Most people are included in society’s complex web of relationships and institutions - in family, friend relationships, school, work and their neighborhood. But not all. Studies of marginalization and exclusion are central to research at ISS.
Many paths lead to marginalization. Some are related to how we as a society understand and interpret certain actions, which standards apply. Such norms may change over time. For a long time, homosexuality was illegal in Norway, while today, in contrast, one can be punished for discriminating against homosexuals. Use of cannabis is illegal in Norway. But several states in the US have now legalized the drug. Why change course? Education is the surest way to a successful integration into working life. Why do some people drop out of school? Xenophobia and racism can contribute to making integration more difficult for immigrants, but why do some people develop such attitudes?
Behavioural problems, crime and drug use is one of the areas we have over many years focused our research. What behavior do we penalize and why? Does punishment serve its purpose? What norms regulate the use of alcohol? What are the consequences of alcohol problems in relation to problems with illicit substances? How reasonable is legislation in these areas?
Another area is the analysis of education, employment and integration. Why do some young people drop out of school while others invest heavily in education? Who are those who drop out of school and what happens to them afterwards? What is the significance of contextual factors, such as schools and neighborhood segregation? Are there differences between young people in regard to their access to jobs? Do minority youth have greater problems than others in entering the workforce? What is needed to prevent the marginalization of young people from working life? It is important to understand these issues in order to create a more inclusive labour market and society.
Research fields and research at ISS
- Alcohol and alcohol culture: Eivind Grip Fjær, Willy Pedersen
- Illegal substances, the drugs economy: Heidi Grundetjern, Victor Lund Shammas, Torbjørn Skardhamar, Willy Pedersen
- Criminality: Willy Pedersen, Victor Lund Shammas, Torbjørn Skardhamar
- Marginalization of immigrants: Mette Andersson, Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund, Katrine Fangen, Mats Lillehagen,
- Bullying at school: Nicolai Borgen
- School and neighbourhood segregation: Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund, Solveig Topstad Borgen, Are Skeie Hermansen, Torkild Hovde Lyngstad, Arne Mastekaasa, Terje Wessel