LV: Latvijas Universitates Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūts
Latvijas Universitates Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūts, or the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Latvia (LUFSI) is a research institute that initially was founded in 1981 as and institute within the Latvian Academy of Sciences; since 1997 it is integrated in the University of Latvia and since 2006 transformed into an academic institute of the University. Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (LUFSI) operates as an unaffiliated legal entity and it has 60 academic employees.
LUFSI is the only institute in Latvia that has been engaged in an integrated interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences. The main directions have a number of subdivisions.In sociology the work is conducted under the following subdivisions:
- Ethnopolitics, ethnic relations and the problems of society integration, national identity changes in Latvia, the intellectual tradition of Russian culture in Latvia, Old Believers in Latvia.
- National Oral History.
- Youth and Education Research, social exclusion and deviant behaviour.
Since 2008 the youth problem research directions in LUFSI have been formed by joining two projects and that is why they refer to the analysis of two different aspects of young people’s life – the problems of embarking on independent life and the risk of substance or process dependence formation. Youth research is one of the research directions of LUFSI for more than two decades, a stable research team has emerged that covers most different aspects of young people’s lives: education, employment, free time spending, identity formation and values, health characteristics, habits of substance abuse, initiation of substance and process abuse etc. The research team has prepared and published a number of collective monographs; the last one entitled The Portrait of Latvian Youth: Integration into Society and Marginalization Risks (2009). Separate youth problem research results are published in more than ten monographic editions and made use of in preparing more than 50 scholarly publications. The next monograph devoted to the portrayal of Latvian youth summarizing the project research results is to appear in 2012.
The project researchers (R.Rungule, I.Koroleva, I.Trapenciere, S.Snikere, I. Mierina, I. Karklina, M. Trapencieris, A.Aleksandrovs) have joined the International Sociological Association (ISA) and European Sociological Association (ESA) youth research group, regularly presenting work at Youth sociological sections in World Sociological congresses and forums, world youth researcher conferences, European sociological conferences and Northern youth researcher’s conferences.
Part of the project researchers are involved in the European Social Survey (ESS) andon regular basis improcvingtheir qualification at GESIS courses mastering comparative research methodology as well as the database analysis methods that are not yet widely used in Latvia.
Since 1999 LUFSI researchers work on the implementation of largest comparative and national surveys on addictions: ESPAD (waves III, IV and V), ECAD (European Cities against Drugs, waves I, II and III), GPS on drugs and alcohol, national surveys on work safety, researches on drug use in entertainment places, traffic accidents in the context of alcohol use, drug use in prisons and among youth risk groups.
All the researchers have perfected their experience working under the APA grant scheme in Europe (EEA) on The Risk of Dependence Formation among Youth: Comparative Analysis of the Baltic and Northern States (2009-2010) that included analysis of ECAD data from four countries for all the three waves.
Within the framework of ESPAD in cooperation with the specialists from the Public Helath Agency the researchers organized a conference: Deviancy of Youth and the Risks of Social Rejection (Riga, October 20–21, 2009) with the participation of specialists and researchers from 34 countries. In 2011 at the World Latvian Congress of Scientists a youth problem research section was organized at which 20 researchers and youth policy makers participated with reports. In its turn in cooperation with The Reykjavik University Iceland Social Research and Analysis Centre (headed by Jon Sigurdson) a seminar was organized to share the work experience: Risk for Developing of Dependence Syndrome within Youth: Comparative Analysis of Situation in Baltic and Nordic States (May 19-25, 2010).
All the project researchers are involved in the organizational work of the international conference Youth in Latvia, Europe, the World: Possibilities and Risks. The conference is to signify the conclusion of the work on the project in June 2012. Its is designed to analyse youth problems in Latvia and the world, to draw wider attention to the youth problem research results, to form a closer cooperation among researchers and the youth policy makers.
Primary role in the project
UoL’s role in the project will be to sit on the Steering Group for WP7 and WP8, the physical networking and virtual networking/learning elements. In addition, in common with other partners, they will also input into WP2 (dissemination) and WP3, WP6 and WP9 (Mapping, Quality Planning and ECTS implementation) In order to ensure this project is managed appropriately, LU FSI will involve inthe project the necessary number of the human resources and will use special project management software system to plan and monitor activities. UoL will also ecchange best practice and learning in the project, to achieve the project outcomes.