Bjørn Schiermer Andersen

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Phone +47 22854266
Mobile phone +45 61682037
Room 417
Available hours Friday 12-14
Visiting address Moltke Moes vei 31 Harriet Holters hus 0851 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1096 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Academic interests

First of all I am ardently interested in creativity and creative action and how it is effected by its collective setting. What is creativity in the first place? How is the "psychology" of creativity affected by the collective context. How to theorize and investigate creativity empirically?  

My other great interest is cultural sociology and 'zeit-diagnostics': How does contemporary Western culture differ from earlier times? How does the concept of youth and generation change? what is retro culture? How to understand the contemporary figure of the hipster? What is fashion and how does it influence our lives? How to approach phenomena such as authenticity, humor and irony in a sociological perspective?

Finally, I have worked a bit with methodological issues; with questions as how to phenomenologically describe the familiar and transparent; how to develop good and creative empirical observations and descriptions; how to 'theorize' without losing the connection to phenomena. Recently, I have gained some experience with digital methods. 

Courses taught


2018-          Professor, Department of sociology and Human Geography, Oslo University 

2017-2018  Postdoctoral fellow, Department of sociology and Human Geography, Oslo University 

2016-17      Marie Curie Research fellow, Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, Erfurt University

2014-2016  Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen. 

2010-2014  Assistant Professor, Department of sociology, University of Copenhagen.

Current Research Project

A bit about my current research project which focuses on how collective contexts influence creative action on different cultural fields:

  1. It investigates the guidance provided by the 'object' in creative action
  2. It investigates the effect of the collective context upon this relation (to the object).
  3. Empirically, it investigates and compares this interplay on three different cultural fields: music, religion and academia.

1) Creative action. Creativity does not belong to the subject or the 'actor', but rather to the activity in which it is absorbed. In a word, the actions we undertake turn around and seize us. Whether we are singing a song, in contact with the divine through prayer, or working on an academic paper, we have to make ourselves susceptible to 'objective' forms of practical, aesthetic or conceptual 'structure', emerging interior to the activity in question, which one the one hand are projected by us, but which on the other hand 'guides' us in our actions. No one can sing without listening; no one can make a rhythm without being 'seized' by it; no one can speak without being found by the right words. In a word, all intentional action entails non-intentional or non-purposive elements. These are indeed the creative moments. On this basis, the project seeks to theorize creative action.

2) Social influence. All the time, we are more or less unwittingly drawn towards shared fascinations, attractions and desires, material or immaterial. Such fascinations are of collective origin. Here a continuum exists, ranging between 'interactionist' situations of collective co-presence and strongly 'mediated' forms of collectivity. On the one end of this continuum we find the singer animated and animating the concert audience. On the other end we find mediated collectives held together exclusively through dynamics of collective selection; through gathering around the same objects. Think about how dynamics of fashion influence such diverse fields as popular opinions, scientific theory, design, all areas of popular taste, political or religious currents, language and speech patterns etc. In this sense, the thinking or acting subject is never alone. In a modern society in which individualized creative expression is required in ever more cultural areas (in both private and professional life), vague forms of 'solidarity' or collectivity are mediated through 'individualized' creative practices taking place around an abundance of collectively 'charged' fascinations. The project seeks to theorize how the collective context influences creative action on different levels of mediation.

3) Empirically, the project centers on three different cultural fields: a) aesthetic creativity (primarily jazz singers), b) religious creativity (fieldwork in the Pentecostal church) and c) conceptual creativity (research carried out among students and researchers of sociology). Data are gathered mainly through interviews with informants active on the three fields.

The project bridges borders between different sociological strands. Through selective readings of prominent theories, it deliberately – and controversially – seeks to combine heterogeneous sources: theories of 'resonance' (Hartmut Rosa), conceptions of action and agency found in ANT inspired accounts (Bruno Latour) and phenomenology (Maurice Merleau-Ponty), Durkheim's sociology of religion and theory of ritual.


