Olga Gurova, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Culture and Learning, The Faculty of Humanities, Aalborg University

I’m a sociologist specializing in consumption, markets, inequalities, sustainability and culture. Since 2016, I have been working as Assistant professor and then as Associate professor in consumption studies and intercultural encounters at the Aalborg University in Denmark. I’m a part of the Culture and Consumption research group at the AAU. I also hold a title of docent in sociology of the University of Helsinki in Finland. Previously, I was employed at a prestigious position of the Academy of Finland research fellow at the University of Helsinki in Finland. I also served as a docent at the National Research University — Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia. My international experience includes work as a visiting researcher at universities across the world — The New School — Parsons School of Design (USA), Aalto University (Finland), University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (USA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), Central European University (Hungary) and University of Genova (Italy). 

Research and teaching have been always my passion. In research, I have been curious to discover why consumers behave in particular ways and how their behavior is linked to broader social and cultural structures – politics, media, markets, social structure, and to broader processes, such as spread of neoliberalism, shifts to diversity and sustainability. My current research interests are politics of consumption in the nation states and globally, consumer nationalism and patriotism, identity politics and fashion, critical approach to sustainability and wearable technology and the future. I’m curious about global dimension of consumption, but the areas of my special interest are Russia, Finland and since recently – Denmark.

I use interpretive methodologies and ethnographic methods that give deeper insights and allow answering the question of why things happen as they do. I have experience with visual ethnography and research-based film-making and also with social network analysis.

Currently, I am PI for the research project Wearable Technology and Sustainability (2018-2021), supported by the Talent Management Program at the AAU. The project aims at analyzing both the production of wearables by designers as well as the consumption by end-users. In this project we experiment with methods of data collection and analysis (ethnographic observation, diaries, interviews, big data scraping, social network analysis) and with ways of disseminating academic research (artistic film).

Photo (c): Be in open 2018