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Cultural and Community Psychology Research Group

A basic premise for cultural psychology is that mind and culture are inseparable and mutually constitutive; people are shaped by their culture and their culture is shaped by them.

Cultural psychology is thus an integral part of psychology that draws on other social science disciplines in order to understand our sociocultural contexts – as people are always located in social contexts, and social contexts set the frame for personal meaning making. We focus on key elements of community psychology as implications of inequality and power mechanisms for individuals and communities, examining e.g. issues of integration and marginalization, and with a particular attention to language and discourse.

Methodological questions take a central position in our work. We conduct qualitative, quantitative as well as mixed-methods research with a shared focus on naturalistic studies of processes in context, as experienced by the participants. We approach these issues from theoretical approaches within critical psychology as well as gender and minority/majority perspectives.  

The group’s research covers these main thematic clusters:

Eco- and climate psychology

This cluster deals with the relevance (and even shortcomings) of psychological perspectives linked to the challenges and resolutions regarding climate change due to anthropogenic activity. Key topics include pro-environmental behaviors and spillover effects; social norms and ideological barriers that both help and hinder climate actions.

Political psychology

Political psychology is dedicated to understanding politics, politicians and political behavior from a psychological perspective and explore the interrelation between politics and psychology. The group conducts research related to several topical issues such as; human rights; peace and conflict processes; torture; sexual violence; and gender and diplomacy. The researchers engaged in this cluster collaborate with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO); the UN, and the Nordic Branding-project (UiO:Norden).

Psychology in society

Key topics of research within this cluster are the study of therapeutic cultures and self-help culture and how psychological concepts and knowledge are “transported” and influence disciplines and spheres (such as NGOs and the UN). The cluster is connected to:

Popular Psychology, Self-Help Culture and the Happiness Industry. Multidisciplinary Academic Network. Knowledge in transition

Prevention and promotion

Key topics here include studies of everyday life and developmental processes, with particular emphasis on children, youth and their caretakers; prevention and reintegration of radicalized youth; community-based promotion of well-being,  and discourses of prevention and quality of life in psychology and culture. The cluster is connected to the Living the Nordic Model- project (UiO:Norden), and the Center for Research on Extremism at UiO (C-REX).

About the Group

The group consists of leading researchers within the thematic areas outlined above. Research publications as well as publications to a broader audience are presented on the UiO homepage. We teach at all levels and in all the programs at the Department (BA, MA, the Clinical Program and the PhD courses). The group has a close collaboration with “Psychology students without borders at University of Oslo” (PUG). We actively engage in public dissemination of our research, in the media, in student publications, in public lectures and sharing results with different official stakeholders, such as ministries and governmental organizations.


The group cooperates with an extensive network of researchers within the different research clusters above, including for example  researchers at the University of Aalborg; the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Özyeğin University in Turkey; the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU); University of Milan; The Human Rights Center at University of California, Berkeley; Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS); The Center on Women, Peace and Security at London School of Economics (LSE).

Published Apr. 12, 2013 1:11 PM - Last modified Mar. 13, 2019 11:36 AM