Prof. Dr. Silke Hans


Department of Sociology / University of Goettingen


Address Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3
37073 Göttingen
Telephone +49 (0)551 39 33328
Fax +49 (0)551 39 7692

Office hours

Since April 1st, 2014 Prof. Silke Hans is Professor for Migration and Ethnicity at University of Goettingen.


  • born in 1980, 1999-2004 student of Sociology and Political science at Universität Potsdam, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts

  • 2005-2012 researcher and lecturer at the Chair of Macrosociology (Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gerhards), Department of Sociology, Free University Berlin

  • December 2008 PhD, topic of doctoral thesis: Assimilation or Segregation? Processes of Adjustment of Immigrants in Germany.

  • since January 2013 Assistant Professor for Sociology of Migration, Department of Sociology, Free University Berlin

Research Interests

  • Sociology of Migration

  • Quantitative Methods

  • Processes of Transnationalization


“Transnational human capital and social inequality. International comparison and qualitative consolidation” (with Jürgen Gerhards, Freie Universität Berlin), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Duration: 2014-2016

Within the context of globalization processes, the ability to act beyond the confinements of one’s own nation-state – which we refer to as “transnational human capital” – is becoming increasingly more important. The first phase of this project focused on two aspects: First, we empirically examined the change of job requirement specifications from 1960 to 2010, based on a quantitative content analysis of job advertisements in German newspapers. Second, based on Bourdieu’s theory and data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we analysed class-specific access to transnational human capital, choosing the example of study-abroad programmes during school time, and its effects on the life course. The follow-up project has two aims: 1) The results we obtained so far with regard to Germany need to be supplemented by international
comparisons in order to determine more precisely the influence of contextual factors on the demand for, and the acquisition of, transnational capital; for this, we plan to extend the quantitative content analysis on more countries and analyse international survey data. 2) The completed analysis of the class-specific access to transnational human capital needs to be extended and deepened by qualitative interviews with parents. Only a qualitative analysis will make it possible to reconstruct the class-specific mechanisms of acquiring transnational human capital.

“Temporary Migration and its Effects on People in European Societies”

For the sociology of migration, the consequences of migration for immigrants and host societies has been a traditional research question. However, migratory research has so far neglected the effects of temporary stays abroad on the careers and life-course of temporary migrants and their families: What are the effects of short- and mid-term periods of migration on the different spheres of life of the people involved? Which factors are associated with a successful stay abroad? To answer these question, the project will start out with secondary analyses of different cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets that include items on past and current periods of migration. Gender and class-based differences in the effects of temporary migration, and the causes of these differences are of particular interest here. For instance, they may result from different motives for migration.

“Transnational human capital and social inequality. A longitudinal study”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Duration: 2011-2013

Over the course of recent decades, processes of globalisation and transnationalisation have profoundly changed what is required of people to participate in the educational system and the labour market. Knowledge of foreign languages and intercultural competences have become more and more important. Whereas educational research has sufficiently often shown that access to educational credentials, and thus occupational positions, is highly selective from a social point of view, the question of class-specific access to transnational capital seems to be generally unexplored. Since such capital is particularly acquired through stays abroad, we are interested in (1) establishing which social inequalities exist for adolescents in Germany when seeking access to stays abroad during their school career and how such inequalities can be explained. We also want to discover which effects such stays abroad – and the thus acquired transnational capital – might have on the pupils’ further educational trajectory and career entry (2). Both research questions are dealt with by analysing data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Complementing these survey-based analyses is, on the one hand, an examination of the changed circumstances due to which transnational capital has became an important resource. For this reason, a content analysis of vacancies in newspapers is used to assess the change of job profiles (3). On the other hand, we carry out guideline-based interviews with parents, whose children experience a stay abroad during their school years (4), in order to reconstruct more precisely the class-specific (decision-making) processes which lead to such an acquisition of transnational capital.

“Assimilation or Segregation? Processes of Adjustement of Immigrants in Germany”, doctoral dissertation project

The thesis addresses the question whether individual immigrants in Germany assimilate with the German population over time. Using a novel, procedural concept of assimilation and a unique method of panel data analysis applied to more than 3000 immigrants from six countries of origin, the study offers many new insights into assimilation processes. The results show that in most domains considered, more than 80 % of immigrants experience assimilation over time. The thesis challenges the results of previous studies as far as group differences are concerned. For instance, Turkish migrants do not assimilate more slowly than other groups.


Books and Edited Books

  • Gerhards, Jürgen, Silke Hans und Sören Carlson [eds.] (2014): Globalisierung, Bildung und grenzüberschreitende Mobilität. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

  • Hans, Silke (2010): Assimilation oder Segregation? Anpassungsprozesse von Einwanderern in Deutschland. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals and Edited Volumes

  • Gerhards, Jürgen, Silke Hans und Sören Carlson (forthcoming 2014, available upon request): Transnationales Humankapital, Privatisierung der Ausbildung und neue soziale Ungleichheiten. In: Löw, Martina (Hrsg.), Vielfalt und Zusammenhalt, Campus.
  • Gerhards, Jürgen, Silke Hans und Sören Carlson (2014): Transnationales Humankapital. Einleitende Bemerkungen zu Kontextbedingungen, Erwerb und Verwertbarkeit von transnationalen Kompetenzen. In: dies. (Hg.): Globalisierung, Bildung und grenzüberschreitende Mobilität. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 7-19.
  • Carlson, Sören, Jürgen Gerhards und Silke Hans (2014): Klassenunterschiede im Zugang zu transnationalem Humankapital. Eine qualitative Studie. In: Gerhards, Jürgen, Silke Hans und Sören Carlson (Hg.): Globalisierung, Bildung und grenzüberschreitende Mobilität. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 127-152.
  • Gerhards, Jürgen, Silke Hans und Sören Carlson (2014): Die Renditen von transnationalem Humankapital: Das Beispiel "Partizipation an einer transnationalen europäischen Öffentlichkeit". In: dies. (Hg.): Globalisierung, Bildung und grenzüberschreitende Mobilität. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 259-293.
  • Gerhards, Jürgen, Silke Hans und Michael Mutz (2013): Social Class and Cultural Consumption: The Impact of Modernisation in a Comparative European Perspective. In: Comparative Sociology 12(1).

