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Research Profile

Research in the Department 5 Social Structure Analysis and Social Inequality at Bielefeld University forms one of the focal points in the research profile of the Faculty of Sociology. Social inequalities, employment and the labour market as well as the life course are just as much a part of the research interests as social networks, the sociology of organisation and empirical justice research.

Research Focus

Research Focus Prof. Dr. Martin Diewald

  • Social Inequalities
  • Social Networks and Social Support
  • Family and Living Arrangements
  • Interdependencies between Work and Private Life
  • Employment and the Labour Market
  • Genetic and Social Causes of Life Chances

Research Guidelines

The research is oriented along the following thematic lines:

1. Empirical Research on Justice

The aim of this line of research is a further sharpening of the theoretical and empirical profile of a sociological analysis of justice. In particular, it is about relating the previous empirical research perspectives (analysis of attitudes, discourse, institutions and behavior) to one another and to answering the question of the social conditions of the formation of specific perspectives on justice, which has received little attention up to now. Current research projects are here:

2. Organisations and Social Inequalities

The theoretical reference of this line of research is the conceptualization of modern societies as organizational societies, as it was undertaken in the social and societal-theoretical approaches of Perrow, Luhmann and especially James Coleman. Building on the conceptual considerations and empirical studies of New Structuralism (Sørensen, Baron, Bielby), the structures and processes in organizations are examined as an independent level in the constitution and reproduction of social inequality phenomena in a society. This happens in two ways: Firstly, by examining the role of organizations in the allocation and distribution of different types of social goods, positions or - more generally - individual life chances. On the other hand, when analyzing "subjective" structural phenomena - i.e. social attitudes, norm and value orientations - organizations are taken into account as specific social contexts of attitude formation. In both cases, it is about expanding the classic approaches of inequality and attitude research through an organizational sociological perspective. Related projects are:

Particular attention is paid in both lines of research to sociological labor market research and the analysis of social inequality, which is pursued from both a structural and an action-theoretical perspective. Specific methodological requirements arise from the content-related questions, which are reflected in more methodically oriented research questions - e.g. the further development of new methods of data collection (factorial survey) or the linking of different data sources.

3. Improving the Data Infrastructure in the Social and Economic Sciences

Data Service Center for Operational and Organizational Data (DSZ-BO)

The DSZ-BO is a central archive for quantitative and qualitative operational and organizational data. It archives them, provides information about their inventory and makes data sets available for secondary analytical purposes.

SFB 882: Subproject "Information and Data Infrastructure (INF)" (Project management: Stefan Liebig and Johanna Vomprass, funded by the DFG, duration 2011-2016)

Research Projects

Completed Projects

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