Subject Group of Social Policy, Law, and Sociology

Modern societies produce continuous social differentiation, with changing life opportunities and new challenges for individuals and groups. Those teaching and researching the field of social work and social welfare are dealing with these processes from an academic point of view. In the modern welfare state, social work has evolved into an extensive field of theory and practice. Members of the Subject Group of Social Policy, Law, and Sociology, investigate on the organisational, political and legal framing of welfare services and social interventions managed and/or undertaken by professionals, including in international perspective. In particular, they retrace the foundations of social interaction and major institutional links between the latter and the wider society. This provides professionals with an academic tool-kit for dealing innovatively with situations that use to be seen as socially problematic. Research and teaching in the aforementioned areas cover essential issues regarding professional approaches, thus improving collective action and self-reflection throughout the social work and social welfare sector.

The socio-political subject areas focus on structural prerequisites and processes of social intervention with an eye on institutional, organisational, and social requirements. The legal subject areas look at cross-cutting legal issues in the context of social work, analysing law as means of governmental control and the practical application of law in relevant spheres of activity (FG here, methods of social science are applied in order to promote a reflected application of legal norms). The sociological subject areas investigate on the interrelation of social structural connections and individuals, as well as on constitutive terms and generative structures of coexisting social worlds, with a focus on interpretative processes affecting various social orientations. In research and teaching, all subject-areas collaborate themselves in an interdisciplinary manner and in a permanent interaction with professional social work.