Marcel Das (CentERdata, Tilburg University)
Innovation in online data collection for scientific research: the Dutch MESS project
Marcel Das is director of CentERdata, data archive at Tilburg University. He is also Professor of Econometrics and Data Collection at the Department of Econometrics and Operations Research of the Tilburg School of Economics and Management. He is primarily interested in the field of statistical and empirical analyses of survey data and methodological issues in web-based (panel) surveys
Abstract: There are compelling reasons to expect that Internet interviewing will become the dominant survey mode in the social sciences in the next 10–20 years, largely replacing written, face-to-face, and telephone interviewing. Internet penetration is increasing fast all over the world and among all socioeconomic groups. The technological developments not only make Internet interviewing cost effective but also create opportunities for innovatively asking questions or collecting data in other ways than through survey questions.
Based on earlier experiences with an online scientific panel, an advanced data collection environment for the social sciences was started in the Netherlands: “An Advanced Multi-Disciplinary Facility for Measurement and Experimentation in the Social Sciences" (MESS). MESS is an innovative data collection facility intended to boost and integrate research in various disciplines—such as economics, social sciences, life sciences and behavioral sciences—in the Netherlands and abroad. The central element of the facility, the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social sciences (LISS) panel, is a representative panel of about 4,500 households who answer monthly interviews over the Internet. The LISS panel is based on a probability sample drawn from population registers. Households that could not otherwise participate are given a computer and broadband access. Other key elements of the MESS project are: (1) a longitudinal core questionnaire and experimental modules proposed by researchers from all over the world; (2) synchronization of content with major other social and economic data collection efforts; (3) innovative forms of data collection (such as weighing scales linked to the Internet, accelerometers, and smartphones); (4) linking with administrative data; and (5) surveys of special groups that are often underrepresented in socioeconomic surveys. The facility is open to all academic researchers. It is a public good with a significant scientific and societal payoff. It is embedded in a strong global network of researchers, with close cooperation with the American Life Panel (ALP), a similar facility in the US, and contacts with similar initiatives in several other European countries.
The presentation will give an introduction of (the set up of) the LISS panel and a brief overview of the other key elements of MESS.
Stefan Hradil (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Recent trends in social inequality in Germany compared to other European countries
Stefan Hradil is German sociologist, stepped out as a pupil of Karl Martin Bolte, first in the research for the social layering and environment formation and is at present a professor for sociology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Abstract: Social inequality, e.g. of incomes and wealth, is rising in Germany, too. But inequality still remains below the EC-average, and is much lower than in many Eastern European countries. Nevertheless in Germany there is more public excitement concerning the new poverty, wealthiness, and the shrinking middle-class than in many other countries. Why? Because the rising of inequality is (objectively) relatively steep, and because Germany has been (subjectively) accustomed to prosperity and a growing middle-class. Social milieus and lifestyles are becoming more and more different between and within social classes, especially within the middle classes, causing a growing social segregation. This has been generating a critical public discourse, due to the German ideology of „Gemeinschaft“.
Arye Rattner (University of Haifa)
Trust and Legitimacy: Police and the Legal System. A Comparative Perspective
Arye Rattner is a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Haifa.
Abstract: In any democratic society, attitudes and perceptions of the law enforcement and legal institutions are one of the most important things. Citizens’ attitudes toward the police and the courts are a relevant indicator of how citizens perceive the legitimacy of the social order, as well as the degree of social cohesion within a society. Thus and more, trust and legitimacy of the legal institutions were found to be important determinants affecting legal compliance and cooperation with police and other legal authorities.
The empirical examination of the level of trust as well as attitudes regarding other issues related to the law and the legal system indicate that in some countries a decline and a downward trend is taking place. Based on the 2010 ESS (European Social Survey) data and other sources as well, comparative findings related to these issues will be presented. The findings will relate to Russia, Israel, Hungary as well as some other European countries.
Malina Voicu (EUROLAB, GESIS)
Unemployment and attitudes towards gender equality (co-authored with Andreea Constantin)
Malina Voicu is postdoctoral researcher with the European Data Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (EUROLAB), GESIS. She is also a member of the International Sociological Association, European Sociological Association, and some other sociological organizations.
Abstract: While previous studies focused on the effect of female employment on attitudes towards gender roles analyzing the separate impact for men and women, this paper takes into account the effect of combined labor market status of people living in couples. Starting from the assumption that gender roles are shaped by interaction between woman and man living in a couple, derived from the symbolic interactionism approach, current analysis investigates how position of both partners on the labor market shapes theirs attitudes towards gender roles. We are interested in types of couples depending on partners’ position on the labor market. We assume that unemployment, which is an involuntary absence from the labor market, shapes attitudes towards gender roles in a different way as compared to housewifery, which is a voluntarily assumed status. Using data from 2005 wave of World Values Study we run the analysis on active population (below age of 65), living in a couple and composed of people whom are either employed or unemployed. We have considered four types of couples (partners are employed, partners are unemployed, woman is employed and man is unemployed, man is employed and woman is unemployed) and we have investigated the impact of living in one of the four type, on our target variable. We have employed multilevel regression models in order to estimate the effect of couple status on the labor market, controlling for both individual and country level relevant variables. The results show that unemployment shapes attitudes towards gender roles in a non-egalitarian direction. Moreover, we found evidences that support ‘doing gender approach’.
Lind Benjamin Elliott (Higher School of Economics)
Organizational Evolution and Homophily: A Comparative Application of Dynamic Blau Space
Benjamin E. Lind is currently research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at HSE and associate professor at HSE Department of Sociology.
Abstract: Despite the proliferation of institutional analyses in comparative organizational research, relatively few works have compared adaptive homophily effects within organizations cross-nationally. Few theories prove as capable of addressing this topic as Blau's conceptualization of shared interpersonal affiliations which correspond to a "space" of shared sociodemographic attributes. While McPherson and Ranger-Moore (1991) have adapted this theory to explain demographic growth and decline dynamics in voluntary associations within the United States, the implications of their evolutionary model have yet to be examined in international contexts where the dimensions of Blau space offer greater variation. The study at hand applies their dynamic evolutionary model to voluntary association types present within a variety of international contexts. This research offers a means to comparatively evaluate the strength of homophilous network ties for a given set of sociodemographic attributes.
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