I teach courses on consumption, fashion and culture and on qualitative research methods for students with backgrounds in sociology and marketing. I supervise projects in these areas for students in sociology, marketing and design.
Approach to teaching and learning
My teaching philosophy is the development of critical thinking and transferable skills, which students can utilize outside of my courses and also outside of academia. In order to achieve these goals as well as with the purpose to facilitate greater involvement of students in the learning process, I rely on interactive methods and techniques of teaching.
My “teaching style” (Abell, Cain, Lee 2016) is “mixed” (Grasha 1994) in a sense that it includes elements from different teaching styles that are discussed by Grasha. It can depend on the level of a course (BA, MA, PhD), how advanced in subject students are and whether it’s teaching or supervision. I can certainly say what my teaching style is not: it’s not top-down authoritarian, on the one hand, and I do not normally delegate full responsibility for learning to students. “Facilitator” would be the teaching style that allows keeping the balance in responsibility and autonomy between students and myself. The “facilitator” teaching style means that teaching of students occurs through learning process; therefore, both sides are interested and engaged. Sometimes I can act as an “expert” in bigger classes when opportunities for interaction are limited (however, I still prefer to use what my students call “Ping-Pong technique”, that is, asking a chain of quick questions, which assume quick answers during the lecture). My approach to supervision can be called “personal” (Grasha 1994), which means that I try to identify each student’s strong and weak sides, emphasize the strong sides and, by doing so, help the student to maximize their contribution to the process of learning. As for weaknesses, they should be addressed step by step. With such approach students have better chances to succeed, as my experience shows. This mixed style, comprising “facilitator”, “expert” and “personal” roles, is interactive, cooperative and student-centered, as Abell, Cain and Lee (2016: 409) argue.
Teaching in a form of interactive lectures suits my style most of all — for teaching at BA and MA levels. During classes I usually talk for 5-10 minutes; then an interactive assignment follows – Ping-Pong technique, “buzzing” (discussion in pairs), small group work, etc. This approach to lecturing allows me to make sure that students are engaged and motivated and able to “digest” the material to the extent of being capable of applying the concepts that we learn in class to real-life phenomena. To develop meaningful and creative tasks for the interactive assignments has become one of my tasks and goals. The challenge of this approach to lecturing is that students do not always develop deeper understanding of the concepts – this could be better reached by “close reading” of texts among other teaching techniques. Acknowledging this weakness, I compensate it with the goal of developing critical thinking skills. I expect that students understand explanatory power of the concepts as well as limitations. The “close reading” teaching technique for deeper learning works better in smaller groups and at PhD level.
My approach to teaching and learning works well with “problem-based learning” (PBL), the model of teaching and learning practiced at Aalborg University where I’m currently working. As Gijselajers (1996: 13) concisely describes PBL, “students encounter problem-solving situations in small groups that are guided by a tutor, whose role is to facilitate the learning process by asking questions and monitoring the problem-solving process”. PBL thus is based on an approach that learning is a constructive and not receptive process and a student is self-regulated learner who actively constructs knowledge. PBL approach helps to activate the existing knowledge and, along with new material, to use this knowledge for solving a problem at hands. The ability to connect real-life problems to relevant academic discussions is of high significance for the PBL model.
The criteria of effectiveness of teaching and learning that I use for self-check is that students can successfully identify relevant, challenging and interesting real-life problems, are able to pick the concepts that would help them to address these problems in a convincing way, can expertly mix the concepts within one project and have a critical eye while applying them. Since I’m an engaged, passionate and caring teacher, good and encouraging emotional atmosphere in class is an important indicator of good teaching as well.
My total teaching experience is 16 years. I have obtained practical experience of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, at international and multicultural classes in Denmark, Finland and Russia. I also participated in administrative work related to teaching, that is, curriculum development, evaluation and quality control.
As for supervision experience, I supervised 26 BA and MA theses in the fields of culture, consumption, fashion, media, social inequalities, gender, body and sport (See Appendix 2). The majority of the students acquired excellent grades and honors. I also have extensive experience of supervising group research projects within the PBL model. Each semester I supervise 20-30 students in several research groups (the group can include up to 5 people). In addition, I currently supervise Daria Morozova’s PhD dissertation in Consumption Studies (Aalborg University, Denmark) and was the first adviser (equal to second supervisor) for Namkyu Chun, who received his PhD in Design Research in 2019 at Aalto University in Finland.
