Besides more theoretical sociological interests, I am ardently interested in contemporary Western retro-culture and its sociological and cultural ramifications and consequences. It is my thesis that nostalgia plays an important part among other salient sensibilities in a contemporary popular culture which seems compulsively occupied with its own recent past. In recent work I have investigated into how nostalgia mixes with ironic or genuine appreciations of past cultural forms.
I am especially attentive to the collective side to nostalgic phenomena. This should be understood in a very concrete sense: Cultivating nostalgic sentiment generates collective bonds; the relation to the nostalgic object is (almost) always animated by collective ritual. I have analyzed these social and ritual aspects with a special regard to the question of mediation: Nostalgic objects may work as collective mediators holding together intimate and interactionist relations or more extended and anonymous collectives.
Bjørn Schiermer currently holds a position as Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at Erfurt University. He gained his PhD from the University of Copenhagen, Department of Sociology in 2010. He has published numerous papers in the area of theoretical sociology and sociology of culture. For recent publications centered wholly or partly on the phenomenon of nostalgia.