Research Profile

Critical Gerontology

The Professorship of Life Situations and Ageing correlates with the University of Kassel’s fundamental aspiration to pursue research on key issues facing humankind in the future. In comparison with other professorships of gerontology at universities in Germany, it emphasizes the significance of social inequality for ageing societies. This permits a rigorously critical gerontolgical perspective as a special profile. “Critical gerontology” stands for a specific scientific approach to the study of ageing: On the one hand it is looking for the possibilities to emancipate people from exclusionary discussionsof aging and therefor takes up the cause of disadvantaged aged, because they are especially concerned by these discourses. On the other hand this approach is focussing its own contribution to the permanent re-construction of social inequality in ageing societies.

Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching

Demographic development and structural changes in ageing result in complex questions. These frequently affect multiple academic disciplines. For this reason, we regard “age(FG ing)” as an interdisciplinary crosscutting topic. We use both quantitative and qualitative methods to facilitate appropriate investigation and discussion of the challenges that age-related demographic and structural change poses for society, individuals, and social work with different generations and the mastery of life situations in the course of life within the outline conditions of a social state. Against this backdrop, the department also views applied research, especially participation-oriented projects, as having the same societal importance and potential for knowledge as basic research.