History of the EMPAS

Logo Institute for Empirical and Applied Sociology (EMPAS)The Institute for Empirical and Applied Sociology (EMPAS) was an independent research institute at the University of Bremen. It was established in 1988 and replaced the DFG's (German Research Foundation) funded priority program on "Social Problems". The EMPAS was set up to conduct empirical and applied research that rests upon a solid theoretical basis. Already in its early years, the founding members strove to prevent sociological research from splitting into two separate streams, one being academic and theoretical and the other being non-academic and empirical. A further ambition was the application of different methodologies.

The overall research program of EMPAS’ early years particularly emphasized four subject areas of sociological research:

  1. Delinquency and Social Control
  2. Gender and Sexual Relations
  3. Education, Employment and Life Course
  4. Various applied social research projects

The founding members of the EMPAS were

  • Prof. Dr. Hans Haferkamp
  • Prof. Dr. Karl Schumann
  • Prof. Dr. Ansgar Weymann

Between 1990 and 2002, EMPAS was one of the responsible bodies for the "Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course" Special Collaborative Center 186. And the institute was partly responsible for the "Transformations of the State" Collaborative Research Center 597. Furthermore it had hosted the coordination of two DFG priority programs: SPP 1292 on "Survey Methodology" and SPP 1161 on "Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics" (PAIRFAM).

Another noteworthy engagement was the EMPAS contribution to the initiative for the establishment of the Graduate School of Social Science and the Graduate School of the German Excellence Initiative (BIGSSS).