Norwegian version

Diversity Studies Centre Oslo (DISCO)

The Gherkin and The City of London

Our academic vision is to reach novel insights into a number of historically and culturally contingent principles of social differentiation and into how these play out for groups and individuals, how they combine and intersect, and how they become manifest in a variety of places and societal contexts.

Our vision is conceptualized along two axes: Firstly, we identify a number of attributes of persons that are particularly salient principles of social differentiation, such as ethnicity, religion, race, class, political views, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and age. These attributes answer the question Diversity of what? Secondly, we identify sites, i.e. places or societal arenas of exceptional importance for an understanding of how the various attributes play out and become manifest. In our vision, these sites answer the question Diversity where?

The numerous combinations where attributes intersect among themselves and where they become manifest in the four sites will generate research and teaching initiatives in DISCO that will establish OsloMet as a leading environment for diversity studies. The basic units in DISCO are four research groups focusing on four sites of great importance to OsloMet and to wider society. 

  • Research groups

    Group 1: Diversity and urban space

    Diversity is fundamental to how we perceive of and live in the city. The concept of diversity offers a crucial starting point for the development of new knowledge about urban surroundings across the globe. OsloMet aims to be an organic part of the urban environment that surrounds it and, therefore, it is only natural that the first research group in our centre will have its focus on diversity and urban space. The group leaders are Marianne Millstein and Aadne Aasland, both senior researchers at NIBR. 

    Group 2: Diversity in schools and higher education 

    Where Group 1 has its focus on diversity and urban environments, Group 2 turns the gaze “inward” and looks at diversity inside institutions of learning and research. The group leaders are Anne Birgitte Leseth, professor at SPS and Åse Røthing, professor at IST. 

    Group 3: Diversity in health

    There is arguably no sector in society where questions of diversity are more pressing than in the field of health and OsloMet has a strong commitment to excellent teaching of nurses. The group leaders are Mette Sagbakken, professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences and Benedikte V. Lindskog, associate professor at IST. 

    Group 4: Diversity in labour market and working life

    The fourth group in our centre will build on the great tradition that OsloMet has for research and teaching about the professions, the labour market and working life. The group leaders are Ida Drange and Cathrine Egeland , both research professors at AFI.

  • Teaching and supervision

    Members of DISCO will deliver teaching about aspects of diversity at OsloMet on all levels. As part of its vision and strategy OsloMet is developing a BA signature course on diversity that will be offered to all faculties across the university and to students abroad. In dialogue with the PhD programmes across OsloMet we will develop courses for PhD candidates. In addition, the centre will announce five MA fellowships in 2021, 2022 and 2023 to create a milieu of highly motivated graduate students. They will be offered supervision and participation in DISCO in coordination with their departments. 

  • Our advisory board

    • Ahmed, Hilal, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
    • Harris, Ruth, Professor, Dept of History, University of Oxford
    • Jacobson, David, Professor, Dept of Sociology, University of South Florida
    • Jonsson, Rickard, Professor, Child and Youth Studies, University of Stockholm
    • Kalev, Alexandra, Professor, Dept of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Tel Aviv University
    • Midtbøen Arnfinn H., Associate Professor, Dept of Sociology, University of Oslo
    • Robbins, Joel, Sigrid Rausing Professor of Social anthropology, University of Cambridge
    • Tomlinson, Matthew, Professor, Social anthropology, University of Oslo
    • Valentine, Gill, Professor, Dept of Geography, University of Sheffield
    • Ukah, Asonzeh, Professor, University of Cape Town
    • Varvin, Sverre, Professor, Health Sciences, OsloMet
    • West, Paige, Claire Tow Professor of anthropology and Director Center for the study of social difference, Columbia University.


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    Our team

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