WORKINC investigates how work inclusion may improve the social inclusion of migrants within comparative urban settings.
Some amount of socioeconomic inequality has for a long time been tolerated as necessary to motivate individuals to contribute to economic growth. However, social inequality and exclusion are now increasingly recognized in the policy world as factors that may prevent such growth.
In recent years, social inclusion has become a key policy concern in EU strategy documents and funding calls, and an increasingly important focus for global NGOs. In the Global North and South, policy discussions now overwhelmingly focus on improving socioeconomic inclusion through the development of human capital.
Despite the changing rhetorical emphasis, social policy measures and social work practice still lag behind and operate primarily with the aim of improving the problematic motivations and relations of individuals. The alternative is to consider the individuals targeted for support as actors located within problematic structural, social and institutional contexts.
Our educational and research activities put this perspective into the forefront, emphasizing the labour market-, social- and institutional contexts within which work inclusion measures take place, with particular focus on measures implemented within the workplace.
We apply an innovative theoretical framework refined in earlier research to teach, discuss and develop research on how working inclusion affects the dignity, well-being and socioeconomic status of individuals in the urban contexts within Norway and internationally.
Among our goals is to strengthen and further develop long-term research and educational collaboration between Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) and international institutional partners.
We aim to develop research projects funded at the national and international level, applying cross-disciplinary expertise on work and social inclusion, urban development, social work, human rights and social policy.
Our group members represent a broad range of competences (social policy, social work, urban studies, labour studies), enabling us to address both the structural and psychosocial aspects of work inclusion in the Global North and South. The active participation of cross-sectorial provider participants, including a Norwegian policymaker, enable us to directly inform practises aimed at reducing social inequality and exclusion.
We are developing and teaching a series of courses to be offered at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels at OsloMet and partner institutions, focusing on themes relevant to work inclusion and social inclusion in comparative urban settings.
WORKINC is a cross-disciplinary and international research group based at the OsloMet Faculty for Social Sciences, Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy. The research group also includes staff from the OsloMet Centre for Welfare and Labour Research and Oslo-based practitioner “enterprise” partners, as well as international academic and enterprise partners.