Key Research Priority - Social Change and Cohesion Research

The socio-economic change that is currently being seen is a challenge for the whole of society in terms of the form that the economy, technology and social cohesion will take. The background to this is the change from an industrial economy to a service and knowledge society. In the process, social work is, on the one hand, affected by reforms to welfare state principles and at the same time challenged by the effects of increasing social inequality and exclusion.

A central concern of cohesion research is being able to rediscover solidarity over and again in societies undergoing processes of transformation. Key topics in this connection include:

  • new inequalities and exclusion
  • reappropriation of the capacity for individuals and groups to act in different social spheres
  • ill health conditions and health behaviour
  • cultures of violence in family and institutional contexts
  • changes in gender patterns and the organisation of everyday family life
  • organisational needs in the migration society

Alongside the strategies of individuals and groups, conceptual developments in social institutions and health and educational institutions are evaluated and monitored in a practically-oriented fashion. In the process, alongside social work-related approaches, social and political science-related, pedagogical, psychological, legal and health and cultural science-related perspectives are also included.

Corresponding research projects are concentrated and supported within the Institute for Social Change and Cohesion Research (IKON).


Prof. Dr. phil.
Mechthild Wolff
ROOM:  D0 34
PHONE:  +49 (0)871 - 506 439
FAX:  +49 (0)871 - 506 523

Prof. Dr. phil.
Uta Benner