Head of the Unit
Prof. Dr. rer. soc. Elisabeth Wacker
Technical University of Munich
Chair of Sociology of Diversity (N.N.)
The scientific work of Prof. Dr. Wacker is primarily dealing with inclusion and participation issues. She works on issues of equality and social inequality, as well as impairments and disabilities in society. Her work focuses on life situations and quality of life, health, and prevention and rehabilitation from different perspectives like municipal, national and global. Intersectionally, health system strengthening, and participation through technology are also important components of her work.
Prof. Wacker now heads the Sociology of Diversity research group at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences as an "additum" after her retirement. From 2013 to 2020, she was a full professor of the Chair of Sociology of Diversity. Now she is continuing her research with her team in selected projects.
Born in 1954, she studied at the University of Tübingen (amongst others theology, philosophy and sociology) after graduating from the Humanistic Gymnasium in Nuremberg (NGN). The research for change and innovative solutions in social service systems and health care (prevention and rehabilitation) has characterized her scientific career since the founding of the "Zentrum zur interdisziplinären Erforschung der Lebenswelten behinderter Menschen" (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Life Worlds of Persons with Disability) and her research activities at the Central Scientific Institution of the University of Tübingen. Until 1996 she also headed the business there and then accepted the call to the Chair of Rehabilitation Sociology at the Technical University of Dortmund.
Visiting professorships took her to Vienna (Austria) in 2008/2009 and to Pingtung and Taipei (Taiwan) in 2011. In 2013, she was appointed full professor for the Chair of Sociology of Diversity at the Technical University of Munich. From 2010 to 2020, Prof. Wacker was also Max Planck Fellow, heading the research group "Changes in Social Systems and Participation in Disability. Structures, Measures and Effects of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Health Development" at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich. She continues to be a guest researcher there.
Since 2011, Prof. Wacker has also been chairwoman of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Federal Government's report on the living conditions of persons with impairments and disabilities (Bundesteilhabebericht).
She also has broad experience in academic committees, leadership roles and expert bodies.