The "Institute for Social Cohesion" is in the conception phase. What is social cohesion and how can it be explored? A workshop discussion with Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt.
In the summer of 2018, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) selected eleven research institutions from ten German federal states and entrusted them with setting up the "Institute for Social Cohesion". The Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans- Bredow-Institut is involved as well. Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt attended to this big project. In an interview with BredowCast host Johanna Sebauer, he talks about the engine room of the institute that is currently being formed, explains his methods of working and his research priorities.
Cohesion in Heterogeneous Societies
Finding out what social cohesion actually is will be a central point. In contemporary societies, cohesion no longer functions through shared values or similar lifestyles. "The Basic Law can still just function as a common framework of values, but beyond that our society is too heterogeneous, and that's a good thing," says Schmidt. The question that now arises is: What holds heterogeneous societies like ours together? A plausible approach for Schmidt: Above all, the way a society deals with conflicts is decisive. "It is not a matter of hiding conflicts or creating a society in which there are no more conflicts. On the contrary, it is about creating processes in which a society can resolve its conflicts civilised and productively. For this to happen, these processes must be open, democratic and communication-oriented."
Institute for Social Cohesion
Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt