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We offer regularly courses in the Master of Arts Sociology - European Societies and supervise master's thesis about current research topics of the Institute.

30207 Advanced seminar: Inequalities and Social Stratification in Labor Markets

Thursday, 12:00-14:00 CET I Dr. Fabian Kalleitner

The seminar aims to strengthen the understanding of the institutional and social embeddedness of labor markets as well as their impact on other social phenomena (such as social- and economic inequality, migration, etc.). In the course of the semester, we will learn various economic and sociological labor market theories and discuss them in the lectures. The main focus includes topics like: linkages between different educational systems and labor markets, gender inequalities, digitalization, and institutional complementarities of labor markets with systems of human capital production and social welfare.

After successfully completing the course, you will be familiar with the basic topics of the sociological labor market literature and know common methods to investigate labor market inequalities. You will be able to critically read cutting-edge empirical studies in the field and incorporate their findings into your research. You know how to develop sociological research questions in the field of labor market sociology and how to present and defend your ideas in front of class. To achieve this, students will read compulsory literature and answer related questions ahead of each lesson. In addition, students will present a first draft of their research proposal and write a full research proposal at the end of the course.


30223 Advanced seminar: Regional Inequalities

Wednesday, 12:00 - 14:00 CET I Dr. Carina Cornesse

Regional and spatial disparities increasingly play an important role in scientific, public, and political debates on social inequality and social change. Economic opportunities are more limited in structurally weak areas, where, for example, processes of regional emigration and demographic change exacerbate the erosion of local infrastructures and opportunities, with far-reaching implications for people’s economic and social prospects. Residents of structurally strong regions, in turn, may benefit from infrastructural expansion and increasing demand, but also experience rising living expenses (particularly for homes and rental housing), gentrification, and displacement. There is a large body of social science research examining these regional developments and especially their effects on the social opportunities of individuals and households. This seminar provides insights into this field of research. Theoretical concepts of "regional inequalities" will be introduced and the current state of research on the most important dimensions of social inequalities will be discussed.


30202 Advanced seminar: Social Structures and Inequalities in Comparative Perspective: Using Data Infrastructures of Comparative Empirical Social Research

Tuesday, 12:00 - 14:00 CET I Dr. Carina Cornesse

There are several survey programs that can be used to investigate pressing social issues within and across countries. This includes established infrastructures such as the European Social Survey (ESS), European Value Survey (EVS), International Social Survey Program (ISSP), and World Value Survey (WVS). These survey programs are not only characterized by the fact that they enable researchers to trace social change over time, but they also make it possible to do this from a comparative perspective. The aims of this seminar are to (1) introduce the most commonly used datasets for empirical cross-national social research and (2) to practice using them to answer social scientific research questions. This will provide course participants with essential competencies in effectively utilizing prominent survey programs within the social sciences. The seminar encompasses practical sessions dedicated to data exploration and analysis, during which participants will engage in hands-on exercises using STATA as a statistical software (or alternatively, R, if preferred). These sessions will give students the opportunity to formulate and test their own hypotheses.


30205 Advanced seminar: Social Inequality During Times of Crisis

Thursday, 16:00 - 18:00 CET I Dr. Carina Cornesse

Times of crisis are highly dynamic and can either accentuate established inequalities, shake them up, or leave them unchanged. In many crises and their aftermath, there are societal groups who win and groups who lose. This can happen along various characteristics, including class, race, and gender. The societal causes and consequences of crises include socio-economic dimensions, such as income, wealth, and health, but also more subtle phenomena, such as (perceived) social cohesion. This seminar will look at some examples of societal crises in the 21st century to establish how they relate to social inequality in Europe and beyond. Examples will include peaceful economic or political events as well as violent crises, such as wars and the pandemic. In each case, the questions will be: How, if at all, is the crisis shaped by social inequality? And how did the crisis change dynamics in social inequality? In addition to exploring examples, the seminar will zoom out from each individual case to critically reflect the theoretical foundations, overarching processes, as well as data collection and analysis problems of studying social inequality during times of crisis.


30233 Colloquium: Colloquium

Wednesday, 14:00 - 16:00 CET I Dr. Carina Cornesse & Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebig

In this colloquium, students have the opportunity of presenting their beginning and ongoing master’s thesis projects conducted on topics relating to social stratification and survey data. The discussions will focus on how to find an adequate research question, literature, and data. Furthermore, feedback on students’ thesis progress will be offered by peers and supervisors. In addition, there will be room for discussions on common challenges faced when writing a master’s thesis.

30218 Teaching reserach project: Working with the German Socio-Economic Panel – Analyzing Research Questions with Panel Data

Tuesday 16:00–20:00 Uhr I Fabian Kalleitner

The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) is a representative panel study for the German population, collecting data on a broad variety of topics of everyday life, including general wellbeing, household composition, educational aspirations and educational status, income and occupational biographies, leisure time activities, housing, health, political orientation and more. With its long running panel structure, the breadth of topics and the representative nature of the data, the SOEP has become a central resource for quantitative research in the social sciences. This seminar offers a well-grounded and practically oriented introduction to the data of the Socio-economic panel study. Participants will be introduced to the content of the study, its data-structure, sample selection and weighting strategy and they will be provided with an overview over the study documentation so that students start working on their own research projects using this dataset. The seminar has four overarching goals: First, it will introduce students to panel data in general and to the SOEP in particular. Second, it will teach students commonly used measurement strategies of popular social scientific concepts and sociodemographic characteristics like social class, education, or occupation. Third, it will make students familiar with basic analytical research designs that commonly rely on panel data and how to use these approaches for their own research goals using the statistical programming language R. Fourth, it will provide students with a basic understanding and the necessary tools to move from the literature, over the research question, to developing a research design, and starting a research analysis. The course will heavily rely on a flipped classroom approach where students do exercises, readings, and work on their empirical research project at home, while we will do trouble shooting and discuss common problems in class. In parts of the classes the contents taught are practiced directly on the computer. These practical parts require familiarity with basic methods of empirical analysis and programming skills in R. The lecturer will provide a basic introduction and learning material to both but students have to expect that they have to catch up on these topics quickly so that they can work on their own research projects. After successfully completing the course, you will be familiar with the SOEP and know how to work with panel data to conduct your own research. You will be able to use common analytical research designs that rely on panel data and be able to use these methods for your research. You know how to develop sociological research questions and how to present and defend your ideas in front of class. To achieve these goals, students will read compulsory literature, do R exercises, and answer related questions ahead of each lesson. In addition, they will hand in a first research question, develop a research proposal, and write a first draft of their research report in the style of an empirical scientific paper by the end of the semester. Students will present a this first draft in class at the end of the semester.