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The group, which has existed since the early 1990s, consists of some fifteen researchers. The main focus is on multidisciplinary research concerning welfare and education systems and what they mean for vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities or with dependency problems.
The purpose of this research is to identify, discuss problems and critically examine the relationship between society's welfare system and people's lives and living conditions. Within the group, research is currently conducted from the basis of disability studies, culture, linguistics, social work, sociology and specialised education. The phenomena are studied on the individual level, group level, and societal level. A particular focus is to highlight and analyse the marginalised perspectives. Close cooperation and collaboration with authorities, organisations, service-users and professionals has been since the start an important task and feature of the research group's activities.
Wigforss group is headed by Magnus Tideman, Professor of Disability Research focusing on social work. The Wigforss group organises seminars 3-4 times each term, where research projects at various stages are reviewed and discussed.
Within the Wigforss group are currently five postgraduate students.
The Wigforss group actively participates in the national network of disability researchers at teaching institutes in Sweden. The research team has well established relationships with Malmö University, Göteborg University, Stockholm University, Örebro University, and Lund University among others, where even specific joint-research projects in the disability field are implemented.
Apart from a wide network of individual researchers or research groups in Sweden, and internationally on individual research projects, research team members are also active in NNDR (Nordic Network on Disability Research) and IASSID (International Association for Scientific Studies on Intellectual Disabilities).
On the Nordic level, the group has been involved in joint projects, for example: theNorwegianUniversityof Science and Technology inTrondheimand thePedagogicalUniversityin Copenhagen. On the European level, there has been for many years a close collaboration with the Centre for Disability Studies at Leeds University and the University of Chisinau in Moldova. Outside Europe, there are contacts with disability researchers in e.g. Japan. Cooperation and collaboration with Region Halland, municipalities, user-organisations, government agencies among others are also widely extensive.