Research in Sociology: Five research lines, five themes
The Sociology Department of the University of Groningen aims at scientific research that has societal significance as well. or in scientific-based interventions.
Research findings and insights about societal questions often find their way back to society, e.g. in policy research. Read more about Sociology and society .
A research line comprises a number of related projects in which experts in the corresponding fields collaborate and meet regularly. In these lab meetings, research staff, postdocs, PhD students, or research master students discuss ongoing work, papers or research proposals in progress, but also literature of common interest.These themes link to topics of high societal interest and much of the research conducted in the research lines applies sociological knowledge to current societal problems.
Research activities of the department of Sociology are concentrated in five research lines:
Norms and Networks, Institutions;
Understanding the classical sociological phenomena of social integration and segregation is key, in particular in culturally diverse societies, such as the Netherlands.
In this research the conditions are studied under which cultural, demographic, and political differences can be overcome and collaboration and cooperation becomes possible.
Organizations, and Sustainable Cooperation
Which institutional arrangements bring about and sustain cooperative relationships that create added value for individuals, organizations, and societies?
In four interrelated research themes researchers attempt to answer that question.
Social development of young people
In the lives of young people there are a lot of changes. "Young people are really looking for themselves. Who am I? What do I want? Where do I belong?"
Childhood experiences can have a lasting influence. For example, children who are bullied early in life are more likely later on to suffer from depression.
Therefore it is important according Veenstra to examine the social development of young people. His research focuses on positive outcomes, goals, friendships and romantic relationships, and negative outcomes, problem behaviour and bullying.
Healthy and happy ageing
The ageing of the population is often being considered as a problem and as a cost for society. But it may actually be more important to examine how people can age in a healthy and happy way, and under which circumstances health and well-being can be maintained for as long as possible during the lifespan. The research group aims at contributing to this challenge with her research program on health and well-being over the lifespan.
Statistical methods for the analysis of social network data.
Do high school students make their friends start smoking? Is a bully a central actor in the classroom? Is the ‘old boy network’ of chief executive officers just a myth, or can social network analysis help to prove its existence through interlocking directorates? ‘It is our job to develop statistical methods, models and software necessary for sociological research,’ The research group is a small group of researchers of statistical methods for social network analysis, statisticians and mathematicians.