Life Course, Life Course Policy and Social Integration

The department’s research focuses on the interplay between individual action processes and the dynamics of socio-cultural structures at different aggregation levels and in various institutional contexts.

The department closely links three strands of research: Life course research investigates the dynamic interplay between social action and socio-cultural contexts in time, the interdependency between individuals’ different fields of action and social institutions, and the path dependency of social processes. In the study of life course policy, the "complexity" of social processes, given weight through the life course perspective, is taken into consideration in the focus on the impact of welfare state interventions on individual life courses and social change. The research on social integration investigates how social processes are embedded in social networks, social institutions and socio-cultural values and norms and how these processes change.

The research in the department is primarily characterized by quantitative and qualitative longitudinal methods of empirical analysis aimed at identifying interdependencies.


Current fields of research in the department are:

  • Changes in ways of living together and family development during the life course
  • Spatial mobility, the labour market and family
  • Dynamics of social networks
  • Migration processes and the integration of migrants
  • Inter-ethnic social relations: children’s and teenagers’ social networks
  • Methods of life course analysis

Working Groups

The department is divided into three working groups: