Gender is integrated in IRISSO’s research as a crosscutting theoretical approach and as a social category. On the one hand, the multiple theoretical perspectives in Gender Studies contribute to the renewal of the issues, the methodologies and the fieldworks in many social sciences areas (i.e. sociology, political science, economy) such as: justice, family, political engagement, paid and self-employment work, education and training, international mobilities and migrations, etc. On the other hand, different categorizations are combined to study intersectionality i.e. the different social and political issues related to classes class, gender, sexuality, race, generation, geographical location and national affiliation, and its impacts of kinship, work, and social movements.
The research topics are conducted from the standpoints of international comparison and of international processes. The general purpose is to question the “international” phenomenon while adopting multiple strategies: by embracing a critical perspective on contemporaries’ descriptions of “globalization” or “Europeanization”; by addressing directly the methodological issues that the “international” comparison implies, and subsequently the robustness and the plasticity of the established “national” boundaries; by identifying the social or economic channels of symbolic importation-exportation at an international scale, and particularly the actors’ strategies operating internationally (e.g. traders, experts, high officials, scholars, politicians); by studying the “international system’s” organization and the role of international organizations in consolidating this “new” social space.
A large variety of qualitative and quantitative methods is employed to properly address the research issues within each track. Fieldwork plays a key role in the investigation process for many IRISSO members. These methodologies include ethnography, the database creation and the management, prosopography, geometric analysis of data and statistical methods, multilevel analysis, social-network analysis and interlock ties, etc. In addition, IRISSO organizes training programs for researchers on a regular basis and sets up a fieldwork-training course every year for social science students of Université Paris-Dauphine, to ensure the efficient dissemination of these specialized skills among the scientific community.