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Theoretically established and empirically-based Health Research

Eleven questions for Prof. Dr. Peter Kriwy, holder of the Professorship in Sociology with focus on Health Research since April 2014

  • In his research Prof. Dr. Peter Kriwy is concerned for instance with the evaluation of the effect of apps to promote a healthy way of life. Photo: Sven Gleisberg

Prof. Dr. Peter Kriwy (44) holds the Professor­ship in Sociology with focus on Health Research at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences since April 2014. In eleven answers, he gives the readers of “University News“ an insight into his career, goals and time in Chemnitz.

What do we actually understand under your area of expertise in “Sociology“?

This specialized field of sociology offers theoretically and empirically sound strategies, which help people to stay healthy. There is mainly pursued an approach of salutogenesis (“health formation“, “health-maintenance“).

TU Chemnitz is for me as a professor the right choice, because…

…my approach fits well to the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of TU Chemnitz.

Could you say a few words about your academic career?

I have studied Sociology in Munich (Diploma) and worked for five years as a scientific assistant with Prof. Braun. That was followed by another five years as a scientific assistant in Kiel with Prof. Jungbauer-Gans. There I have been writing my doctorate thesis entitled ‘Vaccination decision against measles, mumps and rubella’. Then I worked another three years as a scientific assistant in Nuremberg, where in 2013, I have been cumulatively qualified as a university lecturer and since April 2014 I am working as a professor in Chemnitz.

Describe your study time in about 15 words.

I started as a prospective qualitative hermeneu­tic-interested social researcher, but ended up as a fan of quantita­tive approaches.

Did you have role models during your studies who encouraged you to pursue a scientific career?

Yes, Elinor Ostrom, Donald Green, Ian Shapiro, Jon Elster and James Coleman are responsible for the fact that I stayed in the field of science.

What advice would you give young students and graduates?

Study a subject that you really want, not other subjects that are super­ficially suited for market.

What would you like to achieve in the teaching for the future?

To encourage and enable students to pursue their own interests and approaches.

Which impact do you make in the research at TU Chemnitz?

I try to implement inter­disciplinary compatible projects at TU Chemnitz. For instance, in the evaluation of the effect of apps for smart­phones and online social networks that should be helpful in making the „calories burning“ transparent among friends and to promote the healthy way of life as part of the implementation of a successful diet.

There are around 45,000 professors at German universities. What sets you apart from others?

In this gigantic comparison group, it is – statistically speaking – impossible to stand out with the specialties.

Which place do you show your guests the most in Chemnitz?

The Schalom located at the Heinrich-Zille-Straße.

How do you play a part in the life of the city?

Unfortunately, I am not a good ‘life-in-the-city-bringer’.

Further information about the professor­ship at: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/hsw/soziologie/Professuren/Gesundheitssoziologie

(Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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