Tags: Creativity, Collectivity, Culture, Youth Culture, Retro culture, Irony, Subculture, Hipster, Authenticity, Fashion, Imitation, Sociology of art


  • Eide, Thea & Schiermer, Bjørn (2020). Normcore: Kunsten å være normal. Arr - Idéhistorisk tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7005.  1(2), s 29- 39
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2020). Corona og kroppenes kollektivitet, I: Ole B. Jensen & Nikolaj Schultz (red.),  Det epidemiske samfund.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 978-87-023-0818-1.  Chapter.  s 133 - 146
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2020). Fænomenologi, I: Heine Andersen & Lars Bo Kaspersen (red.),  Klassisk og moderne samfundsteori.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 978-87-412-7764-6.  Chapter.  s 317 - 344
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2020). Hvad er det sosiale? Durkheims ontologier. Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift.  ISSN 2535-2512.  4(4), s 197- 210 . doi: Full text in Research Archive.
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2019). Arcades Project/Benjamin, In Anthony Orum (ed.),  The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies.  John Wiley & Sons.  ISBN 9781118568453.  Entry.  s 48 - 52
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2019). Durkheim on Imitation, In Christian Borch (ed.),  Imitation, Contagion, Suggestion: On Mimesis and Society.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-49064-2.  Ch. 4.  s 54 - 72
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2019). From Holism to Participation: Three Phases in Durkheim's Work. İstanbul üniversitesi sosyoloji dergisi.  ISSN 1304-2998.  39(1), s 109- 133 . doi: 10.26650/sj.2019.39.1.0012 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2019). Mellem ting og personer: Simmel om mode og kollektivitet, I: Søren Christensen; Nils Gunder Hansen; Simon Langkjær; Martin Hauberg-Lund Laugesen & Joachim S. Wiewiura (red.),  Simmel - Sociologiens eventyrer.  Samfundslitteratur.  ISBN 978-87-7683-172-1.  Kapitel 9.  s 387 - 410
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2019). Ny materialisme, I: Birgit Eriksson & Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Ny kulturteori.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 978-87-412-7082-1.  Kapitel.  s 663 - 697
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2019). Weber’s alternative theory of action: Relationalism and object-oriented action in Max Weber’s work. Archives Europeennes de Sociologie.  ISSN 0003-9756.  60(2), s 239- 281 . doi: 10.1017/S0003975619000109 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Schiermer, Bjørn & Benjamin, Gook (2019). Review Essay: Neo-Tribes and The Subcultural Imagination. Youth and Globalization.  ISSN 2589-5737.  1, s 187- 192 . doi: 10.1163/25895745-00101009
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2017). The Veil of the Masses: Experience and Collectivity in Walter Benjamin. Constellations.  ISSN 1351-0487.  23(4), s 495- 506 . doi: 10.1111/1467-8675.12262
  • Schiermer, Bjørn & Carlsen, Hjalmer Bang (2017). Nostalgia, Irony and Collectivity in Late Modern Culture: Ritual around the Disney Christmas Show in Scandinavia. Acta Sociologica.  ISSN 0001-6993.  60(2), s 158- 178 . doi: 10.1177/0001699316659321
  • Schiermer, Bjørn & Pettenkofer, Andreas (2017). Four Generations of Critical Theory. Acta Sociologica.  ISSN 0001-6993. Show summary
  • Uttley, Alison & Schiermer, Bjørn (2017). Zeynep Tufekci: Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. New Haven: Yale University Press.. Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift.  ISSN 2535-2512.  3(5), s 378- 380 . doi: 10.18261/issn.2535-2512-2019-05-08
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2016). Fetishes and Factishes: Durkheim and Latour. British Journal of Sociology.  ISSN 0007-1315.  67(3), s 497-515 . doi: 10.1111/1468-4446.12199
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2016). On the Aging of Objects: Ornament and crime. Theory, Culture and Society. Explorations in Critical Social Science.  ISSN 0263-2764.  23(4), s 127- 150 . doi: 10.1177/0263276415598625
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2016). The (In)actuality of Walter Benjamin. Time & Society.  ISSN 0961-463X.  25(1), s 3- 23 . doi: 10.1177/0961463x15577253
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2016). Weber's Listening: Non-Purposive Figures in Weber. Journal of Classical Sociology.  ISSN 1468-795X.  16(2), s 137- 154 . doi: 10.1177/1468795x15624188
  • Schiermer, Bjørn; Hviid Jacobsen, Michael & Petersen, Anders (2016). Michel Maffesoli, I: Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Kulturteori og Kultursociologi.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741260976.  Kapitel 12.  s 309 - 340
