Gender, Kinship, Sexuality

The working group ties in, on the one hand, with the research of the IfS on the connection between family, socialization, and society, especially the studies on authoritarianism, and, on the other, with the often neglected tradition of feminist research at the Institute. In addition, the working group would like to take up the topic of another Frankfurt line of research that has lacked the necessary institutional material support in recent decades—namely, the critical-theoretical and empirical examination of sexuality. The working group continues the social-theoretical perspective on these areas in the tradition of Critical Theory: Society and social change, together with questions of emancipation, cannot be understood without including gender, reproduction and care relations, as well as the order of the sexual, which in turn are profoundly shaped by the constitution of capitalist societies. At the same time, these lines of research will be updated to take into account a variety of recent critical-theoretical approaches and current studies. Thus, it is important to think of social relations as sexual relations and to base our analyses on an expanded concept of kinship that goes beyond the model of the heteronormative family and takes into account all forms of caring communities, including friendships. At the same time, we take up perspectives that make care the starting point for reflections in democratic theory and thus also critically redefine the much-discussed notion of participation as social citizenship. For this purpose, the working group will also undertake intersectional and decolonial perspectivizations and discuss them against the background of social theoretical debates within gender, queer, Black, and childhood studies.


Christina Engelmann, Sabine Flick, Sarah Mühlbacher, Sarah Speck

Christina Engelmann |

Sabine Flick |

Sarah Mühlbacher |