Aktuelle Forschung

Hier finden Sie ausgewählte Hinweise auf neueste Forschungsergebnisse aus der analytisch-empirischen Soziologie und ihren Nachbarwissenschaften. Die Beiträge sind in unterschiedlichen Publikationsformaten erschienen.

Artikel veröffentlicht: 24.05.2020
Intergenerational Mobility in Germany

Research on intergenerational social mobility tends to focus on examining the level of overall social fluidity in society. However, from a social justice perspective it can be argued that the type of social fluidity that matters most is upward mobility from the lowest rung of the social ladder. Bastian Betthäuser (Nufflied College, Oxford) analyses the labour market chances of children from parents in unskilled working-class positions, relative to children from skilled working-class and higher social class backgrounds, and how they have changed across four birth cohorts in post-WWII Germany. He finds that individuals from unskilled working-class backgrounds have substantially lower labour market chances than individuals from skilled working-class backgrounds or higher social class backgrounds. Moreover, the gap in labour market chances between

individuals from unskilled working-class backgrounds and individuals from more advantaged backgrounds has not narrowed but, if anything, has widened across the four birth cohorts we examine. Results suggest that an important factor underlying this sustained labour market inequality is a persistently high level of educational inequality between these groups.

Bastian Betthäuser (2020): Left behind? Over-time change in the social mobility of children from unskilled working-class backgrounds in Germany. Acta Sociologica 63(2): 133–155. (paper is gated).


Artikel veröffentlicht: 10.05.2020
Selectivity of Asylum Decisions

Although the Refugee Convention and European asylum legislation state that decisions regarding asylum applications should be determined solely based on persecution and other human rights violations, the outcomes of asylum procedures may be subject to socioeconomic selectivity. This article analyses whether the human and social capital of asylum-seekers affect the results of decisions regarding their asylum applications and the length of asylum procedures based on a comprehensive longitudinal survey of 5,300 refugees in Germany. Autors find that socioeconomic and social capital resources increase the probability of approval of asylum applications and reduce the length of asylum procedures. Moreover, human capital is particularly rewarding for asylum-seekers from countries subject to severe political and civil rights violations, whereas social

networks are more conducive when the case for protection is rather difficult to prove. Finally, asylum-seekers with a higher socioeconomic status before migration seem to be better positioned to efficiently instrumentalize social networks during the asylum process. Altogether, similar to other claim-making processes, the asylum process seems to promote social inequality due to socioeconomic and social capital resources.

Yuliya Kosyakova, Herbert Brücker (2020): Seeking Asylum in Germany: Do Human and Social Capital Determine the Outcome of Asylum Procedures? European Sociological Review Online First (ungated, click here for access)

Photo: www.bamf.de


Artikel veröffentlicht: 06.05.2020
Parental Wealth & Educational Inequality

Parental wealth is often ignored in research on social inequality in education, or its influence is only considered at later stages of children’s educational careers. This  paper contributes to this research by examining the relationship between parental wealth and (1) children’s math competences at the beginning of primary school; (2) the development of children’s competences throughout primary school; and (3) children’s transition from primary to secondary school. Analyzing data from the German National Educational Panel Study, findings show that parental wealth has a distinct association with children’s educational outcomes that adds to social disparities by other measures of parents’ socioeconomic status (SES). Results indicate that children in wealthy households have higher competences already in the first grade. This

advantage remains stable throughout primary school and translates into a higher probability to attend the highest secondary school track. Moreover, children in these wealthy households are more likely to attend the highest secondary school track, net of differences in competences and performance. These results imply that ignoring wealth as a component of parental SES leads to an underestimation of the level of social inequality in education in Germany.

Jascha Dräger, Nora Müller (2020): Wealth Stratification in the Early School Career in Germany. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility Online First (gated, see link here).


Artikel veröffentlicht:
Computational Social Sciences & Sociology

The integration of social science with computer science and engineering fields has produced a new area of study: computational social science. This field applies computational methods to novel sources of digital data such as social media, administrative records, and historical archives to develop theories of human behavior. This paper reviews the evolution of this field within sociology via bibliometric analysis and in-depth analysis of the following subfields where this new work is appearing most rapidly: (a) social network analysis and group formation; (b) collective behavior and political sociology; (c) the sociology of knowledge; (d) cultural sociology, social psychology, and emotions; (e) the production of culture; ( f ) economic sociology and organizations; and (g) demography and population studies. Authors reveal that sociologists are

not only at the center of cutting-edge research that addresses longstanding questions about human behavior but also developing new lines of inquiry about digital spaces as well. They conclude by discussing challenging new obstacles in the field, calling for increased attention to sociological theory, and identifying new areas where computational social science might be further integrated into mainstream sociology.

