Sandra Holtgreve - Doctoral Researcher

Sandra Holtgreve

Doctoral project:
Coloniality in the Global South and North. An Analysis of Social Work Education in Germany, Mexico and Ecuador


since 10/2017 Doctoral Researcher in the Research Training Group "World Politics", Bielefeld University
2015 - 2017 Student Assistant for international exchange programs, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University
2014 - 2017 M.A. Sociology, Bielefeld University
2013 - 2014 Student Assistant, Research project: Intersections of gender and indigenity in Ecuadorian pre-school education
2013 - 2014 Specialization in Migration, Development and Human Rights, Universidad Latinoamericana de Postgrado Líder en Ciencias Sociales, Quito, Ecuador
2009 - 2013 B.A. Social Work, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences

Instead of "Western principles that permeate the World", Social Sciences research and education increasingly recognize the interdependence of South and North through a colonial matrix of power. Theoretical approaches of coloniality describe this entanglement and invoke a center-periphery divide referred to as South and North. Social Work Education that faces the dilemma to reconcile a global definition and goals of the profession with local social intervention, still struggles how to address this theoretical turn. In how far does Social Work Education in different countries regard coloniality? How do the careers relate to the local environment or shared institutional structures?

In the field of sociology of knowledge, this research takes coloniality as an object of empirical observation. It asks how knowledge related to the concept is constructed in Social Work Education in three countries that due to their economic, political, social, cultural, historical and profession specific dispositions provide complementary views: Germany, Mexico and Ecuador. A critical discussion of diffusion in the World Polity from the perspective of coloniality of knowing provides the theoretical ground to identify, analyze and relate the knowledge construction processes concerning coloniality among these countries. Discourse analysis of curricula and relevant syllabus, expert interviews and in-class observations in the selected countries´ Social Work careers will explore not only similarities but also identify local differentiations and possible spaces of decolonization. The empirical evidence will decipher modes that underlie (lacking) diffusion. In this way, the project not only expands the homogenization approach of World Polity, but also concretizes how "abyssal lines" are drawn in the case of Social Work Education.

  • Holtgreve, Sandra (2017). Kolonialisierung, Kolonialität und Dekolonisierung: Zugänge aus Lateinamerika zum Sozialen. Talk in the lecture series: "Diskriminierungs- und Rassismuskritik in Sozialer Arbeit und Bildung", 16 May 2017, University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, Department of Social Work.


A Touch of World Politics in Bad Salzuflen

The RTG participated in the Annual Retreat of the Institute for World Society Studies on 14 and 15 December 2017 in Bad Salzuflen. More.

Guest lecture by George Lawson (LSE) on 28 November

We would like to invite you to the Guest lecture "Global Historical Sociology" by Dr. George Lawson (LSE) on Tuesday, 28 November at 18:15 in room no. X C3-107.

RTG "World Politics" officially launched

Ten international young scientists and eleven principal investigators will investigate the emergence of world politics as a specific type of politics from an interdisciplinary perspective. More.

Official Opening of the RTG on 24 October

We would like to invite you to the Official Opening of the RTG and the guest lecture "'Lies are the Law of the World!' News and Global Media Networks in the Twentieth Century" by Prof. Dr. Heidi Tworek (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) on Tuesday, 24 October at 18:15 in room no. X C3-107.

The RTG "World Politics" started on 01 October

On 01 October 2017, the Research Training Group "World politics: The emergence of political arenas and modes of observation in world society" started. Nine doctoral researchers and one post-doctoral researcher took up their positions.

The RTG is approved

We are pleased to announce that the DFG has approved our Research Training Group application. The new Research Training Group `World politics: The emergence of political arenas and modes of observation in world society´ will start 01 October 2017.