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Prof. Dr. Sabine Pfeiffer

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg



Sabine Pfeiffer is professor for sociology with focus on labour, technology and society at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg since 2018. After a vocational training as toolmaker and engineering work in manufacturing and the automotive sector, she studied Sociology, Philosophy and Psychology at the University Hagen. From 2000 to 2010 she was researcher at the Institut für Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung e.V. (ISF München), during this time she received her doctoral degree in 2003, and her habilitation 2009. From 2010 to 2014 she was professor for innovation at University of Applied Sciences in Munich, from 2014 to 2018 she had the chair for Sociology at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart.

She has done research on the micro sociological aspects of work referring to experiential knowledge, corporeality of work action and tacit and informal competencies. She has conducted and managed more than 28 research projects focusing on the role of these non-routine aspects of work (labouring capacity; Arbeitsvermögen) and technological change, within different industries (e.g. manufacturing, automotive, software engineering). Since mid 1990s she did research on labour and the Internet, lately with a special focus on „Industrie 4.0.“ Since 2009 her research scope expanded into the topics of nutritional poverty and alimentary participation. At her chair methodological innovations are developed, for example activating visualizing in qualitative interviews, web-based Q-methodology, qualitatively validated index building, and a Labouratory® for participative research on novel technologies.

Sabine Pfeiffer is member of several scientific boards, e.g. of the platform „Industrie 4.0“ and of the BIBB (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training). Since 2018 she is heading the section on Sociology of Work and Industrial Sociology of the German Association of Sociology.