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2015). Fænomenologi og Postfænomenologi: Et Manifestalt Reviewessay. Dansk Sociologi.  ISSN 0905-5908.  26(4), s 113- 135 . doi: 10.22439/dansoc.v26i4.5039
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2015). Late-Modern Symbolism: Continuity and Discontinuity between the Modern and the Premodern in Durkheim's Work. Sociological Focus.  ISSN 0038-0237.  48(1), s 49- 67 . doi: 10.1080/00380237.2015.978935
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2014). Henning Bechs blik: En postfænomenologisk analyse, I: Marie Bruvik Heinskou & Morten Wøldike (red.),  Byen og blikkets lyst: Festskrift til Henning Bech.  Center for Seksualitetsforskning.  ISBN 978-87-993544-5-0.  Kapitel.  s 315 - 331
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2014). Late-Modern Hipsters: New Tendencies in Popular Culture. Acta Sociologica.  ISSN 0001-6993.  57(2), s 167- 181 . doi: 10.1177/0001699313498263
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2014). The Concept of Mechanical Solidarity: Where Did it Go?. Durkheimian Studies.  ISSN 1362-024X.  20(1), s 64- 88 . doi: 10.3167/ds.2014.200104
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2013). Aura, Cult-Value, and The Postmodern Crowd: A Durkheimian Reading of Walter Benjamin's Artwork Essay. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory.  ISSN 1600-910X.  14(2), s 191- 210 . doi: 10.1080/1600910x.2012.738609
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2013). Fænomenologi og kritisk teori, I: Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Fænomenologi: Teorier og Metoder.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741255996.  Kapitel.  s 243 - 270
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2013). Fænomenologiske begyndelser, I: Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Fænomenologi: Teorier og Metoder.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741255996.  Kapitel.  s 45 - 75
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2013). 'Til tingene selv': Om hermeneutisk fænomenologi, I: Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Fænomenologi: Teorier og Metoder.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741255996.  Kapitel.  s 15 - 43
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2012). God smag, dårlig smag: Et essay om smag og autenticitet. Kulturo.  ISSN 1395-4830.  34(17), s 6- 13
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2012). La Raison Sensible et ses Limites. Sociétés (Paris).  ISSN 0765-3697.  118(2), s 117- 127 . doi: 10.3917/soc.118.0117
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2012). Ornament og Fortrydelse: Et Essay om Socialitet og Materialitet. Kritik.  ISSN 0454-5354.  204, s 49- 60
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2011). Quasi-objects, Cult Objects and Fashion Objects: On two Kinds of Fetishism in Modern culture. Theory, Culture and Society. Explorations in Critical Social Science.  ISSN 0263-2764.  28(1), s 81-102 . doi: 10.1177/0263276410374632
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2010). Kritik og Myndighed. Sosiologisk Årbok.  ISSN 0808-288X.  3-4, s 31- 56
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2010). Le luxe et le vulgaire: Le luxe, l'art, le kitsch et le 'camp'. Les Cahiers Européen de l'Imaginaire.  ISSN 2101-6178.  2, s 231- 238
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2010). Luhmann and Teamsports, In U Wagner (ed.),  Observing sport : modern system theoretical approaches.  Hofmann.  ISBN 978-3-7780-3396-8.  Chapter.  s 243 - 264
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2010). Mode, Bewusstsein und Kommunikation. Soziale Systeme: Zeitschrift für Soziologische Theorie.  ISSN 0948-423X.  16(1), s 129- 149
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2009). Entre l'être et l'inter-être: Sur le démodé. Sociétés (Paris).  ISSN 0765-3697.  103, s 69- 83
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2009). Fashion Objects: Breaking up the Durkheimian Crowd. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory.  ISSN 1600-910X.  19, s 81- 104
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2009). Fashion Victims: On the Individualizing and De-individualizing Powers of Fashion. Fashion Theory.  ISSN 1362-704X.  14(1), s 41- 62
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2009). Imitation et Individualité. Sociétés (Paris).  ISSN 0765-3697.  102, s 43- 49
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2008). Ironiens Kultur og Kulturens Ironi: En Undersøgelse af Senmoderne Sensibiliteter. Dansk Sociologi.  ISSN 0905-5908.  19(1), s 9- 30

