Professorship for Socialization

Research and Work Foci

  • Socialisation and Education

    Education is an expression of socialisation, also in two respects. On the one hand, it is the result of culturally controlled socialisation. Education expresses both ideas about what distinguishes a "civilized" person and a socially capable person as well as concrete ideas about which abilities to act (must) be acquired in order to be able to participate appropriately in society. The resulting normative bottlenecks of socialisation (as an initially open-ended process) can be seen, for example, in institutional arrangements of educational mediation and appropriation. However, their socialization significance is also reflected in the fact that education has advanced to become an increasingly important resource for a successful lifestyle in postmodern societies.

    From the perspective of socialisation theory, educational processes thus inform about the appropriation of social and cultural capital as well as about the procedural realities of knowledge transfer, knowledge acquisition and the training of socially valued capabilities.

    The empirical analyses of education therefore examine not only the institutional framework conditions of educational acquisition processes, but also the world of life and experience (e.g. milieu-specific) educational causes and aspects of educational mediation. The database is based on data from the Icelandic longitudinal study (Grundmann et al 2006; Grundmann/Edelstein/Steinhoff 2011), ethnographic analyses of milieu-specific educational cultures (dissertation by Hornei) and biographical analyses of educational pathways in the transition system from general education to vocational education and training.

  • Community and Sustainability Research

    Since 2001, lectures, seminars, teaching research projects and theses on the topic of social and intentional communities have been held at the chair of Professor Dr. Matthias Grundmann. Following on from sociological, socio-psychological and socio-geographical theories, we ask about current processes of community building in modern, individualized societies. With participatory observation and visits to communities and in dialogue with the communities (e.g. within the framework of the "community workshop"), the aim is on the one hand to shed light on development processes in communities and to support the communities in their growth (e.g. through scientific reflections). Secondly, we want to work out the social innovation potentials for a sustainable social-ecological development or the transformation of individualistic societies into social-ecological living spaces. Finally, it is also important to demonstrate the socio-political significance of the social community movement for global and regional developments.

    A second line focuses on regional social structures. Studies, teaching research projects and seminars on community experience in communal life contexts (poverty and elites in Münster, war childhoods, regional socio-political initiatives and movements), accompanied by Prof. Dieter Hoffmeister and Matthias Grundmann, have shown that regional living conditions also depend to a large extent on the "activation potentials" in the population. In particular for answering the question about the establishment of sustainable regional ways of life, connections between socio-political common sense and joint socio-ecological action as well as the cooperative networking of local actors play a decisive role for the implementation of sustainable living practices.

    From winter semester 2013/14, the two priorities will be brought together in the working group on sustainability and joint research in order to focus more strongly on the ecological aspect (keyword: strong sustainability). The working group meets once a month. A transdisciplinary extension by other subjects at EMU is planned, e.g. political science and social geography. The meetings are open to students and other interested parties. As a first step of the efforts, the conference "Higher, further, faster? Success factors for sustainable urban development using the example of the city of Münster".

    This website provides an overview of this sociological, socio-ecological community and sustainability research. Under "Activities" you can view current projects, seminars and lectures. The "Publications" section provides insights into our more recent publications and project results.

  • Socialisation as an Enforcement Reality and as a Social Practice

    Socialisation is a reality of execution, an individual and collective process of creation in the course of which people develop personality traits, identities, affiliations, ideas and values as well as social practices of togetherness. At the centre of this reality of execution are socializing interactions, from the course of which a reality stretches out both in the actors involved and between the actors, to which they align their actions. This reality is preconditional, i.e. socially and culturally framed. But how can this reality of execution be theoretically modelled so that it also reveals those design processes in which socialization ultimately expresses itself? How, then, can the practices of socialization be examined?

    One possibility is to model socialisational interaction as a conflictual situation that arises through conflicting views and interests of the actors involved (Oevermann). Equally important, however, seems to be the actors' desire to mutually recognize their views and insights in the process of interaction (Honneth 1992; 2010). Finally, however, the interactive realities thus conceived can also be interpreted as an attempt to shape the interaction with one another (Grundmann 2006). In all of this, it is always a matter of dealing with requirements and needs for action that are in themselves contradictory, as they can ideally be described by the term ambivalence (Lüscher 2010). Lüscher has also developed a research heuristic for this purpose, which can be used as a basis for sociologically sound socialisation research. With reference to the concept of ambivalence, however, it is also possible to describe how such basic human conflict situations or recognition and design needs can be dealt with in and through socialisation processes. The focus is on those social practices in which socialisation takes place. In this way, it can be empirically traced how contradictory world experiences (e.g. moral dilemmas or differences between self-perceptions and external perceptions) affect personality development and the genesis of the ability to act, which development risks contradict demands for action in different contexts (e.g.B. school, family, peer group), how individuals unite into groups or develop a sense of belonging to a group, how actors in social reference groups deal with individual and collective references to action, and how group formation processes take place between cohesion and anomie.