The research at the department is organized into six main areas:
- Social Psychology of Everyday Life
- Lifelong Learning
- Health Promotion
- Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
- Working Life
- Environment, Energy, Transport, Regulation, Innovation, Climate Policy
- Space, Place, Mobility, Urban Studies
- Computer Science and Informatics
Social Psychology of Everyday Life is characterized by exploring psychological issues as they manifest themselves in everyday life. It focuses on psychological processes as they unfold in the spaces that are most strongly associated with everyday life: home, family, childcare and schools, work, urban spaces and community, but also on how the processes can be related to significant psychological themes such as gender, class, ethnicity, technology and power. There is also a focus on how the psychological processes of everyday life are challenged by general development in society.
Lifelong Learning is oriented towards exploring learning processes in a life-long perspective. Research into life-long learning is designed in relation to the stages of life (children, adolescents, adults, elderly), learning contexts (education, institutions, family, work, health, social innovation processes, professions, etc.) and learning aspects (skills development, orientation capacity, identity, etc.). The fundamental goal is to develop a nuanced understanding of the interplay between people's conditions for learning and the subjective processes that are involved in processes of learning and change, as well as helping to develop innovative working and learning environments.
Health Promotion studies health and illness from social, everyday life and subjective perspectives. The research generates knowledge about the conditions for health, about health policies, health interventions and about innovation in the health promotion efforts. Conditions and processes that create learning and empowerment in health are studied and developed on the basis of the premise that there is a close relationship between people's influence and health promotion. Work is conducted on theory development concerning what health promotion represents, and what role it plays in relation to changes in late-modern everyday life, the welfare state and its institutions.
Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship. The research group develop and share knowledge on social innovation processes, learning and competency development, and innovative management styles. The perspective is interdisciplinary and in part draws on psychological, pedagogical, and sociological perspectives, while also drawing on barrier-breaking knowledge which applies to the areas we study.
Working Life. The research group combines an interest in learning in working life with an interest in lifelong learning. We study the developmental conditions and course of development of working life, including possibilities and conditions for learning in working life. “Work” is of great importance, not just for the individual human being. As a collective practice in relation to changes on an institutional and societal level it makes a difference. The focus on subjective perspectives on lifelong learning in our research indicates that this kind of research is unable to capture the complexities of its object, if the notion of competency development is reduced to an adaptation to external demands. The research is transdisciplinary in the field between general social theory, social psychology, organization theories and physical / technical working analyses. The research profile is sociological with strong attachments to education, political analyses, health aspects and technical understanding of working conditions. Also labour market conditions and employment are included.
Environment, Energy, Transport, Regulation, Innovation and Climate Policy. This research includes identification of environmental impact as well as none sustainable exploitation of resources such as formation of criterions and strategies in connection with sustainable formation of companies, sectors, areas and economies. It also includes analyses of inclination within the economic development and analyses of the policy, regulation and planning which controls the upgrading and transition to sustainable development. Finally the research includes democracy processes, participation and interests in the development of policy, regulation and planning.
Space, Place, Mobility and Urban Studies. This research includes identification and investigation of the spatial reorganization of society. Relations between everyday life, culture, settlement and industries. New forms of mobility, social exclusion, intercultural relations, new technologies and creative industries demand new approaches in theory and in practice.
Computer Science and Informatics. IT systems have become a vital part of the infrastructure of modern human society. The design, construction, validation and evaluation of systems of ever increasing complexity and sophistication brings research challenges, both basic and applied, that are addressed by the research groups "User-driven IT Innovation" and "Programming, Logic and Intelligent Systems". Understanding the needs of users, customers and businesses starts with understanding people in context, which in turn drives the management of IT projects and the design of innovative IT solutions and information systems. Research in these areas relies on and is inspired by theories of organizational behaviour, sociology, psychology and management. The construction of reliable, intelligent, resource-efficient systems requires basic research in the mathematical and logic foundations of knowledge representation, algorithms, programming tools and languages. The overall multi-disciplinary goal of human-centred computing includes research in security and privacy, intuitive human-computer interaction, interfaces based on natural language and data visualization.