List of taught courses
- 2020 Consumption in Social and Cultural Theory (MA Aalborg University)
- 2020 Global Consumer Culture (MA Aalborg University) (examples of tasks for active teaching)
- 2019 Global Consumer Culture (MA Aalborg University)
- 2018 Introduction to Social Theory (BA Aalborg University)
- 2018 Global Consumer Culture (MA Aalborg University)
- 2018 Applied Methodology (censor, MA Aalborg University)
- 2017 Introduction to Social Theory (BA Aalborg University)
- 2017 Global Consumer Culture (MA Aalborg University)
- 2017 Applied Methodology (censor, MA Aalborg University)
- 2016 Globalizing Consumer Cultures (BA&MA University of Helsinki)
- 2015 Globalizing Consumer Cultures (BA&MA University of Helsinki)
- 2014 Globalizing Consumer Cultures (BA&MA University of Helsinki)
- 2013 The Consumer Revolution in Contemporary Russia (BA&MA University of Helsinki)
- 2012 The Consumer Revolution in Contemporary Russia (BA&MA University of Helsinki)
- 2009 Qualitative Methods in Social Research (BA, Higher School of Economics)
- 2009 The Consumer Revolution in Contemporary Russia (MA Higher School of Economics)
- 2008 Qualitative Methods in Social Research (BA, Higher School of Economics)
- 2008 Sociology of Consumption (BA, Higher School of Economics)
- 2007 Sociology of Consumption (BA, Higher School of Economics)
- 2007 Sociology of Consumption (BA, Tver State University)
- 2006 Sociology of Culture (BA, Tver State University)
- 2006 Sociology of Consumption (BA, Higher School of Economics)
- 2005 Sociology of Consumption (BA, Higher School of Economics)
- 2005 Gender and Everyday Life in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia (BA, Tver’ State University)
- 2004 Sociology of Culture (BA, Tver State University)
- 2003 Sociology of Culture (BA, Tver State University)
Invited/guest lecturer for the following courses:
- 2019 Wearable Technologies (Assistant professor Katherine Moriwaki, The New School — Parsons School of Design)
- 2016 From Pioneers to Pussy Riot: Gender in the Soviet Union and Russia (Dr. Saara Ratilainen, Professor Arja Rosenholm, University of Tampere);
- 2013 Russian Society and Culture (Professor Markku Lonkila, University of Tampere, Autumn 2013);
- 2013 Gender in Russian Culture and Society (Dr. Saara Ratilainen, University of Tampere, Spring 2013);
- 2009 Evil and Wickedness (Dr. Marianna Muravyeva, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2009);
- 2006 Topics in Russian Society and Culture (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, 2006).
Supervised MA, BA theses
and Specialist degree theses
At Aalborg University, Denmark
(main supervisor of all projects, MA in Culture, Communication and Globalization, Markets and Consumption stream)
- Fischer H., MA, “To Good To Go” and sustainable behavior change: An exploration of the smartphone application through social practice theory
- Popoka S., MA, Cross-cultural comparison of entrepreneurial networking activities
- Serban M., MA, Consumer acculturation between borders
- Kuronen J., MA, Consumer adoption of peer-to-peer carsharing practice: From niche to regime innovation? Qualitative case study of barriers and opportunities in Aalborg
- Grepperud Krog A., Byrresen Vestergaard N., MA, Branding on local values: A case of Thisted Bryghus’ branding strategy
- Treumer Nielsen M., MA, Arla – an activist brand? A single case-study of the Danish brand Arla and its activist behaviour
- Reckova K., MA, There is more to zoos than right or wrong: Online communities and their role in public debate on place of zoos in contemporary society. Case of Aalborg Zoo
- Mørk Clausen A. S., MA, How brand awareness can contribute to strengthen Bang & Olufsen’s presence in Japan
- Elrum K., MA, How can Danish and Italian men use fashion consumption to construct their masculinity?
- Mailda S., MA, How do Eastern European expatriates perceive Danish fashion
- Giesler J., MA, “Crème de la crème de la grooming”: Men’s consumption and perceptions of grooming products and grooming behavior in a constructivist explorative perspective
- Mohamed Abdil A., MA, Representation of black women in beauty commercials
- Beck N., MA, Sustainability: Clothing consumption
- Medzihradska S., MA, Sustainable consumption, recycling habits and zero-waste concept: Perceptions of Slovak consumers
- Johansen L. and M. Højstrup Jensen. MA, The urban, Chinese middle class consumers’ perception of Denmark and Scandinavian design products
- Abdil Hermansen M. and C. V. Viken Tuason, MA, Brand Activism in a new power world: A case study of the social media communications of Patagonia
- Jas R., MA, What affects green consumption in Slovakia?
