Welcome to the pages of the Department of Social Pedagogy II at the University of Trier. We are pleased that you are interested in our teaching and research.
Our teaching and research is focused on the area of pedagogical institutions. In this context, childhood, youth, parenthood, family and social work/child and youth services are understood as social institutions, whose constant processes of transformation are explored from a theoretical, historical, empirical and practice-oriented perspective.
Our focus lies in three main areas:
Societal institutionalization of childhood, youth, parenthood and family: Life circumstances and welfare state arrangements
In this area, the emphasis is set on issues of changing cultural-, societal-, and (post-)welfare-state regulation with regard to childhood, youth, parenthood and family. We aim to explore how social conditions such as socio-cultural heterogeneity, social inequality, globalisation/migration/flight/mobility and altered national and transnational welfare regulations/social policies, such as children’s rights, influence the social positioning of children, adolescents and families. Children and adolescents are addressed as separate social groups. Their social positioning as children and adolescents, their well-being and unequal circumstances, and their position in the welfare state are topics of current research. (Current research projects: 3. Kinder- und Jugendbericht Rheinland-Pfalz, GRENZRÄUME)
Relational institutionalization of childhood, youth, parenthood: Family and Child and Youth organisations
In this research context, family and (socio-)pedagogical organisations are focused on as interdependent and evolving institutions of childhood and adolescence, whose processes of change are in dynamic relation to one another. In this respect, the questions regarding changes in childhood/youth/parenthood/family also address questions with regard to the interconnected relationships between family and (socio-)pedagogical organisations (kindergarten, schools, residential institutions, etc.) and vice versa. Empirically, those shifting definitions and manifestations of relationship are adressed as processes of pedagogical ordering in the field of child and youth services, with a particular focus on children as active participants. In addition, the analytical approaches flow into critical analyses of socio-educational methods and approaches to action (e.g. educational partnerships in daycare services, networking, participation, child protection, etc.). (Current research project: PARTNER)
Institutions as contexts of subjectivation: Growing up in complex institutional arrangements
With reference to newer concepts of socialization, learning and education in childhood and practice theory, institutionalization processes are being explored with regard to the “new ways of becoming” of children and youth in the context of the increasing complexity of modern societies. In this context, socialization, learning and education are recognized as active processes of participation in everyday life in and across differentiated institutional contexts, i.e. as (trans-)situated learning in and between varying “communities of practice”. Processes of (self-)socialization and learning among children, against the background of ever-multiplying everyday settings, are analyzed from practical-, spatial- and transition-theoretical perspectives, and relate systematically to questions of welfare-productive arrangements, the creation of transnational/cross-border spaces, and social inequality. (Current research project:GRENZRÄUME)