Interdisciplinary Social Group Research Cluster


Interdisciplinary Social Group Research Cluster

The Interdisciplinary Social Group Research Cluster, ISGRC, was established at Vytautas Magnus University in 2006 to enable researchers in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences to do collaborative research on the behaviour of individuals and small groups in their social environments.
ISGRC researchers undertake international projects, European Science Foundation (ESF) projects, and projects sponsored by the Research Council of Lithuania.

ISGRC has conducted studies on the behaviour of Lithuania’s hippies, neopagans, metal music bands, techno and psytrance music fans, graffiti artists, also on young addicts being treated at the Full House Community rehabilitation centre, skinheads, punks, new religion groups, squatters, and other groups. Studies have resulted in published papers, and master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

ISGRC researchers

–do field research using observation, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, and publicly available online research databases,
–do mathematical modelling using dynamical systems theory,
–develop computer tools for systematic data gathering and analysis,
–apply the dynamical systems theory to investigations of social processes,
–develop new theories in the social research field.

ISGRC pioneered the application of the dynamical systems approach to social group study. This approach, based on modelling of behaviour of individuals and groups, enables an in-depth study of the complexity of interactions between agents and their social and cultural environments. Dynamical systems, DS, methodology also spurs the development of new computer tools for systemic research of social processes in traditional as well as computer-assisted research.
Interdisciplinary group of researchers investigates processes related to the behaviour of individuals and groups in their social environments. Research scope includes behaviour of small groups of peers, various communities, movements, professional groups, and others. Researchers apply a dynamical systems theory approach for gathering, systematization, and conceptualization of empirical data and modelling.


Key skills for researchers


Key skills for researchers:

– field research using ethnographic methods (participant observations, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires), and publicly available on-line databases;
– mathematical modelling using dynamical systems theory;
– developing computer tools for systematic data gathering and analysis;
– applying the dynamical systems theory to investigation of social processes and developing new theories from the social research field.

Applicability of the dynamical systems approach

Applicability of the dynamical systems approach:
– studying processes of formation and functioning of sociocultural groups, communities and movements in their environments;
– studying different social and cultural processes, where the interaction of agents of these processes are observed;
– longitudinal research which involves studying the same group of individuals over an extended period of time;
– comparative research of groups behaviour in their environments;
– DST methodology can serve as a starting-point for the development of new computer tools for systematic research of social processes, and can be applied in traditional as well as computer-assisted research.

Applicability of the research results

Applicability of the research results
By integrating empirical information with models of the underlying processes the research can contribute to the exploration of promising directions in sustainable social and ecological development.

Project experience. The team of researchers has experience in coordinating international European projects (FP6; European Structural Funds) as well as national projects sponsored by the Lithuanian Research Council.

Group research experience: hippies, neopagans, various metal music bands; ambient, techno, psy-trance music fans; groups of graffiti painters; skinheads; groups in the new religious movements; The Full House Community rehabilitation center for drugs addicted young people, emigrants, academic groups, and others.

Keywords: group, environment, interactions

http://www.vdu.lt/en/research/research-priorities/research-priorities-in-humanities/interdisciplinary-research-on-social-minority-groups/


International Cooperation