Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

The production of meaning and knowledge in a time of crisis: cultural, religious and scientific-developmental aspects of societies in Slovenia, the Balkans, Europe.

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.03.00  Social sciences  Sociology   

Code Science Field
S000  Social sciences   

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18350  PhD Aleš Črnič  Culturology  Researcher  2014 - 2018  510 
2.  06130  PhD Aleš Debeljak  Culturology  Researcher  2014 - 2016  1,506 
3.  27572  PhD Blanka Groboljšek  Sociology  Researcher  2014  28 
4.  29896  MSc Anja Kolak  Political science  Technical associate  2015 - 2018  25 
5.  28324  PhD Mirt Komel  Philosophy  Researcher  2014 - 2018  488 
6.  02943  PhD Franc Mali  Sociology  Researcher  2014 - 2018  462 
7.  39176  PhD Primož Mlačnik  Culturology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  58 
8.  34364  PhD Nena Močnik  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  49 
9.  36854  Boštjan Mur    Technical associate  2014 - 2017  12 
10.  52310  Maruška Nardoni  Sociology  Junior researcher  2018  27 
11.  33096  PhD Toni Pustovrh  Political science  Researcher  2014 - 2017  123 
12.  39992  PhD Aljoša Pužar  Culturology  Researcher  2017 - 2018  123 
13.  10887  PhD Marjan Smrke  Culturology  Researcher  2014 - 2018  383 
14.  18889  PhD Peter Stanković  Culturology  Researcher  2014 - 2018  555 
15.  23423  PhD Ksenija Šabec  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2018  221 
16.  04406  PhD Gregor Tomc  Sociology  Researcher  2014 - 2018  459 
17.  12071  PhD Mitja Velikonja  Culturology  Head  2014 - 2018  777 
18.  29385  PhD Luka Zevnik  Culturology  Researcher  2014 - 2018  50 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,144 
The proposed six-year research program demonstrates continuity with the successfully completed first three in terms of content (and participants, as a solid core of the cultural studies program group has emerged in all of these years). On the other hand, it also upgrades them in a multidimensional way, accounting for the fact that our research team actively follows and reflects on current events in all of the four research domains that it covers (cultural studies, development of science, religion studies, and critique of ideology). The next program, expanded by one third, is thus going to focus on analysis of the production of sense (culture, religion, ideology) and knowledge (science) in the exacerbated conditions of global economic, political, and social crisis, which hit Slovenia particularly hard. Disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological plurality, which has proven to be a competitive advantage of our team in the past, is going to be particularly welcome in this regard. In order to achieve the best possible scientific results, we are going to qualitatively upgrade our research of the topic, which we have thus far already been tackling from four interrelated viewpoints. The first perspective is going to involve analyses of various cultural topics: from cultures of everyday life (food consumption, understanding happiness, habits) and subcultures (music subcultures, graffiti, and street art) to established artistic forms (film, literature). The second perspective will focus on cultural dimensions of rapid development of science and technology, and related ethical dilemmas: it is going to aspire to provide a synthesis of different modes of knowing about social progress of science and technology. The third related perspective of our research will deal with simultaneous religious phenomena: thriving new-age spiritual movements and the dynamics of church religiosity, both in the context of broader processes of (de)secularization of contemporary societies. Finally, another perspective will provide analysis of recent ideological transformations: the prevailing alliance of nationalism and neoliberalism, and, in our particular context, Balkanism.
Significance for science
Cultural studies are a relatively new discipline both in Slovenia and on a global scale. It emerged out of a lack of research of certain relevant and rapidly developing cultural, scientific, technological, and religious phenomena, which existent and well established social sciences and humanities have not managed to incorporate (or had done so to a very limited extent). It is still in the phase of developing and consolidating its theoretical canon and array of basic methodological approaches. The team's research on food consumption patterns, street cultures, film and music cultures, retro-production, new spiritualties, and established religious practices, critique of ideology in the educational system, Balkan studies, and cultural literature studies in Slovenia, will be innovative and, in many senses, pioneering. Existent international connections of the team will enable it to incorporate these studies into similar projects abroad. Aside from this, part of the research team specializing in social studies of science and technology will also do intensive work on developing a theoretical and conceptual framework for studying the social role and position of science and technology. These shall be viewed as an intersectional axis for research and making sense