Class Society Without Class Consciousness? Subjective forms of processing social positions (ARB Survey) Expand entry

Project Management: Prof. Klaus Dörre
Research assistant: Janina Puder

Funding: German Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)

Duration: 15.11.2021 - 15.09.2022

Recent studies show that during the last three decades vertical inequalities, i.e., class-specific inequalities, have increased in almost all national societies. What interpretations are used to subjectively perceive, evaluate and process these inequalities? And how can we explain the fact that trade unions and political formations that traditionally focus on class politics or the social question are weaker than they have been for decades, despite the blatant disparities in wealth and income? The research project addresses these questions.

The research project is based on the thesis that contours of a demobilised class society are emerging in Germany. The embedding of class experiences in multiple inequalities, but also the differentiation of lower class positions and the neglect of class problems by the political system make it difficult for mobilised class (fractions) to emerge that are aware of their situation. In this constellation, the “myth of the social center” assumes a special ideological function.

The research focuses on the analysis of qualitative interviews from a study conducted by the Technische Hochschule Köln on “Subjective characteristics and dynamics of social situations” and their individual comparison with attitudes from the supplementary survey of the Poverty Report Survey 2018/2019 conducted by the German federal government.

BeaT: Renewing Vocational Training for the Automotive Transformation: Qualification requirement analyses and adaptation concepts for the production, supply and maintenance of battery-powered e-mobility; Subproject: Work, skills, qualification Expand entry

Project management: Prof. Klaus Dörre
Research assistants: Johanna Sittel, Lennart Michaelis

Funding: German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWi)

Duration: 01.10.2021 – 30.09.2024

The research project “BeaT – Renewing Vocational Education for the Automotive Transformation” explores the socio-ecological transformation dynamics in the automotive supply industry with a focus on the effects for the qualification requirements of employees. Based on (primarily) qualitative empirical research, the project is developing analyses of qualification requirements and adaptation concepts for the production, supply and maintenance of battery-powered e-mobility. It is a joint project with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS (joint coordination), automotive thüringen and the SFT of the FSU.

SFB/Transregio: “Structural Transformation of Property” Subproject B05: Property, Inequality and Class Formation in Socio-Ecological Transformation Conflicts Expand entry

Project Management: Prof. Klaus Dörre
Research assistants: Dr. Steffen Liebig, Kim Lucht

Funding: DFG

Duration: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2024

The research project is located as subproject B05 in the Collaborative Research Center/Transregio on “Structural Change of Property”. It investigates the double structural change of and through property on the basis of overlapping zones that emerge between property-based class conflicts and ecological social conflicts. Currently, according to the research guiding thesis, the old industrial, democratically contained class conflict is gradually transforming into a socio-ecological transformation conflict, the dynamics of which touches and arguably changes the hegemonic property order of capitalist societies. Three questions are central to the subproject: 1) How are conflicts over socio-ecological transformation perceived and evaluated in the social hierarchy of a demobilised class society? 2) In what way does property-based class action affect ecological social conflicts? 3) Do socio-ecological transformation conflicts result in a change of hegemonic property orders, or do they contribute to their preservation?

Homepage SFB:

WE! - H2Well – Conceptions of the market ramp-up for the strategic implementation and realisation of hydrogen technologies in regional infrastructure systems for electricity, mobility, heat and oxygen use Subproject 3: Social-scientific research on the conception of the market ramp-up. Expand entry

Project Management: Prof. Klaus Dörre
Research assistants: Anna Mehlis, Anne Jasmin Bobka

Funding: BMBF

Duration: 01.12.2020 – 30.11.2023

Together with the Chair of Transport System Planning at the Bauhaus University Weimar and SolarInput e.V. in Erfurt, concepts for the strategic implementation and realization of hydrogen technologies in regional infrastructure systems for electricity, mobility, heat and oxygen use are being explored. The investigation takes place within the framework of the H2-Well coalition. The coalition is based on green hydrogen as an important pillar of the energy and mobility transition and aims at the implementation of decentralised hydrogen systems for a sustainable structural change in the region between the rivers Main and Elbe.

The accompanying social science research examines the content and characteristics of socio-ecological transformation conflicts in the mobility and energy sectors, where radical structural upheavals and measures are emerging. In particular, the following areas are being researched: (1) the acceptance of hydrogen mobility, (2) scenarios of future mobility development in rural and urban areas and their fit with fuel cell technology, (3) demographic and skilled labor development in the field of hydrogen applications. Qualitative and quantitative surveys will be used to identify conducive and inhibiting factors for hydrogen use and to combine them in forecast models.

The research project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the program “WIR! - Change through Innovation in the Region” program.

Websites of our Project Partners:

Good Interaction Work Digitally Assisted (GIDA) Expand entry

Project management: Prof. Klaus Dörre
Research assistants: Martin Ehrlich, Manfred Füchtenkötter, Christian Schädlich, Jana Steckbauer

Funding: BMBF

Duration: 01.06.2020 – 31.05.2023

In cooperation with the Internationaler Bund e.V. – a large provider of youth, social and educational work – the partners are investigating, developing and testing digital solutions in child and youth welfare (daycare centers, educational assistance, open child and youth work). Among other things, they are developing their own app solution that digitally maps and further develops the service structures of youth centers and mobile youth work.

