Research themes


This theme deals with differences in access to and control over resources that affect peoples’ opportunities, such as in educational attainment, success at the labour market, identity formation and in health. Research focuses on the effects of social, cultural and economic resources on socio-economic achievement and on how differences between and within countries are affected by structural conditions, cultural climate and national policies. Aspects of individual, family and contextual resources are expected to affect outcomes. Social inequality in intra-generational and inter-generational mobility is also studied.


Within this research theme researchers describe and explain differences in social participation in formal organizations, as well as in informal social networks, including families, ethnic and friendship groups. First, developments in the relationships between an individual’s social and economic resources and pro-social attitudes, and anti-social behaviour are explored, focusing on variations among societies with different welfare-state regimes and state of development. Second, comparative examinations are performed to exemplify which social groups hold exclusionist attitudes towards ethnic out-groups, taking differences in economic, cultural and demographic contexts into account.


Researchers at Radboud SCR study economic and technological developments, and particularly those that accompany secularization in Dutch and European societies. Much attention is paid to belief systems, identity construction and to meaning derived from religion, to conceptions of justice and altruism and the implications for participation in society. Radboud SCR researchers also focus on modernization processes in developing countries and their effects on inequality and poverty, as well as on social and political cohesion. Dimensions of gender and ethnicity are also studied from an anthropological perspective. Furthermore, various reactions to modernisation processes are subject to study, investigating the role of governments, civil society organisations and individual citizens.