This research area focuses on changing working conditions. Increasingly diverse worlds of work and private life (accompanied by an enduring inequality of circumstances) force labour research to look beyond the immediate working environment and extend its focus to lifestyle patterns. Sustainability, in this context, refers to the often difficult task of balancing external demands, available resources and personal ambitions – within and between the various spheres of life: e.g. incomes that earn a long-term decent living and social security; social recognition, social affiliation and social relations; meaningfulness of work and scope for control; work/life balance, health. The dynamics of and the mobility within and outside of paid labour also requires a longitudinal perspective on career biographies and life-course design.

Projects carried out within the thematic research area of 'Sustainable Worlds of Work and Life' focus on the empirical study of working and living practices from a variety of aspects (e.g. occupational and educational groups, employment contracts, gender, age cohorts, social milieus, regions, etc.). In this context we try to make sure that as much attention is paid to subjective, social and cultural implications as to economic and political structural patterns and technical aspects of work organisation.

Research topics

  • prerequisites for and consequences of (paid) work: (unequal) social circumstances, working time, competences/educational opportunities, participation, stress factors and health > 'socio-economic perspective'
  • work and private life: life course, integrating the demands of different spheres of life (work, partnership, family, household and care work, leisure activities) > 'synchronous perspective' of the quality of life and work
  • career biographies over the life course, life cycle/phases of life, generations, life-course design/work-life balance > 'longitudinal perspective'
  • networking and social capital: in particular informal social relations in the workplace/within the organisation (including forms of cooperation, participation, micro-politics, etc.) and in private life, (job) mobility and local/spatial integration > 'perspective of interaction'
  • working, organisational and professional cultures: (new) work and lifestyle patterns and socialities, motivation/habitus, social/spatial milieus > 'socio-cultural perspective'

Laufende Projekte

Abgeschlossene Projekte