Should I stay or should I go? Re-thinking mobilities in sociological perspective



Mål og innhald

The main objective of this course is to give students the opportunity to explore theory, traditions, research problems and discussions of the mobility paradigm. In doing so students gain knowledge about "The mobility turn" in sociology. Within this main objective and in an overarching perspective, it will be central to learn about the changing perspectives on and contexts of mobility. Hence, the course will foster students' understanding of how mobility - foremost international/cross-border mobility and thus mobility in "a horizontal sense of being 'on the move'..." (John Urry) - shapes our contemporary social life and how it might affect our and societies' future. The course content will comprise three parts: one is an introduction to the mobility debate and theoretical concepts that surround the debate. A second is an introduction to research focusing on youth mobility - concretely in the fields of higher education, employment, vocational training, pupils exchange and entrepreneurship - in Europe. Here students are encouraged to apply their theoretical knowledge gained in the lectures and discussions to carry out a basic relevant qualitative/quantitative analysis. Finally, a third part is about students presenting and contextualising their findings.

The course content will cover an introduction to:

  • sociological theory addressing mobility,
  • current developments regarding mobility under globalisation
  • case studies/research on the matter.

While using outcomes of case study research the course further examines - under given contemporary challenges - cross-border mobility of young people within the EU.


Upon completions of the course the candidate should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence:


  • The candidate can provide and outline how the perspective on mobility in social science has changed over recent decades
  • The candidate will have a basic understanding of the concept mobility and of the so-called "mobility turn" in social science
  • The candidate can point out challenges regarding mobility, thus positive and negative effects of mobility
  • The candidate can give examples of how mobility influences nowadays society, institutions and individual behaviour
  • The candidate will know about contemporary young people's mobility patterns and strategies


  • The candidate is able to do in-depth studies of mobility
  • The candidate can relate individual cases with social contexts of the phenomenon mobility
  • The candidate can present and discuss a specific social phenomenon like mobility
  • The candidate is able to reflect theoretical, empirical and ideological challenges with regard to the issue of mobility

General competence

  • The candidate will have a rough overview of sociological theory and research related to the mobility phenomenon
  • The candidate can approach and account the mobility phenomenon within sociological traditions
  • The candidate has knowledge about how young people become mobile and is able to account fostering and/or hindering factors of mobility
  • The candidate can understand individual challenges with regard to mobility

Studiepoeng, omfang


Studienivå (studiesyklus)



The course can be offered both spring and autumn, but the offer will vary from semester to semester
Krav til forkunnskapar
Tilrådde forkunnskapar
SOS100A / SOS100B or equivalent
Krav til studierett
Open for all students at the University of Bergen
Arbeids- og undervisningsformer
Lectures and seminars (altogether 44 hours).
Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet
  • Preparing and contributing to (group)presentations and seminar discussion (about 30 minutes) related to a topic/an article(s)/a book section(s) of the cited literature or literature found/indicated by yourself/your work group.
  • Mandatory term paper (2000 words +/- 10 percent).
  • The presentation and the term paper must be approved before the student can take the exam. Approved compulsory work requirements are valid in the exam semester and the following exam semester.


    8 hour take home exam, 2500 words (+/- 10%)

    The exam will be given in the language in which the course is taught.

    The exam can be submitted in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish

    Grading A-F
    Assessment in teaching semester and the following semester (ordinary exam for students with valid and approved compulsory requirements).
    The reading list will be ready before 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 Decemeber for the spring semester. 
    All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
    Hjelpemiddel til eksamen
    The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses. 
    Administrativt ansvarleg
    Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.