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2013): Transnational Human Capital, Education, and Social Inequality. Analyses of International Student Exchange. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie 42(2), pp. 99-117.

  • Hans, Silke (2012): Die sozialen Netzwerke von Einwanderern in Deutschland – eine Längsschnittperspektive. In: Soeffner, Hans-Georg (Hrsg.) (2012): Transnationale Vergesellschaftungen. Verhandlungen des 35. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Frankfurt am Main 2010. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.

  • Hans, Silke (2012, forthcoming, available upon request): Einstellungen zu Familie und Geschlechterrollen im Vergleich: Kontinuität oder Wandel? In Meulemann, Heiner und Renzo Gubert (Hg.): Wertewandel in Deutschland und Italien 1981-2000. Vergleichende Untersuchungen des EVS. Annali di Sociologia.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2011):  Why not Turkey? Attitudes towards Turkish membership in the EU among citizens in 27 European countries. In: Journal of Common Market Studies 49(4), pp. 741-766.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2009): From Hasan to Herbert. Name Giving Patterns of Immigrant Parents between Acculturation and Ethnic Maintenance. In: American Journal of Sociology 114(4), pp. 1102-1128.

  • Gerhards, und Silke Hans (2008): Akkulturation und die Vergabe von Vornamen: Welche Namen wählen Migranten für ihre Kinder und warum? In: Kalter Frank (Hg.): Migration und Integration. Sonderheft 48 der Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, S. 465-487.

Articles in Other Journals, Discussion Papers

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2012): Virtuelle Transnationalisierung. Partizipation der EU-Bürger an einer transnationalen europäischen Öffentlichkeit. In: Berliner Studien zur Soziologie Europas 27.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2012): Transnationales Bildungskapital und soziale Ungleichheit. In: Berliner Studien zur Soziologie Europas 25.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen, Silke Hans und Michael Mutz (2012): Social Class and Highbrow Lifestyle. A Cross-national Analysis. In: Berliner Studien zur Soziologie Europas 24.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2011): Why not Turkey? An Updated Analysis of Citizens’ Attitudes Towards Turkish Membership in the EU. In: Berliner Studien zur Soziologie Europas 23.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2009): Türkei Unerwünscht? Eine Untersuchung der Einstellungen der Bürger in den 27 Mitgliedsländern der EU zum Beitritt der Türkei. In: Berliner Studien zur Soziologie Europas 18.

  • Hans, Silke und Christoph Hönnige (2008): Noughts and Crosses. Challenges in Generating Political Positions from CMP Data. Society for Political Methodology Working Paper.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2008): Die Grenzen Europas aus der Perspektive der Bürger. In: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 35-36: 6-13.

  • Gerhards, Jürgen und Silke Hans (2006): Zur Erklärung der Assimilation von Migranten an die Einwanderungsgesellschaft am Beispiel der Vergabe von Vornamen. DIW Diskussionspapier 583.

  • Hans, Silke (2006): Die Analyse gepoolter Daten mit Mehrebenenmodellen – Einstellungen zu Zuwanderern im europäischen Vergleich. In: Berliner Studien zur Soziologie Europas 6.

  • Hans, Silke (2004): Migrants in Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Patterns of Assimilation and Welfare. In: Potsdamer Beiträge zur Sozialforschung 21.


  • Kolloquium für Abschlussarbeiten (WS 2013/2014)
  • Sociology of Migration (WS 2013/2014)
  • Migration, Citizenship and Identity (WS 2012/2013, WS 2010/2011, SS2011)
  • Methoden qualitativ-vergleichender Forschung (WS 2012/2013)

  • Forschungspraktikum Globalization and Transnational Human Capital - Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (WS 2011/2012)

  • Understanding Quantitative Comparative Studies (WS 2011/2012)

  • EU und Demokratie(defizit) (WS 2010/2011, WS 2012/2013)

  • Methoden der vergleichenden Gesellschaftsforschung - Interpretation und Fallbeispiele (WS 2010/2011

  • Kolloquium für Abschlussarbeiten (SS 2010, SS 2011, SS 2012)

  • Theories of Globalization (SS 2010, SS 2011, SS 2012)

  • Forschungspraktikum Werte und Handeln (WS 2009/2010)

  • Werte und ihre Handlungskonsequenzen (SS 2009)

  • Forschungspraktikum: Vergleich Europäischer Gesellschaften mit Umfragedaten (WS 2008/2009)

  • Integration von Zuwanderern in Deutschland – Theorien und Fallbeispiele (WS 2008)

  • Migration und Integration in Europa (SS 2006, SS 2008)

  • Grundlegende Konzepte der Migrationssoziologie (SS 2005)

  • Umweltsoziologie (SS 2007)

  • Neuere Ansätze der Ungleichheitsforschung (WS 2005/2006)

  • Europäische Integration und die Institutionen der EU (WS 2006/2007)

  • Vergleichende Demokratieforschung (mit Prof. Herbert Döring, WS 2004/2005)

  • Multivariate Modelle der sozialwissenschaftlichen Datenanalyse (SS 2003, SS 2004)

  • Deskriptiv- und inferenzstatistische Modelle der sozialwissenschaftlichen Datenanalyse (WS 2002/2003, WS 2003/2004, WS 2004/2005)