This paper makes an attempt to interpret the German debate on social pedagogy as a multifaceted perspective that, whilst diverse in its assumptions about what social pedagogy is, also shows a striking commonality. To exemplify this, we intentionally focus on dominant theories of social pedagogy in Germany, which aim to directly answer the question of what social pedagogy is. However, in attempting to contribute to a clearer understanding of social pedagogy as a theoretical phenomenon, it is not sufficient to describe these theories and the various ideas of social pedagogy they generate. Instead, it is essential to deconstruct how these theories reify their numerous assumptions on social pedagogy. We will therefore argue that it is worthwhile not to focus too narrowly on what is reified as social pedagogy in dominant theories in Germany. Instead, we suggest a careful analysis of how social pedagogy is commonly theorized. Our hypothesis is that, in Germany, prominent theories of social pedagogy reify social pedagogy by means of a distinctively ontological mode of reification. This mode we see as a common pattern of dominant theories of social pedagogy in Germany, regardless of the different objects of social pedagogy produced by these theories. Beyond a mere critique, we intend to also explain this mode at the end of our paper and raise the question whether it might point to a broader concept of how theories of social pedagogy and social work are usually generated in Germany and beyond.