The Corona Pandemic in Special Living Arrangements for Persons with Disabilities - Housing in Health" (WoGe2020) (2021-2022)

The "WoGe2020" project spans the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. Against the background of the current Corona pandemic, it examines its effects and consequences on the living situation of people in institutions of social care for the persons with disabilities. The focus is on the group of users (persons with disabilities and persons with chronic mental illnesses) who are cared for and supported in their living arrangements, as well as on the group of professional personnel working in the living arrangements. The field study takes the vivid impression of the crisis via a nationwide survey of the institutions; its findings are directly incorporated into the upcoming and necessary transformations in assisted and personalized health care in the field of special living arrangements.

The survey phase will start shortly. Flanked by a Delphi study in quarters 3 and 4 of 2021. Information and directions for the federal government will ultimately emerge on the basis of multiple theoretical and practice-based perspectives.

Responsible personsProf. Dr. Wacker, Elisabeth

Funding: Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)




b4: Identifying needs | Building bridges | Developing health campuses

Participatory observation, evaluation and reporting of new approaches to community health promotion and disease care (2021 - 2023)

The research project b4 accompanies the cross-sectoral cooperation project "Brückenschlag".  This has the objective of creating bilateral advantages for the care of patients and the cooperation partners in the changing health care market.

A care concept for the Weilheim-Schongau region is being developed that closely links the university medicine of the Klinikum rechts der Isar (MRI) of the Technical University of Munich and the regional medical care structures (outpatient; inpatient, rehabilitative, preventive) in the district.

The qualitative scientific project investigates the motivation of the professions involved, the population and the political stakeholders, under individual as well as collective aspects, as well as the resilience of the participatory developing structures between the MRI and the health care providers of the regional authority.

Currently, it is necessary to develop tools and appropriate accesses that allow, even under pandemic conditions, to find out as directly as possible the expectations and opinions of the partners and the inhabitants of the district in its totality.

Responsible persons: Prof. Dr. Wacker, Elisabeth

Funding: County of Weilheim-Schongau, KH GmbH County of WM-SOG

WohL – Worthy places for un-used spaces! [Wohnungsleerstand wandeln!] (2019-2022)

This project is based in the Dachau district in Upper Bavaria. It examines the housing situation in the communities there - with regard to possible (partial) vacancies, demographic change, existing infrastructure and (planned) land consumption. The project is in the public interest and is accordingly funded by the State Ministry of Housing, Construction and Transport and the district of Dachau. The main objective is to record and analyse the motives of the different interest groups involved in the housing. In addition, participatory approaches are used to develop and test tailor-made change strategies.

Responsible: Prof. Dr. Wacker, Elisabeth

Funding: BayStmB und Lkr Dachau

„Wohlbefinden Gestalten (WoGe)“ [Re-designing Wellbeing] (since 2019)

The kbo children's centre at the Großhadern clinic will undergo reconstruction in 2020. To support this process, the Sociology of Diversity Chair and the Social Pediatrics Chair (Prof. Dr. Mall), under the direction of Dr. Shahin Payam, are carrying out the project "Designing Well-Being" (WoGe). The aim is to use novel qualitative methods to obtain and better understand the opinion of young and adolescent patients and parents regarding the design of their environment (especially the patient rooms). The study will be conducted by a master's student from the department of Sport and Health Sciences.

Responsible: Prof. Dr. Wacker, Elisabeth

In collaboration with : kbo Kinderzentrum der Klinik Großhadern

QualiPEP – Quality-oriented prevention and health promotion in institutions of integrated assistance and care

The Chair of Sociology of Diversity (led by Philip Bootz) has taken on the task of conducting a field study in Germany to investigate the health-promoting structures and services that exist in the institutions of integrated assistance, especially the services that are required and desired by the residents. Health promotion of the employed staff is also considered in order to obtain initial assessments of the still open needs for workplace health promotion. The field study has been completed and the final report has been submitted. Further discussion of the results at large specialist congresses has already resulted in positive reviews, and further conferences and publications are in preparation.

