The research cluster ‘Quality of Life’ focuses on how to shape social change. In this context, the quality of life embraces an understanding of societal prosperity, of prospects for prosperity – even with limited growth – and of individual well-being. Significant processes of social change are analysed by researchers from different disciplines; they develop concepts for processing, advising politics and solving the challenges arising from social change. The reference is both small-scale and regional as well as national and international.

Cluster spokesperson

Porträtfoto Gabriele Schäfer

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schäfer
Professorin für Psychologie in der Sozialen Arbeit
+49 421 5905 2821

Areas of expertise and contact persons

Leisure and Tourism

The field of competence is characterised by three core themes: Travel, Time and Culture. The cross-cutting dimension is the sustainable development of quality of life in the three fields.

Travel: Development and evaluation of strategies and sustainable concepts for tourism destinations, city marketing and travel offers.

Time: Analyses of time patterns, acceleration and leisure in the context of postmodern life worlds.

Culture: Research on theory-based action for a participatory and sustainable urban culture, embedded research for the evaluation of cultural institutions and analysis of regional economic effects.

  • Dr. Dieter Brinkmann
  • Prof. Dr. Renate Freericks
  • Prof. Dr. Rainer Hartmann
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Schmidt
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Stecker

Sustainability policy

The research and development projects focus on the political design and management of sustainability. Central fields are currently: corporate and regional sustainability strategies, sustainability and work, regional climate protection and climate adaptation, marine protection and environmental conflicts in coastal regions.

  • Prof. Dr. Winfried Osthorst
  • Prof. Dr. Beate Zimpelmann

Quality of life in health and care provision

The research field deals with clinical, organisational and care-related issues in therapy, health and care provision. The participating researchers contribute expertise in nursing and therapy sciences, economics and business administration and in health services research. The aim is to contribute to a qualitive, socially and culturally appropriate and sustainable care for the population in times of demographic change. Previous research projects include regional, national and international activities.

  • Prof. Dr. Monika Habermann
  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Janßen
  • Prof. Dr. Wiebke Scharff Rethfeldt
  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Zündel

Individual, Organisation, Social Space and Society

The field of competence ‘Individual, Organisation, Social Space and Society’ is characterised by its interdisciplinary orientation. The focus here is on the individual in the interplay between individual and social processes. The diversity of human experience and behaviour in its respective social and cultural contexts is examined from the perspective of different academic disciplines, such as social work, education, psychology, sociology, political science, law and ethnology. In this field of competence, the diverse challenges in pluralistic modern societies are addressed, whereby both theoretical and practical approaches and interventions are developed that do justice to this complexity.

  • Dr. Dieter Brinkmann
  • Dr. Renate Freericks, Renate
  • Prof. Dr. Heinz Lynen von Berg
  • Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schäfer
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Wagenblass

Intercultural communication

  • Prof. Dr. Felix Herle
  • Katrin Nissel
  • Prof. Dr.  Wiebke Scharff Rethfeldt
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Schuchardt

Quality of life and social spaces

  • Prof. Mansfeld, Ulrike
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Spatscheck

Migration and integration from a life course perspective

  • Prof. Dr. Can Aybek

Sociological and psychosocial dimensions of partnership and family life

  • Prof. Dr. Can Aybek
  • Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schäfer