Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Wacker


Sociology of Diversity
Professor emeritus since October 01, 2020

Academic Career and Research Areas

The research of Professor Wacker (b. 1954) focuses on coping with social inequality, diversity and difference in society when faced with impairment and disability (ICF, WHO, cross-cultural comparison). Other topics include the transformation of care systems (prevention, rehabilitation) and social policy (inclusion, participation and disability mainstreaming). She also examines the interdependency of social and context factors (linked to conditions and quality of life) within the human lifespan and with regard to appropriate indicators.
Professor Wacker studied theology, philosophy and sociology at the University of Tübingen where she obtained a PhD in social sciences. After setting up and managing the "Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on the Life-Worlds [Lebenswelten] of Persons with Disability", a central scientific institute of the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, she joined the TU Dortmund University as a full professor in the Sociology of Rehabilitation Department in 1996. Professor Wacker was a visiting professor in Vienna (Austria) from 2008 to 2009 and in Pingtung and Taipei (Taiwan) in 2011. She has been a Max Planck Fellow  since 2010 and Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Federal Government’s report on the conditions of life of persons with disabilities since 2011. She has held the Chair of Sociology of Diversity at TUM since January 2013.

Wacker E: „Überall und nirgendwo – „Disability Mainstreaming“ im kommunalen Lebensraum und Sozialraumorientierung als Transformationskonzept“. In: Inklusion und Sozialraum. Behinderten­recht und Behindertenpolitik in der Kommune. Editors: Becker U, Wacker E, Banafsche M. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2013: 25-45.

Wacker E: „Geistige Behinderung und Teilhabe an der Gesellschaft“. In: Handbuch soziale Probleme. Editors: Albrecht G, Groenemeyer A. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2012: 601-623.

Wacker E: „Behindertenpolitik, Behindertenarbeit“. In: Handbuch Soziale Arbeit. Editors: Otto HU, Thiersch H (4. Aufl.). München: Reinhardt, 2011: 87-100.

Wacker E: „Soziologische Ansätze: Behinderung als soziale Konstruktion“. In: Sonderpädagogik der geistigen Entwicklung. Handbuch Sonderpädagogik Bd. 4. Editors: Nußbeck S, Biermann A, Adam H (2. Aufl.). Göttingen: Hogrefe, 2008: 115-158.

Wacker E, Wansing G & Schäfers M: Personenbezogene Unterstützung und Lebensqualität. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaft, 2005 (2. Aufl. 2009).