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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mikrosoziologie

Aktuelle Forschungsprojekte

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Family Formation Policies [Link]

This project, seed-funded by the OX-BER partnership, explores the potential challenges in linking policies oriented to the pre-parental phase of family with those oriented to the parental phase. Theories on the latter are far more developed than on the former, certainly from a social policy perspective. Moreover, the two phases of life are typically treated in isolation and by distinct research fields. Policies for the preparental phase tend to be considered from a public health perspective whereas the parental phase tends to be the province of classical family policies. Hence, little is known about similarities and differences in the logics of law and social policy shaping partnership and family formation on the one hand, and parenthood and family life on the other. This omission is highly problematic especially because it makes for a lacuna in social policy knowledge and potential contradictions between social policy, law and health policy. In sum, the project opens up the view of the life course as starting before conception and aims to contribute to elaborating an innovative perspective of social rights of children and parents across the life course.

Principal Investigators: Hannah Zagel, Mary Daly (Oxford)

Finanzierung: OX-BER Research Partnership Seed Grant

Start: 15. Februar 2019


Atypical employment and the Intergenerational Transmission of disadvantage: Britain and Germany in Comparative Perspective [Link]

Since the early 1990s, the incidence of atypical employment – fixed-term, part-time, low paid or flexible shift work – has increased markedly in many advanced economies. This includes but is not limited to the rise of the ‘gig economy’, i.e. the growing share of the economy that relies on work being performed through short-term contracts or freelancing. We currently lack a good understanding of whether, how and to what extent the negative consequences of atypical employment that are known to affect individuals in these kinds of employment conditions are further transmitted to the next generation, thus entrenching social disadvantage amongst this group and hampering social mobility. Our project aims to shed light on this question by bringing together two bodies of inquiry — research on social consequences of atypical employment and research on the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. Building on the theoretical and empirical advances in these two fields of research, we aim to establish the empirical associations between different types of atypical employment in the parental generation and the development and life chances of children.

Principal Investigators: Anette Eva Fasang, Bastian Betthäuser (Oxford)

Finanzierung: OX-BER Research Partnership Seed Grant

Start: 15. Februar 2019



Understanding Family Demographic Processes & In-Work Poverty in Europe - How Marriage, Parenthood, and Divorce Affect the Risk of In-work Poverty across the Life Course [Link]

This project analyses the role of family demographic processes (leaving parental home, marriage, divorce, and parenthood) for the probability of being working poor and how it changes over the life course. The research outputs will make at least three innovative contributions to understanding family demographic processes and in-work poverty in Europe. First, the researchers will undertake a systematic review of the family-related risk factors for in-work poverty. Second, they will analyse how the association between family demographic processes and in-work poverty varies across the life course and by gender across western democracies using CNEF data. As an example, they will address the crucial questions on whether entering parenthood and experiencing divorce increase the risk of in-work poverty and whether these associations strengthen or weaken as individuals grow older. Finally, they will study the association between family demographic processes and in-work poverty comparing two countries, Germany and the UK, where welfare measures against poverty differ greatly.

Applicants: Emanuela Struffolino, Johannes Giesecke, Christiaan Monden (Oxford), Zachary van Winkle (Oxford)


Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS) - Weltweite Herausforderungen für liberale Demokratie und Marktwirtschaft als Ordnungsmodell [Link]

Nach dem Ende des Kalten Krieges schien sich die liberale Demokratie endgültig durchgesetzt zu haben. Doch 25 Jahre später befindet sich das liberale Ordnungsmodell in einer tiefen Krise. Das Exzellenzcluster Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS) untersucht die gegenwärtigen Auseinandersetzungen um die liberale Ordnung aus historischer, globaler und vergleichender Perspektive. Welche Ursachen haben die aktuellen Auseinandersetzungen um das liberale Skript, und welche Auswirkungen ergeben sich für die globalen Probleme des 21. Jahrhunderts? Das Cluster verbindet die in Berlin vorhandene Expertise in den Sozialwissenschaften und Regionalstudien und überbrückt dadurch vorherrschende methodische und institutionelle Trennungen. Neben der Freien Universität Berlin, der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und dem Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin sind die Hertie School of Governance, das Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien, das Deutsche Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, das German Institute of Global and Area Studies, sowie das Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient beteiligt. Über Forschungskooperationen in allen Weltregionen adressiert SCRIPTS die Vielfalt der Herausforderungen und ihre Verbindungen. Gleichzeitig setzt die Initiative auf eine enge Zusammenarbeit mit Praxisinstitutionen aus Politik und Kultur.

Sprecher*innen: Tanja Börzel, Michael Zürn

Research Unit Coordinators: Sebastian Conrad, Anette Eva Fasang

Finanzierung: Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft

Start: 2019



High hopes and broken promises: Young adult life courses in Senegal [Link]

The research project investigates the demographic, historical and sociological conditions of Senegal that may give rise to contestations of the liberal script, particularly by its young adults. Many post-colonial countries in Africa have followed the liberal script – implementation of democracy, free markets and expanded education – yet have failed to achieve the liberal promises of meritocracy and prosperity. Such failed promises may lead to disillusioned youths that question the liberal script, resulting often in emigration that in turn threatens the borders and stability of the destination liberal democracies.

Principal Investigators: Anette Eva Fasang, Andreas Eckert

Finanzierung: Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft

Start: 2019



EQUALLIVES: Inequality, early adult life courses and economic outcomes at mid-life in comparative context [Link]

The Research project "EQUALLIVES: Inequality, early adult life courses and economic outcomes at mid-life in comparative context"  –Prof. S. Harkness, University of Bath, Prof. J.P. Erola, University of Turku, Prof. A.E. Fasang, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Dr T. Leopold, University of Amsterdam and Prof. M.M. Jaeger, University of Copenhagen– funded by the NORFACE network (the New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe) will begin its work soon as a part of the "fourth major transnational research programme on the topic of Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes (Acronym: DIAL)".

Start: 2017