Research Profile of the Department


The profile of the Department of Education is formed by the examination of out-of-school educational processes, of individual and collective educational histories of children, adolescents, and adults in extra-curricular contexts, and the effects of social transformation on educational opportunities, individual experiences, and outcomes across the life course. One particular focus of research and teaching at the Department is the complex relation between socially constructed differences, social inequalities and disadvantages in education. In each of the Department's six teaching and research areas, social differences and inequalities are empirically investigated and theoretically analyzed from their specific theoretical perspectives, such as social and cultural approaches to the social construction of realities and theories of the development of individual agency and social participation. Differences based upon gender, generation, migration background, class, body and dis/ability are discussed and analyzed with regard to social and educational measures to promote agency and social participation in people affected by inequalities and marginalisation. 

A significant characteristic of the Department is also a tight connection of research and teaching, the connection of empirical analysis and theoretical explanation, and an interdisciplinary orientation, particularly with the fields of sociology, social sciences, and cultural studies. Within the University, members of the Department actively participate in the interdisciplinary research focus “Kulturelle Begegnungen - Kulturelle Konflikte” (Cultural Confluences - Cultural Conflicts) as well as in the “Center Interdisziplinäre Geschlechter­forschung Innsbruck” (Center for Interdisciplinary Gender Research Innsbruck, CGI). Furthermore, they are founding members and to this day are essential players in three research centers of the University of Innsbruck, the research center “Bildung – Generation – Lebenslauf” (Education – Generation – Life Course), the research center “Migration und Globalisierung” (Research Center Migration & Globalization) and the research center “Medical Humanities”. They are also initiators and collaborators of two doctoral colleges (DC): the DC “Dynamiken von Ungleichheit und Differenz im Zeitalter der Globalisierung” (Dynamics of Inequalities and Difference in the Age of Globalisation) and the DC “Geschlecht und Geschlechterverhältnisse in Transformation: Räume - Relationen – Repräsentationen” (Gender and Gender Relations in Transformation: Spaces - Relations - Representations).

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