Department of Sociology and Social Work

Research project by SocMap - Sociological Mapping

The Network Dynamics of Ethnic Integration

The Network Dynamics of Ethnic Integration

Nordforsk has granted a large sum to a new project on inter-ethnic family ties, labor market discrimination, and residential segregation. Anja Jørgensen and Rolf Lyneborg Lund from Department of Sociology and Social Work is to cooperate 2021-2024 with Scandinavian peers analyzing complex network data from the national social registers.

Last modified: 01.01.2021

Nordforsk, the Nordic organization of cooperation in research, has announced a new ambitious grant of 9,8 million Danish kroner focusing on analytical sociology.

The project, The Network Dynamics of Ethnic Integration, brings together leading Nordic social-scientific research centers on integration and segregation with world-leading expertise on complex systems and data science. The hope is to build capacity and expertise in network-scientific register-based research on ethnic relations and integration.

Computational social science

Guided by existing sociological research questions and existing collaboration structures between partners, three core topics in ethnic relations research will be approached from a network-scientific perspective: Inter-ethnic family ties, labor market discrimination, and residential segregation.

- We are very much looking forward to working with good colleagues in Sweden and Finland, says Anja Jørgensen, Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Work, AAU, who is work package leader with Assistant Professor, Rolf Lyneborg Lund.

- We will embark on a large 4-year project that will bring together world-class networks and computer scientists with equally world-class computational social scientists in the study of ethnic integration.

New means of cooperation with policy makers

Beyond the academic novelty of this particular interdisciplinary combination, this project is of profound societal relevance with regards to findings, methods and, specifically, the network-based notion of inclusive integration.

Arguing for and demonstrating the practical advantages of viewing integration in terms of the complete set of inter-ethnic relations, the notion and practical relevance of inclusive integration will be disseminated to policy-makers, social service providers, NGO:s and other relevant stakeholders in various ways, including a world-class interactive visual analytics platform aimed primarily at policy-makers.

Nordic research on ethnic relations, integration and various forms of segregation have benefited greatly from available register data. Covering a broad range of topically relevant variables, Nordic register data constitute a unique and strategic resource for research and evidence-based policy making on ethnic relations and integration.

Although Nordic register data correspond to near-complete populations, each with rich sets of relational sociometric data of prime relevance for the study of ethnic relations and integration, so far the existing register-based research is overwhelmingly done using conventional statistical frameworks that assume independence of observations. Consequently, the analyses and theories of ethnic integration seldom examine the detailed and complex network data available in the registers, to decipher social relations and interactions through which social systems are defined.

Aalborg University’s part of the grant funds a PhD position along with personal funding to Professor Anja Jørgensen and Assistant Professor Rolf Lyneborg Lund.


  • Title: The Network Dynamics of Ethnic Integration  
  • Grant period: 2021-2024.
  • Programme: NordForsk’s Nordic Programme for Interdisciplinary Research.
  • Total budget from the four universities including their own financing = 14,7 million Danish kroner. Aalborg University’s part of this budget is 3,2 million.
  • The project is led by Carl Nordlund from The Institute for Analytical Sociology at Linköping University. 
  • Other parties: Aalto University and Finnish Population Research Institute, Väestöliitto.


Photo: Luis Gomes, Pexels

Department of Sociology and Social Work • Fibigerstraede 13 • 9220  Aalborg East  • Phone: +45 9940 8310 • Email:
Vat no.: 5798000420649 • P numbers; Aalborg: 1012066143, Copenhagen: 1018019139