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Research and Teaching

We mainly deal with research topics from the fields of demography, sociology of the family, and sociology of deviant behaviour. We examine, for example, how the social position of partners determine the quality and the stability of their partnership. At present, we focus on the question if precarious employment or unemployment lead to partnership conflicts and influence the willingness to start a family.
In cooperation with PD Dr Dietrich Oberwittler of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (Freiburg) we conducted a survey among pupils of 8th, 9th and 10th forms in Cologne and Mannheim. We wanted to find out to what degree the student’s situation within the family, his or her social environment in the school, the relation to teachers and classmates as well as the circles of friends and acquaintances outside school contribute to truancy – with school attendance being compulsive.
In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Clara Mulder (University of Groningen) and Dr. Hill Kulu (University of Liverpool) we examine the relationship between spatial mobility and the constitution and dissolution of partnerships. Among the questions we want to answer, for example, is under which circumstances partners move together and which partner leaves the common household in case of separation. Moreover, we want to find out if and to what extent the quality of housing conditions influences the quality and the stability of partnerships.
The application of meta-analyses in sociology is a methodologically oriented research programme. In recent years, we have conducted a number of meta-analyses. The quantitative synthesis of research findings in sociology entails problems that could have been solved only inadequately until now and that make it more difficult to reliably determine the current state of research in special areas.
Among other journals, our research findings have been published in Demographic Research, the European Journal of Population, European Sociological Review, Journal of Marriage and Family, The Journal of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Family Issues, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Social Indicators Research, Soziale Welt, Zeitschrift für Soziologie.