The research profile at the Department of Psychosocial Intervention and Communication Studies is characterised by various focal points that form a field of strength.

Fracture lines and interfaces

The Institute's research focuses on the fault lines and interfaces at which educational processes take place. These include the interfaces between the individual and society, public and private education, individual and collective trauma, gender and generational tensions, adult and child perspectives.


One focus is the importance of relationality for education and training processes. These are hardly conceivable without a frame of reference which, depending on the theoretical perspective, is known under the terms communication, interaction, sociality, relationship, bonding or intersubjectivity. This includes, among other things, dealing with the significance of relational experiences between and within generations in general, the relationship between conscious-manifest experience and behaviour as well as unconscious motivations and enactments, the interaction between family and public pedagogy, the tension between on the one hand beneficial and on the other hand detrimental relational experiences, as well as upbringing and educational relationships of the individual in organisations.

Transformation processes

Relational processes require transformation processes of various kinds, which form another focus of research at the Institute. These include the study of development, socialisation and subjectification in and through family, institutions and society, the influence of trauma and conflicts, change in the context of education and training as well as professionalisation processes in educational institutions.

Realm of the psychic

Relational exchange processes are carried out by subjects who influence and change each other. This trans- and interdisciplinary focus interest of the Institute in the field of the psychic is reflected e.g. in the examination of psychotraumatology, interpersonal communication, personality, unconscious processes, mentalisation and mental representations of upbringing and educational experiences by primary and secondary caregivers.

Theory-practice relations

Another focus of the Institute is on theory-practice relations. This includes both basic research on educational and educational science fields of action and institutions, as well as studies that pursue the goal of promoting development, socialisation, upbringing and educational processes with the help of practical approaches.

Methodological reflection in educational science

Research at the PsyKo is characterised by a consistent educational methodological reflection. The use and reflection of different research designs and research methods should enable a broad and deep understanding of the research subjects and allow complex research questions to be answered. Of the many methods used, examples include image analyses, metaphor analyses, ethnographic approaches, scenic understanding, discourse and dispositif analyses, standardised observations, test procedures and questionnaires.

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