Institution: Dissens – Institute for Education and Research e.V.
Duration / funding: numerous
Field(s) of work: counselling and further training, outreach and open youth work
Gender-specific: masculinity, equality and gender relations research, research on violence in gender relations, gender reflective pedagogy and education, intersectionality
Dissens – Institute for Education and Research e.V. is a non-profit organisation which offers counselling, educational, research and youth work projects and services. Founded in 1989, the association focuses on fostering equality, dismantling gender hierarchies (particularly in the professional world) and violence prevention with a focus on men and male adolescents as both victim and perpetrator. Dissens is active at a local, national and international level.
Dissens – Institute for Education and Research conducts critical research on masculinity and gender, violence in gender relations and gender reflective pedagogy and education It fosters equality for all genders and is involved in concepts of intersectionality. The focus of the past few years has included: gender reflective pedagogy and pedagogy from an intersectional perspective, correlations between right-wing extremism/neo-Nazism and gender, specific effects of sexual violence against male children and adolescents, quality standards in work with perpetrators on the topic of violence in partnerships.
The association conducts and coordinates research projects at a national and international level and also collaborates with other partner organisations. In addition, it develops further training concepts, offers training courses mainly for educators and shares research results and the further training concepts developed in seminars, its own events and publications.
Practice – Research
Dissens – Institute for Education and Research follows a practice-research approach in that the borders between scholarship and educational, advisory and political practice are constantly being crossed or circumvented. Pedagogical, advisory and political practices become objects of scientific reflection and the research results will be used to explore questions of educational, advisory and political practice.
Dissens – Institute for Education and Research is represented in many associations and networks both as an organisation and well as through members of staff. For example, Dissens is a founding member of the Federal Forum Men – Interest association for Boys, Men and Fathers in Germany, the National Association of Boy’s Work as well as the European Network for the Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence e.V., founded in 2014. Dissens is active in masculinity, migration and plural affiliations networks nationwide as well as the working group gender-reflective right-wing extremism prevention at the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. The also coordinate Berlin expert panels on working with boys.
Exposing and Preventing Sexual Violence against Male Children and Adolescents August 2013 – July 2016 In this project we explore paths and what is missing in offers of support for males affected by sexual violence by means of a biographical, multi-dimensional reconstruction of exposure processes. Suggestions and further training modules and being developed.
Evaluation of European Perpetrator Programs (“IMPACT”, Daphne-III) Evaluating programmes which work with perpetrators on violence in terms of increased safety for women and children is a major concern for policy and practice.
Images of Girls and Boys in Neo-Nazism — Further training, practice projects, consulting for prevention work, June 2013 until November 2015 The meaning gender holds for right-wing oriented youth has so far been overlooked in neo-Nazi/right-wing extremist prevention. However, displays of masculinity and femininity play an important role in right-wing circles and are a key factor for children and adolescents when turning towards right-wing extremism. Bringing a gender-reflective approach to prevention and raising awareness of this topic with professionals active in the field is promising and preventative in the best sense of the word. Thus, a gender-reflective approach to neo-Nazi prevention will be further developed in this project and child and youth work professionals in the states Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria will be trained and supervised in practice projects. The project is funded by Aktion Mensch e.V., the Heidehof Foundation and the Großes Waisenhaus zu Potsdam Foundation.
Masculinity and Right-Wing Extremism, duration 2011-2014 The project examines the connection between right-wing extremism and different forms of masculinity and explores the question of how important structures and demands of masculinity are in modern right-wing extremism.
Completed projects on gender-reflective pedagogy
Gender-reflective work with boys in school further training offer and website with texts on pedagogy and gender with boys and other gender people.
Gender Loops methods, tools and strategies for supporting equality for boys and girls / men and women in early childhood education.
Scientific monitoring of the project New Paths for Boys the results have been published on the New Paths for Boys (Neue Wege für Jungs) website