Research Group "Ethnogerontology"

Ethnogerontology is a field of research that deals with aging in different cultural contexts. She combines insights from gerontology, ethnographic research and anthropology to understand the cultural, social and individual aspects of aging.

Here are some key features of ethnogerontology:

Cultural diversity:

Ethnogerontology emphasizes the study of cultural diversity related to aging. She examines how different cultural backgrounds influence older people’s experiences, attitudes and practices.

Contextual embedding:

Similar to phenomenology, ethnogerontology emphasizes the importance of contextualization. She researches how cultural, social, economic and political contexts shape aging.

CV perspective:

Research in ethnogerontology looks at the life course of older people in the context of their respective culture. This involves analyzing transitions, social roles and meanings throughout life.

Traditional practices and resources:

Ethnogerontology studies traditional practices, rituals, and resources that exist in different cultures related to aging. These can be social support networks as well as cultural values and beliefs.

Critical reflection:

Another feature is the critical reflection on images and concepts of aging in different cultures. Ethnogerontology questions stereotypes and cultural ideas about aging.

Overall, ethnogerontology contributes to developing a more comprehensive and culturally sensitive understanding of aging. This is important because aging is not universal and cultural differences can have a significant impact on older people’s experiences. Research in this area can contribute to developing appropriate models of care, social support and policy making that take into account the diversity of older people’s environments.

Research Group "Phenomenology of Oldage"

The phenomenology of aging is an approach in philosophy and social science that aims to understand the experience of aging from a subjective perspective. This approach emphasizes the exploration and analysis of older people’s phenomenal experiences, with a focus on individual perceptions, feelings and meanings.

Here are some key features of the phenomenology of aging:

Subjective experience:

The phenomenology of aging is particularly interested in the subjective experience of aging. This means that the individual perspectives and feelings of older people are the focus.

Meaning and meaning:

A central concern of phenomenology is to understand the meaning and nature of meaning-making in old age. This includes the question of how older people interpret their own living conditions and the process of aging.

Contextual embedding:

The phenomenology of aging takes into account the context in which aging occurs. These can be social, cultural, historical and personal factors that influence the individual experience.

Holistic view:

Phenomenology strives for a holistic view. This means that different aspects of human life and the world of older people are linked together in order to achieve a more comprehensive understanding.

Avoiding prejudice:

Phenomenological research attempts to avoid prejudices and preconceived opinions. Instead, the experiences of older people should be explored in an unbiased and open manner.

The phenomenology of old age has contributed to deepening our understanding of the diversity and complexity of life experiences in old age. It provides an important perspective to capture the unique challenges, opportunities and meanings that older people may experience. Research and applications in the field of gerontology can benefit from this phenomenological approach to provide a more comprehensive view of aging.

Research Group "Digitalization"

The research is currently oriented towards the following topics:

  • Philosophical and socio-philosophical topics

  • Management systems and their communication structures

  • Socio-scientific and political issues

  • Digitalization processes and globalization

  • Interreligious aspects and developments

  • Economic and political science topics

  • Humanities and cultural science approaches

Derived from this, some ideas as research topics:

  • Contract research for companies in the fields of philosophy, social sciences, management and economics, culture and social issues.

  • Presentation of internal future scenarios and trend developments, as well as implementation strategies for digital concepts.

  • Creating ethically-oriented mission statements for differentiated orientation of companies and social organizations.

  • Conducting conferences or international meetings on selected issues or internal company topics.

  • Philosophical discussion rounds via online.

Reseerch Group "COVID 19 pandemic and the social and societal impact"

Within the framework of this research project, the social and consequently also the societal consequences, changes or effects of the Covid19 pandemic are to be surveyed, analyzed and interpreted. The different social groups and social strata of society are affected and impacted differently by this crisis. The research approach is based on a heuristic and empirical methodological approach. Categories and core statements are formed in the form of interviews, observations, media analyses and language codes. Topics and questions could include:

  • How did people deal with the hardships during the lockdowns

  • What were worries, fears and hopes

  • Were there generational differences, especially among older people or schoolchildren and young people

  • What did the crisis produce that was new

  • What words were newly integrated into the language

  • How did groupings behave in solidarity 

  • Was there confidence, etc.?

The elaborated results should be interpreted under socio-political, socio-philosophical and also sociological or theological theses and theories.

At the same time, the historical perspective should also be considered. The aim here is to compare the effects, handling and consequences with the pandemics of earlier times. In this context, what lessons can be learned for today and in the future. After all, the global dimension of the pandemic is difficult to compare with earlier pandemics, especially since social media and digital news exchange mean that information or regional events are instantly disseminated worldwide. Therefore, probably only a categorized comparison is suitable. Whether this current crisis has a much larger dimension today compared to past crises needs to be proven.
The scientific findings of this planned research project may be suitable for a scientific journal article, for an expert discussion, for a podcast or as a basis for a think tank workshop.

For the project: Esfandiar Tabari/Bernd Seeberger

Tübingen/Germany 15. 01. 2021