Prof. Dr. Michaela Koettig

University of Applied Sciences

Department of Health and Social Work (Fb4)

Nibelungenplatz 1

60318 Frankfurt a. M.

phone:++4969 1533 2647

Abstract of the paper:

A biographical and family-historical perspective on female right-wing-extremism in Germany

Since the beginning of the nineties, alarming images from the Federal Republic of Germany have been going around the world: pictures of right-wing teenagers raiding homes of refugees and attacking foreigners; brutal attacks, frequently with fatal results. Meanwhile, independent sources register about 100 fatal incidents of right wing violence.

Media and also academic research reports on these events have focused exclusively on male youths, so the impression arose that girls and women aren’t involved in the right wing scene. The media, authorities and researchers do not see girls and women with this background as actively contributing to the violence, as they are not as frequently involved in violence, when compared to boys or men. However, this widespread view is specific to an orientation, which diminishes female participation in right-wing extremism, leading to a misinterpretation and trivialization of their actual involvement.

In this presentation, a biographical case study of the participation of girls and young women in the right-wing sphere of the Federal Republic of Germany will be introduced.


Dr. Michaela KÖTTIG, born 1965, is a professor of communication, interviewing techniques, and conflict management at the University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt, Germany. She studied at the University of Kassel and was employed at the Universities of Cologne and Goettingen. Here she mainly taught qualitative research methods. Her research concerns female right-wing extremism in Germany. She also focuses on political socialization, family sociology, and family history as well as the influence of these factors on peer interactions. Furthermore, she is interested in young people's transition from school to work and the construction of belongings in transnational families. Here, she focuses on the constellations of families with very different political opinions and patterns of actions. In her research she employs biographical, intergenerational, and ethnographical methods and has written about the productive transfer of interpretative research methods to different fields of social work. As of 2003, she has been secretary and since 2010 vice president of the Research Committee on Biography and Society (RC 38) of the International Sociological Association (ISA). She is also vice president of the professional group ‘research’ at the German Association of Social Work.