The research staff of OASeS has a profound expertise on a wide range of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative. The research group offers room for theoretical reflection and empirical research, both fundamental as well as applied research, including policy- and action-oriented research. Although sociological analysis is considered to be the main disciplinary approach, specific research projects demand interdisciplinary collaboration. This is enabled by the wide expertise of the staff in the disciplines of social work, human geography, urban planning and architecture, social-economic sciences and philosophy. In particular the interplay between social and spatial processes is granted due attention. There is a close collaboration with the research group on Milieu and Living Environment, which is also a part of the university of Antwerp, and the master of Urban Planning at the University College Artesis.
The research at OASeS stands at the crossroads of the local and the global, working both with grassroots organizations and local authorities as well as with European bodies, and with the entire range of intermediate levels. Over the years the research group has established important connections and collaborations with research groups abroad in the context of several European Framework Programs – amongst which it was the coordinator of two European consortia – and other international projects inside and outside the European Union.
Research products are disseminated in a number of ways, targeted at the national and international scientific community as well as the civil society. Research results are spread through publications in (international) peer-reviewed journals, research working papers and this website. In 2007 OASeS launched its own series, entitled ‘Sociale InZichten, which is distributed by ACCO. Other publications of OASeS are part of the series ‘Focus op Wonen’ and many others.
Research results and insights are also valorized through other channels, such as consultancy, education, and public lectures. Concerning education, OASeS is strongly involved in the bachelor and master of Sociology at the university of Antwerp (courses on urban sociology and the sociology of housing, poverty, inequality, social stratification, sociology of culture and science, and sociological theory) and the master of Social Work (urban social work and strategies of intervention). OASeS also coordinates a cluster on ‘Poverty and Inequality’ at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance.
Although academic research is the true raison d'être of OASeS, the research group also finds inspiration in an unequivocal commitment to a more just, more equal, and in general more liveable society.