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Social Sciences for Society

Faculty of Social Sciences

Social Sciences at the VU: understand the questions of today, contribute to the world of tomorrow.

The world is becoming more dynamic, diverse and international. This asks for highly educated people who can fathom today’s and tomorrow’s difficult problems from different perspectives and who have the skills to come up with surprising solutions. Social Sciences at VU Amsterdam educates you to be a critical thinker and practitioner.   

With us, you will receive a thorough education in one of the social sciences and at the same time, you will learn to look at big current social issues from different angles. There are no ready-made solutions for these so-called ‘wicked problems’. For example issues such as the social exclusion of undocumented immigrants, privacy in a digital world and the question of whether there are boundaries to freedom of speech. These problems are so complex that you need several social sciences to understand them. At the VU you will learn to combine the disciplines in the second year in themes where these actual issues are discussed. You will learn to ask new questions, think of surprising solutions and make well-considered decisions. In short, you will learn by thinking and not settling for easy answers. 

Examining social issues through someone else's eyes

Anthropologist Luisa Schneider researches intimacy, violence and law in Germany and Sierra Leone. In her research, she lives with people on their terms. "I have lived with homeless people on the streets and worked with people struggling with addiction and mental health in Germany." She examines social issues from the perspective of those who are affected by them.

In the spotlight: freedom of expression in the digital society

“For the first time in history, we have just a handful of private companies regulating a huge chunk of the online environment.” Communication scientist Andreu Casas explores the implications. His research includes freedom of speech and censorship in the digital society. 

In the spotlight

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