The division conducts research into life situations and lifestyles of families and into family-related policy. Based on scientific results, it also provides support and consultation for practice, policy-making and the public at large.
These are some of the issues examined by the division's projects: How do families develop and change? How do family members live their everyday lives and how does a sense of togetherness develop? What is the role of changing gender relationships in this connection? What are the processes that lead to families becoming established in the first place? What do families currently need to be able to meet their own expectations and those of society? What is the impact of family-related political measures? How effective are the welfare systems for families and their members, especially in problematic life situations? How is the balance developing between private responsibility on the one hand and the increase in public responsibility on the other? What happens when families experience state intervention due to a risk situation?

Our basic assumption is that nowadays people have to proactively shape their family lives. This is because of the increasing complexity and dynamism of family networks, family forms and gender arrangements as well as the demands of balancing family and work. The focus is on ‘doing family’, i.e. the individual and shared activities and choices that make family a common thread in people’s lives. Here, there is a constant need to strike a balance with other social demands as well as between individual family members. It is interesting to observe whether and how this is effective, especially in difficult conditions and against the background of increasing individualization.

The everyday practice of families can only be viewed within the context of the social and political conditions of living together and growing up, so the focus here is on the points of interface between family privacy, state, market and civil society. Monetary family benefits, infrastructures, time structures and family networks comprising parents, grandparents, children and others should ideally be available to effectively provide care, support and emotional solidarity in the future, too.

Head of Department

+49 89 62306-255
Deutsches Jugendinstitut
Nockherstr. 2
81541 Munich
Deputy Head of Department
Dr. Laura Castiglioni
+49 89 62306-423

Department Profile