of contemporary socio-cultural phenomena. On the international (EU) level, the emphasis in studying and evaluating technology is shifting to ex-ante (instead of merely ex-post) analysis of the development of contemporary scientific disciplines and new and emergent technologies (such as social aspects of the development of synthetic biology – currently an exceptionally promising field, and related questions of its socio-cultural origins, benefits, and risks). In this regard, special focus is going to be given to conceptualizing and evaluating various (social) models of the development of progressive sciences and technologies. Scientific development will also benefit from the shaping of a scientific and research corpus in social studies of science and technology, focusing on new and emergent convergent (nano-bio-info-neuro) technologies as an applicative field of human enhancement. At the time being, this corpus is practically inexistent in Slovenia, and is in the process of formation on the international level, despite the fact that these areas have been acknowledged as extremely important for national economic growth and competitiveness. Research will thus be oriented toward international and national (co)operation, consolidating existent connections and research enterprises with established international experts in relevant fields. In brief, the research team's contribution to the development of cultural studies as a scientific discipline will result from a productive intersection between applications of the most thriving theoretical currents in global cultural studies, and empirical production.
Significance for the country
In Slovenia, our research team is unique in providing in-depth, theoretically grounded and methodologically elaborate research in cultural studies. Its members are most of the members of the department of cultural studies at the team’s home institution – the Faculty of Social Sciences. Hence, the team does not only benefit their development as researchers, but also gives necessary research grounding to their academic work. Team members successfully develop theoretical knowledge and methodological tools from their fields of expertise, which are completely new to Slovene social sciences and humanities. Their publications, participation in international academic conferences, guest lectures and visits to foreign scientific institutes and universities give them increasing recognition in the international arena. This is also our researchers' contribution to the development and reputation of Slovene cultural studies in particular, and social and human sciences in general. Our research in most of the fields covered by the team – cultures of everyday life, subcultures, new spiritualties, development of science and technology, cultural aspects of literature, film, and music – is pioneering research in Slovenia. This is of special importance in the cases of under-researched or politically delicate topics. The team will thus continue to orient its research towards establishing a solid expert basis for all stakeholders in Slovenia (actors in shaping relevant policies, NGOs, and other representatives of civil society, representatives of the economic sector, etc.), who would like to gain more knowledge on social benefits and risks of the development of new technologies and sciences by using good practices and innovative approaches from the international environment. This should result in contributing to socially more desirable and acceptable technological innovations. The research team is thus devoted to critical and comprehensive reflection of the recent and semi-past situation in the spheres of culture, art, the development of science and technology, and religiosity in Slovenia, caught up between the Balkans and western/central Europe, between modernism and postmodernism, between socialism, , and post-socialism. It will hence provide academic answers to cultural – (sub)cultural, scientific, technological, religious – challenges, which Slovene and, broader, European society is faced with in these times of economic and political crisis. As such, it is going to provide an important contribution to a more complex understanding of the broader dimensions of this situation, and possible ways of dealing with it. The research findings will present an important critical reflection on social and cultural events and processes, which followed the emergence of our independent state over twenty years ago. At the same time, they will help to shape development guidelines that a state needs in this period of crisis – not merely economic, but mostly a crisis of values – if it is to build on the paradigm of inclusiveness, sociality, polycentrism, and, above all, cultural pluralism and openness to a globalized space beyond the categories of »Europeanness« and »Balkanism«. Our proposed research would allow Slovenia to join the global trends of looking for new cornerstones of development, which is especially relevant in current uncertain times of crisis, when all established paths of development are being questioned.
Audiovisual sources (1)
no. Title (with video link) Event Source
1.     Research programme video presentation 
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, final report
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