Social Science Research Scholars, in disciplines as diverse as psychology and economics, develop research proposals on a dedicated theme. Having a theme focuses the work of the Research Scholars and the Research Director in their RESEARCH INSTITUTE.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD THEME?
- A theme that generates enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity.
- A theme generous enough to produce research questions and designs across the disciplines.
LIST OF SUGGESTED THEMES
- Accountability, Rights and Responsibility
- Ceremonies and Rituals
- Challenges in Health and Medicine
- Sustainable Development
- Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Education and Reform
- Ethnicity, Identity and Conflict
- Gender Inequality
- Globalization: Competitiveness and Sustainability
- Identity and Belonging
- Immigration and Migration Pressures
- International Rights and Justice
- Leadership at its Best
- Power, Citizenship and the Media
- Privacy in the Information Age
- Protest Movements and Social Media
- Revenge, Retribution and Justice
- Risk, Lucky Charms and Playing the Odds
- Social Capital: Growth and Prospects
- Social Structure and Individual Development
- Support for Arts and Culture
- Urban Planning and Development
- Values in a Changing World: Secularism and Religion
- Violence and Social Trends
SAMPLE THEME DESCRIPTIONS
Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Not enough is known about what drives individuals and firms to push beyond existing frontiers. Invaluable contributions are made by ingenious individuals such as an administrator who is able to design greener production procedures or a poet who gives expression to a deeply felt social malaise. Fundamental questions regarding “creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship” still remain: How effective are workplace training programs at fostering a spirit of innovation? Do science fairs cultivate a desire to invent? How advisable is it for schools and businesses to foster deviance and norm-breaking behaviour? These types of questions frame this broadly challenging theme.
Identity and Belonging
Social science researchers examine belonging and identity in all its manifestations. Belonging to a nation, political group or ideology impacts identity formation and is given special consideration by political scientists. Sociologists study social group processes such as familial associations and social structures. Psychologists focus on relationships, affiliations and identity formation, including online identity. Marketers study brand loyalty and market affiliations. Identity formation and social, economic and political affiliations are all complex phenomena. Research in this area provides insights into some of the inner workings of identity formation, sheds light on processes and relationships among variables and clears up some of the conceptual muddle.
Violence and Social Trends
Violent crimes and full-scale wars are on the decline. It would seem the 21st century is the dawn of a more peaceful era. On closer inspection, however, social scientists have demonstrated that the supposed trend towards diminished violence is premised on an incomplete picture of violence. Determining trends in violence has become more conceptually sophisticated with the development of rigorous recording methods.Beginning in 1959, Johan Galtung introduced a broad conceptual framework that includes traditional direct forms of physical harm along with two other forms of violence: structural and cultural. Indirect, non-physical forms of violence are evident wherever poverty exists and wherever cultures perpetuate unequal access to vital resources such as information, education, income and rights. New additions to the violence lexicon – structural violence, hate crimes and low-intensity conflicts – are but a few examples of the broad understanding that social scientists have brought to the understanding of violence.