What does ‘doing transitions’ mean?

The research training group focuses on the question how transitions in the life course are formed and produced. Transition research has so far dealt with the structural factors of transitions and their effects on individual agency and life course trajectories. The research training group starts from the assumption that transitions are shaped and produced through social practices. It seeks to complement current research on transitions by analyzing how transitions emerge, focusing on the interrelation between discourses on transitions, institutional regulation, and pedagogical action as well as individual processes of learning, education, and coping. Research questions address all life ages from childhood up to old age along three thematic strands:

  • How are transitions produced and framed by the discursive articulation of demands, distinctions of success and failure, and risk identification?
  • How are transitions regulated and processed at the institutional level? What aspects of pedagogical action are included in the formal and informal processing of transitions?
  • How are transitions shaped through individual processes of coping, learning, and education and how is this reflected in individual development and life course trajectories?

Apart from this, interest lies in the interrelationship between levels on which transitions are shaped and produced. The research training group addresses excellent graduates interested in these questions, particularly those from the fields of education, sociology, and psychology. Further, it seeks to

  • contribute to a broader transdisciplinary understanding of transitions as a social practice in addressing uncertainty and how this is related with the social reproduction of inequality,
  • increase reflexivity with regard to the discursive, institutional, and pedagogical as well as individual processing of established and newly emerging transitions in the life course,
  • place young researchers in disciplines, research areas, and professional fields that are concerned with transitions as well as the interfaces in which transitions evolve.

The research training group’s excellence is secured by its consortium’s high profile and expertise, its embeddedness in international networks, its differentiated process of recruitment as well as its high quality training programme, which is sensitive to participation and equal opportunities.