Educational Sciences

Institute of Social Work and Social Policy (ISP)

The international conference on “Contradictions of Social Integration. On the Transformation of Social Work” on 29 and 30 January 2015 marks the conclusion of the first of two doctoral training groups (Professors Horst Bossong, Fabian Kessl, Ute Klammer; Hans Böckler Foundation) at the ISP. During the conference at the Zeche Carl, the doctoral fellows presented their research to an expert public and received feedback on their work from international peers. In the second doctoral group, four further early stage researchers on the Essen campus have been working since 2013 on questions relating to “Life in the transformed ­social state” (Professors Kessl, Klammer, Carsten Ullrich; MIWF NRW; period: 2013–2016). From the two perspectives of research on sociopolitical effects and sociopedagogical user behaviour, they explore the consequences of the latest transform­ations in the welfare state based on German and internationally comparative trends.

Three further research projects were secured in 2013/14 in the newly established research ­consortium “Institutional borderline situations and ­organisational constellations of violence in a pedagogical context” (Kessl). The BMBF-­financed project “Institutional Risk Constellations of Sexual Violence” (in cooperation with the DIPF Berlin; BMBF; period: 2013–2015) ­centres on the potential for violence in familiar­ised pedagogical settings in three comparative ethnographical case studies. The second of the consortium’s projects examines violence against the residents of two housing schemes run by a youth services provider and the impact on the organisation’s work today (period: 2013–2015; with partners including Diakonie Deutschland, Evangelischer Erziehungsverband, Graf Recke Stiftung). As from February 2015, the research consortium will acquire a further BMBF-funded project, which deals with the situation of mentally ill parents and their unaffected children in community social and healthcare provision (period: 2015–2018).
Research on youth welfare is accompanied by work on pensions and old age as a further ­priority area. The project financed by the Deutsche Rentenversicherung’s Research ­Network of the Statutory Pension Scheme (FNA) on “Security needs and financial dependency in old age” (Ute Klammer, Antonio Brettschneider; period: 2012–2014) examines the biographical determinants of poverty in old age and develops ­sociopolitical perspectives to limit future financial need. Closely associated with this ­subject matter is a DFG project of  Prof. Dirk Hofäcker, which considers retirement decisions in various contexts in the welfare state (period: 2012–2016). As part of “Intergenerational ­bargaining – ­Towards integrated bargaining for younger and older workers in EU countries” (Klammer, Brettschneider, period: 2013–2014), a research project financed by the EU Commission and conducted in collaboration with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour ­Studies and four other European partners, analysis is being carried out on successful examples of intergenerational bargaining policy over the life course in various European member states.

The following activities are just some ­examples of networking and international co­opera­tion at the Institute: In September 2013, Jan Wehrheim was visiting scientist at the Universidad Católica Santiago de Chile; Horst Bossong continued as visiting lecturer at the State Lobatschewski University in Niznij Novgorod (Russia). Fabian Kessl was elected to the board of the German Society for Educational Sciences (DGfE) and re-elected as spokesman of the Board of Trustees of the Institut Solidarische Moderne (ISM).