“Culture” is a term we use every day. But what do we mean by that? The concept of culture appears in the most varied of contexts. We are talking about Italian culture, high culture, food culture, pop culture and also the cultivated plant. The scientific definitions of the term are also fuzzy and vary from discipline to discipline.
Approaching the concept of culture
The most basic definition results from the word origin of the term. Culture comes from the Latin “colere”, which means “to cultivate” or “to cultivate”. So culture denotes something created by man.
UNESCO defines culture as “the totality of the unique spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional aspects (…) that characterize a society or a social group”. This includes traditions and customs, the political system, art or the economy of a society.
Cultural studies as a separate course of study
As multifaceted as the concept of culture is, the study opportunities in this area are just as diverse. In Germany alone there are several hundred courses in the field of cultural studies. This includes disciplines that also belong to literary studies or social sciences , for example .
According to Topmbadirectory, a distinction must be made between the courses that consciously call themselves “cultural studies” in the singular. For several years now, cultural studies has established itself as an independent discipline . It is now possible to study the subject at more than 70 universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The interdisciplinary individual subject is defined by scientific questions and methods and examines shared knowledge. In cultural studies, the so-called high culture is not the focus, but all areas of cultural life are important.
One course – many disciplines
The cultural studies subject is made up of a wide variety of disciplines, depending on which departments of the university take part in the study program. The following subjects, among others, are involved in the course :
- Anthropology and ethnology
- Art history
- Media studies
- English studies
- German studies
Many study programs today are internationally oriented. For example, there are more and more courses with a focus on “European Culture”.
In the bachelor’s degree
At the beginning of the bachelor’s degree, students receive an introduction to the basic cultural-scientific theories and methods . You will get to know the quantitative and qualitative methods of social research and the history of the subject.
In addition, they attend events in the departments involved . In courses geared towards sociology, for example, the cultural and economic effects of globalization are an issue. In media science programs, students design online magazines or create podcasts. In contrast, economically oriented courses focus on subjects such as marketing , cultural management or finance.
In the master’s degree
After the bachelor is possible in a subsequent master’s program continues to specialize . The course qualifies for management positions and represents an important step on the way to a doctorate.
The master’s programs also offer a wide variety of content . Depending on the university, there are focal points such as European ethnology, internationality and transculturality of the media or cultural mediation.
Requirements for the study
Courses in the field of cultural studies are popular. Most universities have an NC, so good grades are required on the high school diploma . In some cases, selection interviews and aptitude tests can also be part of the application process. Good knowledge of English is required for the course . Basic knowledge in history, politics, social studies and religion proves to be helpful.
Fields of work
Study cultural studies and then? Graduates are often confronted with this question. In fact, a wide variety of professional fields are open to them. Classic employers are cultural institutions such as museums, libraries and cultural offices . Graduates organize exhibitions and events, for example, or take care of public relations .
Cultural scientists are also active in other professional fields . they work
- in communication and PR departments of international organizations, universities, political parties, associations and foundations
- as specialist editors with cultural mediation tasks at newspaper publishers, radio and radio stations
- in marketing and human resource management in companies
- in the tourism industry
- in PR and advertising agencies
- for market research institutes
- in adult education institutions .
What are the benefits of studying abroad?
Studying abroad is definitely recommended for prospective cultural scientists. During one or more semesters at a university abroad, students have the opportunity to broaden their personal horizons. You can gain deep insights into other cultures that go beyond vacation impressions.
At the same time, the students have the opportunity to sharpen their professional profile through other course content . This can also be interesting with regard to the upcoming bachelor or master thesis. There is also the opportunity for cultural exchange and to improve foreign language skills . And last but not least, a stay abroad signals characteristics such as flexibility, independence and openness to future employers.