At the University of Klagenfurt, I am doing research on solidarity alliances in the Alps-Adriatic region together with Lukas Baumann and Elisabeth Engberding. Our project is funded by the global budget of the University of Klagenfurt and runs since April 2021. We will report on our project activities on this website.
Here you find my works that deal with the Corona pandemic.
This with a view to social inequalities, refugee migration, solidarity and postmigration, the interlocking of the Corona pandemic and the climate crisis, and reflections on social work as disaster relief.
Research on inclusion has been expanding since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its ratification (not only) by Germany. Paradigmatic for the debate are different understandings of inclusion. The fuzzy definition of the term means that the subject areas of inclusion research are unclear. The habilitation thesis contours a heterogeneity-oriented, relational and power-critical concept of inclusion that can be made useful in all societal fields. It confronts a field in which exclusion is particularly evident with a human rights understanding of inclusion and the claim to shape an inclusive society: It brings together the discussion around inclusion and refugee migration from a social work perspective. The central premise is to recognize refugees as subjects of inclusion and movements within regions and across nation-state borders as a normal part of human history. Refugee migration is not considered as a special scientific topic, but in its relevance to society as a whole. This is connected with an understanding that does not engage in a deficit-oriented and one-sided problematizing view of refugee migration. Rather, the habilitation outlines a critical-reflexive field of research that does not exoticize, but recognizes the normality of human movements without trivializing experienced suffering and social inequalities.
The professional mission of social work is to support people in coping with their lives, to create participation, to promote autonomy and, in the sense of advocacy work, to work together with its addressees on a public and political level to improve social conditions. However, social work in the context of refugee migration is characterized by an intensification of pedagogical uncertainty and the paradox of help and control. The question of how social workers can shape inclusion together with the addressees when the residence status and prospects of the persons concerned are uncertain and precarious and the state's goal is to limit the number of Asylum applications requires social work reflection. Social work's affirmation of its status as a human rights profession provides it with a theoretical and ethical basis for working together with the people concerned to improve their living conditions. In this complex situation, a human rights-based understanding of inclusion has the potential to strengthen the critical framework of social work in the field of refugee migration. It is condensed in the habilitation thesis with postmigrant, solidarity and convivial perspectives on the way to an inclusive social work.
This study deals with a target group of social work that has hardly been considered in the discussion about care. These are young people in need of care in adulthood who are dependent on nursing support due to chronic illnesses, an accident or a disability. In over 90 percent of cases, they are cared for by relatives in their own homes (Destatis, 2019). If their needs cannot be met at home and with the help of outpatient services, they request inpatient care. They then find themselves faced with a regionally differentiated care structure. This includes places in nursing homes and facilities for the disabled as well as facilities that have specialized in the assumed needs of the addressees and advertise with the label "young care". This buzzword circulates primarily in nursing practice and describes people in need of care under the age of 60. For health-related social work, the challenge is to systematically analyse the needs of people in need of care in the nursing home across the lifespan and to strengthen lifeworld-oriented starting points in this area.
Link to a press report on the subject related to this research: Hessenschau, 24.10.2021
As part of a solidarity project between South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO) and GDR, approximately 430 Namibian children were brought to GDR from 1979 to 1989 in order to be trained to an elite of a prospective liberated Namibia. The young children followed a socialization in GDR institutions until they were unpreparedly flown to Namibia without having finished their education, as Namibia became independent and GDR declined in 1990. The research project deals with the transnational biographies of the so-called "GDR children from Namibia". The project is linked to transnationalization research and expands existing discourses on the study of (post-) socialist lifeworlds. Research team: Matthias Witte, Christian Armbrüster and myself.
The qualitative-empirical study analyses Afro Hair Salons - a specific branch of migrant entrepreneurship. These hairdressing salons are specialized in hair styles created in African countries and African American communities. The study asks how Afro hair salons of an urban space are incorporated into societal structures in Germany, how Afro hair salon owners experience their self-employment, and which strategies they develop to maintain their businesses.