The diverse range of subjects and topics covered by the ten institutes of the Faculty of Humanities is reflected in the research conducted: Traditionally, the research activities are assigned to particular Chairs, both as projects financed from the university's budget and those financed by third-party funding; in addition there are thematically focussed, interdisciplinary cooperations between the Institutes (Research Report). In parallel to this, two research partnerships have been formed: The Centre for Social World Research and Method Development (ZSM) and the Centre for Transformation Research (ZTF). Both of these centres see themselves as platforms for the exchange of research findings and the networking of existing projects as well as for the development of new, interdisciplinary undertakings. Particular importance is placed on promoting young researchers. In addition, advice and services are offered to all interested parties, for example in terms of methodology or in relation to international cooperations, and conferences are held. Both the ZSM and the ZTF have a long tradition stretching back to the 1990s that has been developed and supported by individual university lecturers. In 2011 it was possible to establish these two centres as institutions within the faculty, which also provides support for research projects.
Centre for Social World Research and Method Development (ZSM)
The Centre for Social World Research and Method Development (ZSM) is an interdisciplinary - and, through the involvement of medicine - cross-faculty institute. Its areas of research focui include the etiology of social behaviour, socialisation, education and professionalisation, self-concept and external perception, and biographic processes. Furthermore, the development of methodologies, especially in the quantitative field, as well as at the interface between qualitative and quantitative approaches is a priority. These objectives are given practical shape by the following, long-term activities: every year, method workshops and meetings for young researchers are held nationwide. They are subject to extremely high demand. The graduate centre offers two doctoral courses - Qualitative Educational & Social Research and Vocational Training & Human Resource Development. The ZSM publishes two series of books (studies on qualitative educational, consulting and social research; media education and society) and the Zeitschrift fuer qualitative Sozialforschung (qualitative social research journal). One example of the ongoing empirical studies is the DFG project “Medical mediation and consultation models in the context of life-threatening diseases...” (http://www.forschung-sachsen-anhalt.de). Homepage of the ZSM
Centre for Transformation Research (ZTF)
The Centre for Transformation Research (ZTF) researches the historic and contemporary transformation processes in European societies. The ZTF, which emerged from the university’s priority area of “Transformation as epochal watershed” was originally purely interested in the post-socialist area, but subsequently the priority area was expanded to include the perspective of “transformation societies in Europeanisation and globalisation processes”. Its international outlook is manifested by third-party financed projects in cooperation with foreign partners. Examples are the sociological research project currently being financed by the Volkswagen Foundation on “Survival and Coping Strategies of Private Households in Central Asia” and numerous completed projects on urban and rural ways of life in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the Etiology of Small Businesses (all Institute of Sociology). Regular visits from guest academics and doctoral students from abroad, for example from Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and India, are evidence of the international profile of the ZTF. In recent times the focus of the centre has expanded to include the Western European region, and historical transformation aspects are now also being researched. To this end, a joint interdisciplinary application has been submitted to the DFG on the subject of “Power and Control” involving the departments of History, Sociology and Political Science. The recently completed establishment of the ZTF as an independent entity in the Faculty of Humanities is to be used to develop an existing “Research School” into an interdisciplinary research training group. Members of the ZTF publish the book series “Gesellschaftliche Transformationen - Societal Transformations” (LIT). Homepage of the ZTF