Achim Edelmann, Tom Wolff, Danielle Montagne,Christopher A. Bail (2020): Computational Social Sciences and Sociology Annual Review of Sociology 46 in advance (full access here)


Artikel veröffentlicht: 22.04.2020
Incentices in Survey Research

Traditional survey research faces declining response rates due to changing cultural habits and technological developments. This article focuses on the use of nonmaterial incentives in the form of a video that provides the invitees with information tailored to their life situation. Analysis of experimental data shows that instead of increasing respondents’ probability of starting the survey, the video treatments actually decrease it. The paper provides evidence that the lower salience of the intrinsic benefits of survey participation in the invitation email significantly contributes to this reduction. Additionally, the effect of the nonmaterial incentive differs across subgroups, affecting nonresponse biases in line with employment status, gender, and migration background.

Fabian Kalleitner, Monika Mühlböck, Bernhard Kittel (2020): What’s the Benefit of a Video? The Effect of Nonmaterial Incentives on Response Rate and Bias in Web Surveys. Social Science Computer Review Online first (full access here)

Artikel veröffentlicht: 30.03.2020
Discrimination in schools

Even though social class is at least as predictive of educational achievement as ethnicity in virtually all developed countries, experimental research on discrimination in education has overwhelmingly focused on the latter. This study investigates both ethnic discrimination and social class discrimination by elementary school teachers in Germany. Randomly sampled elementary school teachers who teach immigrants to evaluate an essay written by a fourth-grader have been asked. Results show no evidence for discrimination in grading. However, findings for teachers’ expectations of children's future performance suggest a discriminatory bias along the lines of both ethnicity and social class.

The effect is conditional on essay quality—it only holds true for the better essay. Findings provide evidence for models that highlight situational moderators such as the richness of information and ambiguity—e.g., statistical discrimination—but as evidence against simpler models of ingroup-favoritism or outgroup derogation, e.g., social identity theory or taste discrimination.

Paper by Sebastian E. Wenz  & Kerstin Hoenig, published in "Research in Social Stratification and Mobility" 2020 online first & ungated. Read full paper here.


Artikel veröffentlicht: 20.02.2020
Gender & Inequality in Academia

The proportion of women tends to decrease the higher the academic rank, following a global pattern. Sweden has taken comprehensive measures to decrease this gap across 30 years, and many countries are following a similar path. Yet today only 27% of faculty with the rank of professor in Sweden are female. A common explanation is that academia is biased against women. According to this hypothesis, women have to reach higher levels of scholarly achievement than men to be appointed to the same academic rank. Publication metrics when attaining the rank of professor were compiled from the Web of Science for samples of the whole population of 1345 professors appointed at the six largest

universities in Sweden during a six-year period. Men had significantly more publications and citations in both medicine and in the social sciences, rejecting the hypothesis that women are held to a higher scholarly standard in this context.

Guy Madison & Pontus Fahlman (2020): Sex differences in the number ofscientific publications and citations when attaining the rank of professor in Sweden. Studies inHigher Education Online first. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2020.1723533. Read full article here.


Artikel veröffentlicht: 01.01.2020
Attitudes toward immigrants & the role of elites‘ discourses

This article examines the link between articulations of national political parties (political elite discourses) and natives’ attitudes toward Muslim immigrants and ethnically similar immigrants. Combining European Social Survey data with party manifesto data and other sources, the analysis reveals that political elite discourses perform better in explaining natives’ attitudes compared to national demographic or economic aspects. Native Europeans’ attitudes toward Muslim immigrants are more hostile in countries where political elites are more exclusionary and more welcoming where political elites are more inclusionary. In contrast, Europeans’ views on ethnically similar immigrants seem largely

unaffected by exclusionary political elites. These findings suggest that political elites can play an important role in fostering or impeding immigrant integration by shaping public opinion, particularly toward more marginalized immigrant groups.

Paper by Christian S. Czymara, published in "International Migration Review" 2019 online first & ungated. Read full paper here.


Artikel veröffentlicht: 28.10.2019
Ethnic networks in schools

Minority students in schools with identical ethnic compositions show different inclinations to form friendships with major peers, depending on the local extent of ethnic stratification across schools, as Hanno Kruse and Clemens Kroneberg (both University of Cologne) show, based on German data.
New paper out, published in American Journal of Sociology, 125(2) 2019: 431-484 (paper is gated).

Artikel veröffentlicht: 25.10.2019
What follows from unemployment

This paper focuses on the unemployed’s expectations of being stigmatized (stigma consciousness) and the consequences of such negative expectations on job search attitudes and behaviour. Using data from the German panel study “Labour Market and Social Security” (PASS), Gerhard Krug (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Katrin Drasch (University Erlangen-Nürnberg) and Monika Jungbauer-Gans (German Centre of Higher Education Research and Science Studies) find that the unemployed with high stigma consciousness suffer from reduced well-being and health, but also are more likely to place a high value on becoming re-employed.

Gerhard Krug, Katrin Drasch, Monika Jungbauer-Gans (2019): The social stigma of unemployment: consequences of stigma consciousness on job search attitudes, behaviour and success. Journal of Labour Market Research 53, 11. (Open access)