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Voluntariness and Care in Transformation: Local Involvement in the Tri-Border Region

Transformation Research / Research field
Self-Governance and Volunteering / Research focus 
02.2020–12.2022 / Period (Project completed)
PD Dr. habil. Friederike Kind-Kovács / Coordination


Abschlusspublikation in Vorbereitung


Die Abschlusspublikation des Projektverbunds „Multiple Transformationen“ ist als Band 31 (1) 2023 im Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe erscheinen und online verfügbar. Das Journal Special Issue mit dem Titel „Multiple Transformations. Lived Experiences and Post-socialist Cultures of Work“ wurde gemeinsam von den Projektbearbeiter/-innen Maren Hachmeister (HAIT), Beáta Hock (GWZO), Theresa Jacobs (SI) und Oliver Wurzbacher (ISGV) herausgegeben. Maren Hachmeister präsentiert darin Ergebnisse des Projekts „Freiwilligkeit und Fürsorge in Transformation“.


Voluntariness and care are system-relevant demands accompanying us in our everday lifes. This postdoc project examines them as special transformation experiences which are shared by caregivers and persons in need of care in East Germany and Central Eastern Europe before and after 1989. The relationships that delevoped between volunteers, affected persons and the respective organisations of welfare work give an indication of everyday practices, but also of social organisation during the shift from socialist to post-socialist society. Within the scope of the project, interviews will be conducted with (former) volunteers and helpers in the tri-border region (East Germany, Poland, Czech Republic), focusing here on individual motivations, experiences, interpretations and memories of the acting persons. The project's aim is to investigate the motivations and perceptions of volunteers related to the transformation and to make visible their willingness to help in the field of tension between state, market and family. The proposal contributes to the project network Multiple Transformations with a view on spaces of social life and an orientation for the common good, which existed and still exist under different political systems. Organisations like the Volkssolidarität in East Germany or the national Red Cross Societies are considered "established problem solvers" who, before and after the year of upheaval, supported the elderly, sick and those in need of care with their respective needs.

At HAIT, the project fits into the research field "Transformations in internationally comparative perspective established in 2018, headed by PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács.

This action is partly government-financed based on the budget passed by the Saxon State Parliament.


Institut für Sächsische Geschichte und Volkskunde (ISGV)

Sorbisches Institut / Serbski Institut (SI)

Leibniz-Institute für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa in Leipzig (GWZO)