The Department conducts research concerning family life and family policies. Based on scientific results, the Department advises politics, the public as well as practitioners in the field of family support.
The research projects are concerned with topics like family development, daily family life, gender relations, processes of family commitment and the needs of families coping with social change. A special interest lies on the effects of policies and of supporting systems for families in strainful living conditions.
We conceptualize “family” as "doing family", which means constructing family by daily activities. In view of significant social changes – such as the introduction of flexible and mobile employment, increasing challenges to work-life-balance and changes in the relationship between genders - family becomes a dynamic network through which family commitment is created. We are interested in how and to which extent family life works, even under conditions such as low income and individualization.
We analyse family life in the context of social and political conditions of living together and raising children. This concerns the interfacing systems like privacy, state, market and civil society. Infrastructures, family networks of (grand-)parents, children and others should be designed in a way that raising children, care and emotional commitment can be performed now and in the future.