The research area includes the interaction between definitions of social problems, practitioners' assessments and actions, governance, knowledge forms and life contexts for users. The SOSS research group thus deals with the interaction between definition processes and struggles on what the background to social problems is, as well as how forms of knowledge, such as risk statements and diagnoses, form part of the management of social work. The group deals with all levels of these issues, from the interaction between front-line staff and users to the professionals to the overall social policy framework.
The research group deals broadly with the conditions of vulnerable groups in society, their life world, their contact with the social services and their management, both at the concrete level of case management and at the overall level through specialised institutional structures and professional discourses.
However, a majority of the research group's work in the future will revolve around the interaction between societal change processes and the emergence of new types of social and mental health problems. It empirically theorizes and examines how society, social policy and social and therapeutic work contribute to the generate of psychological vulnerability and new social and emotional divisions between people. In this context, SOSS takes a separate interest in the development of problem definitions and diagnoses and in the social and therapeutic response to people with cognitive problems, as well as focusing on the reality and life context of these people in relation to the efforts and overall management of the field.
The group thus deals broadly with social exclusion and exclusion processes which create psychological vulnerability or exacerbate the situation of people who are already vulnerable. It focuses on definition processes and power struggles in social and therapeutic work, on the human vision and the understandings of normalities underlying prevailing understandings of cognitive impairments, and on the management technologies used to help/discipline people with cognitive problems - including how, for example, risk statements and diagnoses are part of the management of social action. In short, the group deals with all levels of problem understanding and management of social action in the field, from the interaction between front-line staff and users through the professionals to the overall social policy and societal framework for action. It deals with methods and discourses in social pedagogy, counselling and treatment and strives for the development of paradigms and methods that can strengthen coordination and multidisciplinary efforts in the field.