DFG approves new CRC "Human Differentiation" to be established at JGU and IEGIt is a fundamental cultural and social phenomenon that people continually categorize each other. They do this, for example, by nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. Under the conditions of progressive globalization, this phenomenon is becoming more relevant. The SFB includes scholars from the history of the IEG as well as from sociology and ethnology, American studies and linguistics, the theatre, media culture and translation studies of the JGU. Now, as of 1 July 2021, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the establishment of a new Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) "Human Differentiation" in the Social and Cultural Sciences at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Leibniz Institute for European History Mainz (IEG). The CRC 1482 is funded with a total of around 10 million euros for a first period of four years. The application was made by the JGU together with the IEG.
The focus of the CRC is on the research question of how historical and contemporary societies categorize their members, spatially separate them and thus suggest different social affiliations to them. The work carried out by the IEG since 2012 as part of its research programme on the "handling of difference in modern Europe" thus forms part of an interdisciplinary cultural and social science network. The SFB includes scholars from the history of the IEG as well as from sociology and ethnology, American studies and linguistics, the theatre, media culture and translation studies of the JGU.
As IEG Director Johannes Paulmann explains, "a fundamental reflection on long-term differentiation processes should be initiated and theoretical considerations for historical science are to be developed". The IEG is involved in three sub-projects at the CRC. A project examines how the category "refugee" was developed in the period immediately after the Second World War through legal-bureaucratic distinctions between people and their self-location. Another sociological-historical project deals with how the distinction between, for example, "infected", "genes" or "vaccinated" changed proximity and distance behavior during current and historical pandemics. Finally, a subproject is dedicated to human-animal differentiation and its permeability in the context of behavioral research at the Serengeti Research Institute in Tanzania since the 1960s.