ZeTT - Thuringia Center for Digital Transformation Expand entry

What is ZeTT?

The demands placed upon employees are currently changing considerably as a result of data-driven business models, mobile devices, networked processes and new products. The ESF-funded Thuringia Centre for Digital Transformation (ZeTT) analyses developments occurring in the domain of digitization in Thuringia and their impacts on businesses and the world of work. It uses these analyses to advise companies in Thuringia’s key industries, developing and testing innovative teaching and learning concepts for the training needs identified.

The Centre’s joint Directors are Prof. Dr. Heike Krausslach, Professor of Business Administration at Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena, who specializes in Human Resources, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Dörre, Professor of the Sociology of Work and Industry and Economic Sociology at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. With the aim of establishing a good foundation for the organization of work in the context of digitization and providing contacts and expertise, a total of three Thuringian universities and two consulting institutions have come together to form ZeTT. Consulting services are offered jointly with the Technical University (TU) Ilmenau, Arbeit und Leben Thüringen (Work and Life in Thuringia) and the Thuringian Business Institute (IWT). These services are offered to companies, industry networks, works councils and workers.

ZeTT is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the European Social Fund and the state of Thuringia. In all, five regional ‘future centres’ in eastern Germany are receiving funding, as is the coordinating organization, the Centre for Digital Work.

ZeTT website

Jena Class Analysis Project Expand entry

Project Director: Prof. Dr. Klaus Dörre
Steering Group
: Jakob Graf, Kim Lucht, John Lütten
Research Assistant
: Armin Szauer
: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

The Jena Class Analysis Project (PKJ), located within the Institute of Sociology at FSU Jena, is a broad-based group comprising young academics, students and experienced researchers that engages critically with issues of contemporary class analysis and class politics at a theoretical, analytical level. Initial working hypotheses were presented at a conference entitled “Rethinking Class” held by the Institute in collaboration with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in November 2018. The current focus of the PKJ is the production of a literature review, specific chapters and hypotheses from which will be presented at the next conference to be held in Berlin in November 2020. An exchange of ideas is explicitly welcomed and can take place via the following email address:

Project homepage de

Completed Projects Expand entry

DFG Research Group Post-Growth Societies: “Landnahme, Acceleration, Activation, Dynamics and (De-)Stabilisation of Modern Growth Societies”

Applicants: Prof. Dr. Klaus Dörre, Prof. Dr. Stephan Lessenich, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa
Secretariat: Rebecca Sequeira

Funding: DFG

Duration: October 2011 – March 2021

Faced with an object in transition – the modern growth society – the research group aims at developing scientific working methods and a practice of critical dialogue, by means of which the usual framework of highly individualised or project-based research can be transcended. Fellows from Germany and abroad work together with the Jena research group to understand current transformation processes and bring sociological expertise to bear on the social question that will concern not only the European public in the coming years: can modern societies be stabilised in other ways than through economic growth?

Project Homepage


Social-Ecological Contradictions of Capitalist Landnahme: The example of timber and water management in southern Chile

Project Management: Prof. Klaus Dörre, Dr. Stefan Schmalz
Research assistant: Johanna Sittel
Research assistant: Alexandra Willms

Funding: DAAD

Duration: 01.04.2015 – 31.12.2020

The project takes as its basis the assumption that the contradiction between the capitalist compulsion to accumulate and ecological metabolism on the one hand and the social consequences of the worldwide ecological crisis (keyword: climate change) on the other are not only expressed more strongly in the global South. Rather, socio-ecological inequalities are also produced in the global South by “capitalist landnahme” (Dörre), and express themselves in social distribution conflicts. In the postcolonial reality of Patagonia, these are played out primarily in the language of identity and cultural belonging. In recent years, resistance, particularly on the part of indigenous groups such as the Mapuche, against large-scale projects of extractivist resource exploitation in southern Chile, which are integrated into the world market, has gained massive importance. This development will be examined in more detail in the subproject via closely linked individual case studies and embedded in sociological, socio-geographical and historiographical debates. The focus is on the timber industry in the Araucanía region and the impact of economic activities on the water supply in southern Chile. The project is composed of several work packages that will be worked on jointly with the project partners at the Universidad de Concepicón (UdeC, Chile: Prof. Dr. Jorge Rojas (Vice Director)), the Universidad de Chile (UCh, Chile: Prof. Dr. Hernán Cuevas), the Universidad Católica de Temuco (UCT, Chile: Dasten Julian) and the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA, Argentina: Prof. Dr. Fernando Groisman). The work packages include joint workshops, guest lectureships, the development of a joint study module, mobility for the further qualification of PhD students and students, and joint field research activities.

Further information on the research network as a whole and on the subproject can be found at: