Kees van der Veer, Ake Hartmann & Harry van den Berg (Eds.)
Multidimensional Social Science
An inclusive approach to social position and inequality


16,5 x 24 cm
168 pag.
€ 21,50
ISBN 978 90 361 0140 0

With Johan Galtung, Juan Diez-Nicolas and Hakan Wiberg

The founding fathers of the social sciences were convinced of the notion that the empirical study of social change requires an encompassing theoretical framework that takes into account the complexities of and the interrelations between different forms of social inequality. But due to the ongoing specialization within the social sciences the notion that it is worthwhile to develop an encompassing theoretical framework as a prerequisite for doing empirical research is not accepted anymore as self-evident. Even the word ‘holism’ is often disregarded as outdated.
This book argues for the reappraisal of a systematic holistic approach of social scientific phenomena, particularly social inequality, for the discerning reader and university student. It is the result of a collaborative project of researchers from different disciplinary origins. The project focuses on Johan Galtung’s theory of Social Position developed in the 1960s. This Social Position theory is revisited and expanded towards a multidimensional approach of social inequality between and within societies taking into account that new dimensions of social inequality have become much more relevant due to for example the developments in information society.
In this book the authors show that a renewed version of the Social Position theory may constitute a fruitful point of departure for the development of multidimensional social research.

Table of contents

1. On the limits of single-issue social science
2. A holistic view on social reality
3. Multidimensional social position
4. Some theoretical and methodological applications of Centre-Periphery Theory and the Social Position Index
5. Social Position and Internet
6. Social Position and Network Centrality
7. The Centre-Periphery Theory revisited: A holistic multidimensional approach of social behaviour, social change and social conflicts

The authors

Harry van den Berg, sociologist, VU University Amsterdam and Cultural Studies Foundation SCS Amsterdam ( works on research projects concerning methodological issues, discourse analysis, social communication, inequality of opportunities in the labour market, and discrimination.

Juan Diez-Nicolas, sociologist, Complutense University of Madrid, President of Análisis Sociológicos, Económicos y Políticos (ASEP) works in several international comparative research projects like World Values Survey, International Social Survey Program and Comparative Study of Electoral Systems.

Johan Galtung, sociologist, founder of the International Peace Research Institute Oslo, and founder of TRANSCEND International ( works and publishes on conflict mediation around the world and research on conflict, development, culture and peace.

Ake Hartmann, chemist, former product manager Telecom Solutions in Ericsson Norway, worked in research projects on theoretical chemistry, neural physiology and is involved in data management and social science research on dimensions of Social Position and Internet.

Kees van der Veer, sociologist and social psychologist, VU University Amsterdam and Cultural Studies Foundation SCS Amsterdam, is currently working on research projects concerning cross-border migration, social communication, methodological issues and inequality of opportunities in the labour market.

Hakan Wiberg is the former director of Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, now retired. He is engaged in Peace Studies and projects in the field of International Relations.