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Methods of Social Research

The department's main research field are qualitative and quantitative methods of social research and evaluation research.

The subfields we currently work on are:

  • Application of Survey Methodology for Longitudinal Research and for Analysing Local, Regional and Crosscultural differences
  • Process-Produced Data (e.g. films, photos, newspaper articles, documents, maps)
  • Sampling (Bias and Nonresponse, Purposive Sample)
  • Measurement and Scaling, in particular the advancement of Mokken-Scaling
  • Evaluation of Academic Teaching

Consumer Markets

In modern societies, markets are a central mode of resource allocation. Using the example of the yoghurt market, we currently examine

  • patterns of market development;
  • how competitors position themselves in markets using product development and differentiation;
  • the interaction of technological development and market development;
  • risk production and markets.

Labour Markets, the Welfare State and Social Inequality

The labour market is a special market which is closely intertwined with a society's welfare state, industrial relations and social structure. Together, these institutions strongly influence the people's life chances. In all these institutions, one can observe social inequality on several dimensions e.g., spatially (loca, regional and national differences), gender, social class (or life style), ethnicity and age. Like in most industrialised countries, in Germany the labour markets has been characterised by an increasing insecurity, and the welfare state has be retrenched. In our opinion, this raises some important questions, such as:

  • How do relatively privileged groups (e.g. students) react to these changes?
  • How do people with bad prospects react? Is it possible that violence at schools or ethnic conflicts are results of marginalization of the job market?










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