoool or the application process, please contact

Apply now! Summer 2019
Application period has ended
Studies commence
Aug 6, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States