The research group focuses on analysing the experiences and activities across various contexts of human subjects in concrete problems of their everyday life. Today technologies play a vital part in coordinating the social activities and subjectivity in the plurality of contexts which is the basis of modern social life. Through the study of the social organisation of human practices (e.g. in a workplace, a child care centre, or a health care practice) the research aims to analyse relations between the challenges of everyday life, perspectives, and technologies. Furthermore, the research group makes analyses of the influence of these relations on how human subjects understand each other and act together.
Subject, technology and social practice
The research group focuses on the study of human subjects’ experiences and activities in concrete problems of their everyday life.
Human subjects live their lives in and across several different life contexts. Children, for example, conduct their everyday life at home, in school, in the kindergarten, and other contexts. Professional work concerned with understanding and developing human life has to relate to this plurality.
When people and professionals are acting and cooperating across different contexts "technologies" are playing a crucial role. Technologies such as the drawings of an architect, the questionnaire of the referral of a patient, or the cell-phone of a teenager are social tools with which people and professionals catalyse and coordinate their acts in relation to their matters and concerns across contexts.
The research of the group takes point of departure in the plurality of the contexts of human life and in the manifold perspectives on human affairs. Through participating in and investigating the social arrangement of human praxis the research aims to analyse relations between hum the challenges of everyday life, perspectives, and technologies, as well the ways in which this influences how human subjects understand each other and act together.
Development of new methodologies
Prerequisite for fruitful empirical studies are precise theoretical languages and methodologies. Consequently, the research of the group is not only engaged in developing empirical studies, but also in the enhancements of a theoretical language and methodology, which clarifies the conceptual understanding of the individual/society relationship, and the nature and significance of human subjectivity, technology, and social practice.
Research across contexts implicates the development of a methodology, which is characterized by involvement and cooperation with different fields, e.g. patients and the professional groups of a hospital, or the future inhabitants and the professional groups involved in the construction of a building. In recent years there is an increased interest in psychology to transcend classical dualisms such as individual/society, humans/technology, or theory/practice, and to develop a situated and contextual understanding of the human subject (e.g. activity theory, post-structuralism, and critical psychology).
The research group is involved in this endeavour and suggests that social practice and its technologies can be used as analytical tools, which help to study the "global" in the "local", and which enable a precise and detailed understanding of the complex relationships between individual subjects and the social world.
To understand individual subjects in their contexts and worlds requires knowledge about the "world". Consequently, the research of the group is interdisciplinary and informed by knowledge from the variety of disciplines where the "social world" is a topic such as sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and science and technology studies.
The group unites scholars across different academic fields, and it has a unique capacity to develop integrated theoretical and methodological approaches which bring together subject, technology, and social practice. It's an effort to make inter- and transdisciplinarity work.
Research areas important for the group are:
- Professional practices with children across their different life contexts
- Health practices, gender relationships, and sexualized coercion
- Work practices, communities, and conflictual cooperation
- Technological practices, learning, and human agency