- Atzen A.-M., MA, Luxury consumption through social media of various social classes
- Patton E., MA, Considering corporate approaches to sustainability: A study on the influence of cultural frames in shaping employee perceptions
At Aalto University, Finland
Sedakova A., MA in Fashion Design, Fashion identity under socialism. Fashion as a creative expression of “conformist” and “oppositional” identity in the condition of the suppressive society in the Soviet Russia during the era of «Perestroika», co-supervisor
Colliander O., Master in International Design Business Management, The Finnish fashion entrepreneurship ecosystem, adviser
At National Research University — Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg, Russia (main supervisor of all projects, MA, Specialist degree and BA in Sociology)
- Mikhailova O., MA, A Consumer in mall: Strategies of control and consumer freedom
- Zasypkina A., MA, Shopaholics: Cultural representations and consumer practices
- Bravicheva N., MA, Pet fashion market: Consumers and social inequalities in St. Petersburg
- Kyand Y., Specialist degree, Plastic surgery: Gender and social construction of body in contemporary Russia
- Ivanova P., Specialist degree, Youth as clothing consumers in St Petersburg
- Kharchenko Y., Specialist degree, Social inequalities and leisure: Case of sporting
- Izmestieva E., BA, Social Media: Cultural production and consumption in fashion
- Bezman I., BA, Fashion for second-hand items as a consumer strategy in St Petersburg
- Sholokhova V., BA, Gender socialization in LGBT families in St. Petersburg
Supervised semester projects, PBL teaching and learning model (AAU, Examples)
Online and offline clothes shopping practices in Cameroon and Denmark: A comparative study (Bjarne Størner R., Ndangoh Lihlobnike T., Mul M., Matchop F.)
How does a company communicate societal issues? (Ditlev Veng P., Lundsgaard Olsen R.)
Virtual communities and the new power: The netnography of Reddit (O. Temitope Ukaegbu, A-V. Belan, D-A. Durdeu, Z. Wang)
Danish university students’ perception of the ‘Made in China’ label (M-M. Patrascu, C.W.Boer, T. Cser)
The importance of credibility in Instagram marketing (S. Kieler Schrøder, A.C. Karlsen)
Hegemony & handbags: An analysis of the impact of masculinity in advertisement on men’s consumer behaviour (H.T.Fischer, M. Kaul Jørgensen, M. Larsen)
Old Spice, New Image : A research of the consumer response to the change in Old Spice’s brand image (L. Sestule, I. M. Stenumgaard, C. Voicu)
Nike and their controversial choice to employ Colin Kaepernick (N. Byrresen Vestergaard, A. Grepperud Krog, N. Friis Jørgensen)
The stigma of failure in entrepreneurship: A comparative study (J. Gram Christensen, S. Sintim-Aboagye, M. Kopp, P/ Elneff Mullis)
A study investigating the Chinese’ general adaptation of living in Denmark, and how this is related to the Danish national trend of meat reduction (L. Johansen, M. Højstrup Jensen)
Race and gender in popular movies: The case of Black Panther (K. Zertova, R. Zheng, A. Molnarova)
Soft power and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (M. de Vos, E. Michiel Rijs)
A case study of the 2017th Pepsi advertisement and resulting consumer outrage (K. Hamlin Jensen, S. E. Mongnian Stolle)
Adapting to a circular future: A case study on Vigga (A. Kiilerich, K. Rosenørn Kristensen)
The Hygge Outsiders (D. M. Serban, S. Xu, E. Vamvounaki)
Placemaking in Gellerup: The experience economy’s contribution to the event Smag á la Gellerup (E. Ögn Jóhannsdóttir, M. Hougaard Laursen, N. Klasnic)
Examining online CSR communication within the mining industry in Greenland (J. Kuronen)
PhD under supervision
- 2018 – 2021 — first supervisor to PhD student Daria Morozova (PhD in Consumption Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark). Topic: Practice theory approach to fashionable wearables. Implications for sustainability.
- 2016 – 2018 — first advisor (equal to second supervisor) to PhD student Namkyu Chun (PhD in Design Research, Aalto University, Finland). Topic: Re(dis)covery of fashion designers: Interweaving dressmaking and placemaking.
- 2016 Anna Barbaruk (PhD in Sociology, St. Petersburg State University, Russia).
- 2011 Zoya Kotel’nikova (PhD in Sociology, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia).
Films that my students produced as a course assignment at the University of Helsinki
The Exchange Students’ Fridges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zZ3xFbhVxA&feature=youtu.be
Photo (c): Be in open 2018