We are interested in learning about the risks caused and changes brought on by processes in modern society, such as migration and globalisation, climate change, lack of resources, technological development and changes in socio-technical systems. In a deeply mediafied society, all fields of life are increasingly dependent on media, phenomena related to which we are studying in an individual, organisational as well as a societal level.
Our aim is to support the management of changes in society, based on core values such as ecological and social justice and sustainability. We act as a partner in defining societal and cultural processes. Our research activities contribute to the development of policies and businesses. Proactive communication of science in news and social media is a part of our work. We believe in a humane and caring environment which supports academic development.
The core research competences of the Institute of Social Studies are:
We also deal with descriptive and analytical base science, incl. developing new digital methods. Research at the Institute of Social Studies is divided into two major fields:
The ESS (European Social Survey) is an international multidisciplinary social science study and research infrastructure. The aim of the ESS is to ensure a high-quality dataset for researching the development of societies and human behaviour. The data has been collected since 2002. Data from 500 000 people from 35 different countries is included in the dataset. Ensuring that data from different countries is comparable requires adherence to strict protocols. The collected data makes it possible to analyse of the links between attitudes, the development of institutions and human behaviour and many other societal processes. Data files with personal data removed are available to everyone for free use and can be downloaded on the international website of the European Social Survey.
European Social Survey in Estonia
Institute of Social Studies
University of Tartu
Phone: 737 5936
Learn more about the European Social Survey here
“Me. The World. The Media” is a long-term research project by the Institute of Social Studies, which focuses on changes in Estonian society. The analysis is based on a representative sociological survey which was carried out on five occasions (2002, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014). Answers are being sought to the four questions:
The book Estonian society in an accelerating world, which was based on the findings of the survey, also includes an overview of the development of sociology in Estonia and introduces the current theoretical approaches to society in addition to its empirical content.
“Me. The World. The Media” was awarded the National Research Award in 2022.
EU Kids Online is an international network connecting scientists from over 30 European countries who are researching the use of new media among children and youth. The aim of the project is to provide answers to questions about the social impacts of the internet and online technologies as phenomena which have become a part of everyday life. In 2010, the original survey was conducted with a representative sample, where a total of 25.000 children between the ages of 9-16 and their parents were interviewed in 25 European countries, including Estonia. Among others, the interview included questions about the children’s internet usage, digital competence, experience of online risks and coping with them. The data is available through UK Data Service. The second wave of the survey took place from 2017 to 2019 (mainly in 2018) in 19 European countries. The ISS research group is currently participating in the CO:RE and ySKILLS projects by the H2020 network.