Research areas

Urban sociology

There has been a strong tradition of urban sociology at Södertörn University ever since the subject of sociology was established at the university at the end of the 1990s. Transformations in the urban landscape and its concrete spatial, societal and organisational manifestations in the Stockholm region, particularly in the south of the region, are analysed in various ways. The urban is also an important component in the subject’s research that focuses on the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe. The urban changes in the area have occurred with a level of compactness, intensity and clarity that is unusual in Nordic contexts. These changes have also occurred in a time of enormous political, economic and societal change, which has led to tangible asymmetries in the distribution of forms of capital in cities. This research has included how ideas about renewal are reflected in the urban space in Riga, why gated communities are rapidly spreading in Poland, how the politics of the housing market affect young people’s access to housing in Russia, or how market forces govern the housing market in post-socialist societies. At an overarching level, transformation in the city is studied by analysing the interaction between four different types of capital. The first type comprises the city’s spatial capital, i.e. the qualities of the city’s material shape. The second type comprises the social web that forms the domain of interpersonal space and social interaction (social capital). The third type is based upon the composition of the region’s population and heterogeneity and relates to the issue of how societal exclusion is transformed into creativity and diversity capital for the city (diversity capital). The fourth type comprises the dynamics of the organisational life (state, business and civil society) and its development (organisational capital).

Social movements:

Sociology has strong research into social movements, activism and civil society. We conduct numerous projects that are funded by large research councils. We study movements in Sweden and in other countries, primarily focusing on urban movements, women’s movements, animal rights movements and radical left-wing movements.

The Centre for the Study of Political Organisation, CPO, is a home for research into social movements. CPO is multidisciplinary, which means that Sociology’s interest in movements meets, for example, research into movements conducted within Business Studies and Political Science.

Medical Sociology:

A number of our sociologist participate at the Stockholm Centre for Health and Social Change (SCOHOST), which studies issues related to health and population in Eastern Europe. Please visit their website for more information about the centre’s research and publications.