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  • Eriksson, Birgit & Schiermer, Bjørn (red.) (2019). Ny kulturteori. Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 978-87-412-7082-1.  779 s.
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (red.) (2016). Kulturteori og Kultursociologi. Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741260976.  600 s.
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (red.) (2013). Fænomenologi: Teorier og Metoder. Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741255996.  278 s.
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2010). Imitation, Creativity and Fashion. University of Copenhagen.  ISBN 8772962909.  321 s.

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  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2020). Forord til Andreas Reckwitz (2020), I:  Kreativitetens Opfindelse: Om den samfundsmæssige æsteticeringsproces.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741277202.  Forord.  s 9 - 19
  • Eriksson, Birgit & Schiermer, Bjørn (2019). Forord, I: Birgit Eriksson & Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Ny kulturteori.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 978-87-412-7082-1.  Forord.  s 15 - 22
  • Schiermer, Bjørn & Pettenkofer, Andreas (2017). Introduction. Acta Sociologica.  ISSN 0001-6993. Show summary
  • Schiermer, Bjørn & Rosa, Hartmut (2017). Acceleration and Resonance: An Interview with Hartmut Rosa. Acta Sociologica.  ISSN 0001-6993. Show summary
  • Schiermer, Bjørn & Strandvad, Sara Malou (2017). Kunst og æstetik, I: Pernille Tanggaard Andersen & Michael Hviid Jacobsen (red.),  Kultursociologi og kulturanalyse.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 978-87-412-6057-0.  Kapitel 13.  s 347 - 374
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2016). Forord, I: Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Kulturteori og Kultursociologi.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741260976.  Forord.  s 13 - 25
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2015). Bestem dig! En læsning af Michele Mwikali Lauritzens film 80.000 tanker. Friktion. Magasin for køn, krop & kultur.  6(2) Show summary
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2013). Forord, I: Bjørn Schiermer (red.),  Fænomenologi: Teorier og Metoder.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 9788741255996.  Forord.  s 9 - 14
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2012). Sociology of Culture, In Gunnar Colbjørnsen Aakvaag; Michael Hviid Jacobsen & Thomas Johansson (ed.),  Introduction to Sociology. Scandinavian Sensibilities.  Prentice-Hall.  ISBN 978-0-273-72739-2.  Kapitel.  s 274 - 297
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2011). 'artefakt', 'artificiel','association', 'aura', 'Bakhtin, Mikhael Mihailovoch','bevidsthedstærksel', 'blik', 'boheme' , 'Camp', 'eksistentialisme', 'epoché', 'fetich', 'flanør', 'Fromm, Erich', 'Hannerz, Ulf', 'holisme', 'ikon', 'image'. 'kitsch', 'kulturel produktion', 'kunstsociologi', 'logo', 'Maffesoli, Michel', 'mode', 'retro', 'væren', 'æstetik', 'æsteticering', I: Inge Kryger Pedersen (red.),  Sociologisk Leksikon.  Hans Reitzels Forlag.  ISBN 978-87-412-0351-5.  Opslag.
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2009). Durkheim: L'institution de la sociologie. Archives Europeennes de Sociologie.  ISSN 0003-9756.  50(3)
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2009). Fællesskabsfølelser: Kunst, politik, filosofi. Dansk Sociologi.  ISSN 0905-5908.  20(1)
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2009). Æstetik og politik: analyser af politiske potentialer i samtidskunsten. Dansk Sociologi.  ISSN 0905-5908.  20(1)
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2008). Til forsvar for kritikken: Til sociologikonference i Aarhus. Dansk Sociologi.  ISSN 0905-5908.  19(3)
  • Schiermer, Bjørn (2006). Kunstkritik og kulturkamp. Dansk Sociologi.  ISSN 0905-5908.  17(2)

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Published Aug. 9, 2017 11:16 AM - Last modified Apr. 20, 2020 10:50 AM