For Wolfgang tap

Wolfgang tap (* 25. April 1937 in Frankfurt/Main) is a German sociologist.

Table of contents

personal record

tap studied from 1957 to 1961 sociology and political economy in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Cologne. 1961 conclusion as a diploma sociologist in Frankfurt.

1962 to 1966 it functioned as an assistant of Ralf Dahrendorf at the sociological seminar of the University of Tübingen. 1963 graduation to the Dr. phil. in Tübingen. 1966 to 1967 assistant at the University of Konstanz. Habilitation 1967 in Konstanz.

Between 1968 and 1987 training activity as o. Professor for sociology at the University of Frankfurt and University of Mannheim, since 1988 professor for sociology at the free University of Berlin. Beyond that several training activities at different European Universities of (Stanford, Vienna). By September 1987 to 31. August 1994 scientific managing director (president) of the center of science Berlin for social research (WZB). Since then director of the department of social structure and social reporting of the WZB.

1987 to 1990 of chairmen of the German society for sociology. 1993 - 1999 chairmen of the Kuratoriums of GESIS 1993 - 1999.


he is a most prominent representative of the newer concepts of the “modernization “in the German sociology (tap 1991, 1994, 1996, 2001). In them one stands for the modernization theory strictly speaking, which tap as “an American invention of the 50's” (tap 1991b, 32) designation, more critically opposite. It is less ethnozentrisch and path dependent and is also the failures and shade sides (e.g. Environmental endangerment, arms competitions, economic external effects of the western industrialized countries) opposite sensitively.

After Rucht the “modernization”” a variant-rich and by any means linear procedure, characterized by unequal-early operational sequence, is not backward steps and contradictory partial developments “(1994, 60). The “model of the modern society " put to reason can be achieved on a limited number of “different development paths “(tap 1996, 63). The core of the modernization however sees tap in the “increase of the totalsocial adjustment and control capacities, i.e. as positive balance of rising resources and rising loads " (1995, 393) [after: Geissler, R. (2002): The social structure of Germany].

The emphasis of its work lies in the range of the theories of the social change and the modernization, the innovation research and elite research, the social indicators and social reporting.


  • modernization, welfare development and transformation. Sociological essays 1987 - 1994. Sigma: Berlin 1994.
  • Institution comparison and institution dynamics. WZB yearbook 1994. (Publishers with Meinolf Dierkes, co-author), sigma: Berlin 1994.
  • Society, democracy and life chances, anniversary publication for Ralf Dahrendorf. (Publishers with Hansgert Peisert, co-author), German publishing house: Stuttgart 1994.
  • Welfare development in united Germany. Social structure, social change and quality of life (with R. Habich), sigma: Berlin 1996
  • hand dictionary for the society of Germany (with B. Shepherd, co-author) Leske + Budrich: Opladen 1998.

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