What's wrong with social divisions?

The notion of ‘social divisions’ crops up regularly in the public debate, and always in a negative sense. But what are social divisions actually? And when do they take on undesirable forms? These are the central questions addressed in the WRR Investigation ‘What’s wrong with social divisions?’ (Wat is er mis met maatschappelijke scheidslijnen?) which was published on 12 January 2017.

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Image: ©WRR

Theoretical reflection

The WRR has published several reports in recent years containing facts and figures on social differences, such as ‘How unequal is the Netherlands?’ (Hoe ongelijk is Nederland?) and ‘Separate worlds?’ (Gescheiden werelden?) (jointly with the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, SCP). This new Investigation explores the theoretical concepts underlying this topic. The study undertakes a review of psychological, sociological and politico-philosophical literature in search of answers.

Social Divisions project

The Investigation Wat is er mis met maatschappelijke scheidslijnen? was written by Dr Will Tiemeijer, a researcher at the WRR, and forms part of the Social Divisions project, in which Professor Mark Bovens and Anne-Greet Keizer are also involved.