The projects will study key issues such as the relationship between religion and the media in coverage of current social conflicts, the impact of Western forms of government on the political and religious viewpoints of Muslim leaders, and the changing views of what it means to be an active citizen in a multicultural society.
“We see it as essential to obtain more research-based knowledge in this area,” says Dag Elgesem, chair of the SAMKUL programme board. “The eight projects granted funding will be very valuable in this regard.”
Society is growing increasingly culturally and religiously diverse, and projects under the SAMKUL programme will generate new knowledge about the impact of these trends on societal development. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Many strong proposals
A total of 93 grant applications seeking a combined sum of NOK 672 million were submitted in this funding round. The grant proposals were first assessed by international referee panels before the programme board took its final decision on funding awards. Mr Elgesem is pleased with the high quality of submitted proposals.
“Choosing which proposals to fund has been a tough process,” he continues. “In the final assessment we have emphasised scientific merit, relevance and the programme’s overall portfolio, in addition to how well the applications comply with the specific guidelines in the call for proposals.”
Seven Researcher Projects awarded funding:
Active citizenship in culturally and religiously diverse societies (ACT)
What does it mean to be an active civic participant? In Europe’s culturally and religiously diverse societies, citizens have different frameworks for how they take an active role in public affairs. Project researchers will study the nature of these differences and their political significance. Based on its findings, the project seeks to refine scientific theories of civic engagement.
Project manager: Cindy Horst, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Muslim Politics and Governance of Islam: Interactions of Structure and Culture in Multireligious Europe
How are the views of Muslim leaders on the relationship between politics and religion affected by the different forms of government in France, England and Norway? What effect do Muslim initiatives and political actions in these countries have on the way in which the authorities approach issues relating to Islam? Project researchers will seek answers through a historically oriented, interdisciplinary study in all three countries.
Project manager: Jon Rogstad, Fafo
Engaging with Conflicts in Mediatized Religious Environments. A Comparative Scandinavian Study
The project focuses on the close connection between religion and the media in many current social conflicts in Scandinavia. Do the media portray religion primarily as an area of conflict or as a potential means of easing tensions? The project will generate knowledge about the shifting conditions for social interaction and communication during periods of heightened conflict in the Scandinavian countries.
Project manager: Knut Lundby, University of Oslo
Dwelling and Crossing: The socio-cultural dynamics of religious spaces in Mumbai
The project will study the significance of religion in the daily life of India’s global metropolis Mumbai, a city with a number of religious spaces shared by different religions. What are the underlying cultural and social conditions at these multireligious sites? And what lessons for modern urban religion can be learned?
Project manager: Istvan Keul, University of Bergen
Good Protestant, Bad Religion? Formatting Religion in Modern Society
As the predominant religious affiliation in Norway, Protestantism has a special role in society. What are the mechanisms underlying the simplified view of religion as either good or bad in today’s society? The project will examine how views concerning different religions are formed in Norway compared to other countries with similar religious diversity.
Project manager: Tarald Rasmussen, University of Oslo
Parenting cultures and risk management in plural Norway
Increased migration, greater class differences and new kinds of family constellations have led to more diverse perceptions of what it means to be a parent. Nevertheless the authorities appear to be applying a white, middle-class perspective to the definition of “proper parenting”. Focusing on a socially diverse urban district in Bergen, project researchers will study the social and cultural processes that shape different parenting cultures in today’s modern, diverse Norway.
Project manager: Hilde Danielsen, Uni Research / Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies
Synchronizing the World: the Making of Global Progress
The notion of global progress has been a cornerstone of societal development in Western civilisation as well as the Ottoman, Arabic and Bengali cultures since the 1700s. The project’s hypothesis is that the Enlightenment’s universal historical chronicling and encyclopaedia were the most important tools of this global notion of simultaneity. These forms of knowledge made the Western idea of progress a world view.
Project manager: Helge Jordheim, University of Oslo
Post-doctoral project on multilingualism and cultural diversity:
Linguistic and cultural diversity at work
The focus of the project is to study the role of multilingualism and cultural diversity in the workplace in Northern Norway. How do companies and employees with differing cultural backgrounds utilise multilingual resources in different work-related contexts?
Project manager: Florian Hiss, University of Tromsø