The principal aspects studied include the preconditions, structural conditions and developmental processes involved in interethnic relationships among immigrants and in the local population, without ignoring potential ruptures, contradictions, conflicts and problems. Making the positive side of intercultural life visible is just as important for stocktaking and analysis of intercultural relationships in Germany as the question of the causes of existing problems. However, overemphasizing the negative view overlooks the successful coexistence that takes place every day between people with different cultural origins. In view of demographic developments, continuing Europeanization, and Germany’s integration into the global economic structure, the further development of good interethnic relationships and the acquisition of intercultural competences are also extremely important for reasons of social policy and employment policy. The aim of the research group is therefore to identify the social and individual foundations and factors for success that underlie successful interethnic coexistence, tolerant ways of getting on with one another, and a culture of mutual recognition between local children, young people and families and those with an immigrant background, and to make these productive in the further development of practical work and policy.

The research group will be concerned with the following thematic areas in particular:

  • The development of interethnic relationships in educational institutions that determine the course of individual biographies (kindergarten, school, vocational training)
  • Implementation of the goals and achievements of integration policy in the field of child and youth welfare services
  • Contributions made by social networks to promoting interethnic coexistence