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 trajectory. The research training group starts from the assumption that transitions are shaped and produced through social practice. It seeks to complement transition research through the analysis of 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 on the interrelationship between levels on which transitions are shaped and produced. The research training group addresses excellent graduates interested in these questions, especially from educational science, 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 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 at the interfaces in which transitions evolve.

The excellence of the research training group is secured by the high profile and expertise of the consortium, the availability of international networks, a differentiated process of recruitment as well as the high quality of the training programme, which is sensitive to participation and equal opportunities.

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