CASTOR is a research group working on social differentiation as the academic basis and common denominator of a number of concrete research projects.
Social differentiation can be hierarchical, but this is far from always the case – at least not in an unambiguous way. Social differentiation can thus be hierarchical/vertical, but also horizontal or functional. The question of social differentiation concerns classical sociological questions about the social dividing lines of society, conflicts, power and dominance, social change and social integration. In that sense, the members of CASTOR share a critical interest in the social distribution of power and privilege.
Social differentiation does not only concern class. Other differentiation forms are also important in today’s society, e.g. gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality and education. CASTOR is interested in studying the importance and social consequences of these differentiation forms individually and/or in interplay. Furthermore, CASTOR is interested in the double existence of the differentiation forms, i.e. as components of identity, on the one hand, and as social structures, on the other. This means that, for example, class and gender can be analysed both as central to humans’ social identity (the way people understand themselves) and as overall social structures.
The members of CASTOR do theoretically informed empirical work. They conduct qualitative and quantitative research – if possible, using a combination of methods. Concrete research projects examine, among other things, whether and how different forms of social differentiation play a role in different areas of society – for example, in relation to citizenship, volunteerism, cultural consumption, trust, social competences, mobility, education, health care, violence, working life, health, family, parenthood, locality etc.
Through these empirical studies CASTOR wishes to challenge more general sociological stories of current social processes of change. Thus, CASTOR also examines the area of tension between social change and social reproduction, rupture and continuity.
For a complete list of current research projects, click here (only in Danish).