Responsible: Prof. Dr. Wacker, Elisabeth

Funding: AOK-Bundesverband (commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Health)

SIM – Socio-Economic Integration of Migrants

This project is part of a larger research network on the socio-economic integration of migrants led by Prof. Dr. Susanne Elsen (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano). Within the framework of "SIM", Dr. Katharina Crepaz conducted a study on migrant women's organisations in Bavaria (Munich and Nuremberg) and, through qualitative interviews, collected data on the prerequisites, difficulties, requirements and framework conditions for the successful self-organisation of migrant women using an empowerment approach. Finally, best practices were identified and their transferability to the case study of South Tyrol was examined. The final report was successfully submitted and a scientific publication of the results is currently under review.

Responsible: Dr. Katharina Crepaz

Funding: Freie Universität Bozen, Italien

TRANS-DISAB – Addressing challenges regarding the successful transition of young adults with disabilities: participation, health and quality of life in a life-span approach (2017-2020)

Participation in a longitudinal study (SPARCLE study) concerning the transition to young adulthood from a growing group of people with lifelong disability. The conceptual developments of the 21st century of the World Health Organization require new insights into the effects of physical, social and contextual factors. This will be recorded and evaluated with a focus on quality of life measures. Participatory methods are incorporated which complement the medical perspective in accordance with the ICF (International Classification of Functioning of the WHO, 2001). An initial congress and a scientific workshop have taken place, and a publication is currently being reviewed.

Responsible: Prof. Dr. Wacker, Elisabeth

Funding: DFG | Cooperation project with the University of Lübeck and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Hospital for Children and Adolescent Medicine

Medical "Problem Groups": Between pathologization and neurodiversity

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are classified as mental impairment or neuronal developmental disorders and can be understood as "socio-medical disorders" (Dumit 2000), which are determined by what is deemed socially deviant behaviour. Despite "successful" medicalisation, these diagnoses of the disease remain controversial and those affected do not simply consider themselves "sick", regardless of medical labels. On the contrary, the neurodiversity movement, for example, aims at de-medicalisation and wants ADHD, ASD and other cognitive characteristics to be understood as diversity without disease value. Other patient groups, on the other hand, are fighting for public recognition of the disease patterns and better medical care. The central observation here is that the affected groups are not passively confronted with framing as a problem group, but rather become active as "moral entrepreneurs" (Becker). This research project aims to use the dimension of neurodiversity to address a previously sparsely-noticed diversity dimension at the interface of sociology of the body, medicine and diversity. It will also investigate the social production of medical problem groups, the role of medicine and public discourses, while also considering the role of self-contextualization, and how these processes influence each other.

Responsible: Dr. Fabian Karsch

Diversity, Identity and Political Participation in the European Multi-Level Governance System: Political Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Germany and Italy

Different contexts of societal diversity (e.g. persons with disabilities, national minorities, persons with a migratory background), diversity-related constructions of individual and collective identity and the desire to participate in and have an impact on policy-making processes constitute the main research interests. The current research project, a comparative analysis of the political participation of persons with disabilities in Germany and Italy, is also set within the above-mentioned theoretical framework. The project places a special regional focus on Bavaria and South Tyrol, as the thresholds for political participation are lower on the regional level, which citizens perceive to be “closer” to the realities of their daily lives. “Top-down” (legal and socio-political framework conditions, political parties, institutions) and “bottom-up” (civil society, self-advocacy organizations, networking) processes will be analyzed. Both Bavaria and South Tyrol hold regional elections in 2018, providing an especially interesting frame for comparative research. Data collection will be completed by the end of 2018, project completion is expected for 2020.

Responsible: Dr. Katharina Crepaz

DAAD-Quality Network Biodiversity Kenya (2016-2020): Reconciling human livelihood needs and nature conservation; main collaborators (Prof. Jan Christian Habel, Lehrstuhl für Terrestrische Ökologie, TUM)

Further Information

In collaboration with: TUM, Terrestrial Ecology Research Group; Pwani University; Taita Taveta University; South Eastern University