Social change and responsibility

The Latvian Sociological Association in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia is presenting a series of public discussions on topical processes in Latvia’s society. On the last Thursday of every month, Latvia’s key social scientists will be presenting their latest research on issues that concern everyone. The series events will be held at the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia premises, Marijas iela 13/3, Berg Bazar.

Social scientists analyse issues of importance to society, and this work is mostly funded by public means. Therefore the public should have full access to the results of scientists’ work, and social scientists need to be part of the public debate. We want to increase the visibility of high quality take on key societal issues – one that is analytical and deep, yet provocative a fresh, to counteract the impact of fragmented and partial messages in the public space. The series will be starting with the contributions of sociologists.

Sociology discusses the deeper processes that underlie the functioning of society. Examples are inequality and the economic system maintaining it, or benefits, challenges and risks of migration. Sociology also addresses individuals’ everyday experiences and demonstrates how we as unique human beings are tightly interwoven in the network of societal norms, habits and assumptions.

Season One of the series presented by the Latvian Sociological Association in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia is named “Social change and responsibility”. Each month, researchers will hold an informal yet structured exchange of ideas, open to anyone interested in understanding societal processes and in fostering a responsible civil society. The format is familiar and conducive to exchange of thoughts: one key presenter will offer input on a social issue, idea or a particular study, followed by a discussion, continued informally over tea, coffee and snacks.

The first discussion on January 31, "The growth of support for ethnic nationalism and extreme-right ideology in Europe" by Inta Mieriņa, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Science of the University of Latvia and Director of the Centre for Migration Studies of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute.

The second discussion on February 28, “Are we living in the heyday of pseudoscience, occultism and esoteric teachings?" by Agita Misane, PhD, a Senior Researcher at Riga Stradins University. 

The third discussion on March 28, "Why do we go in the woods? Mushroom picker personality guide" by Miķelsi Grīviņš, a Researcher at the Baltic Studies Centre.

The fourth discussion on April 25, "What does it mean to be a Latvian in a global world?" by Baiba Bela, the Associate Professor in sociology and social anthropology at the University of Latvia.

The fifth discussion on May 30, "Digital participation, engagement and crowdsourcing" by Sanita Reinsone, the leading researcher at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art at the University of Latvia.