Monitoring Society and Social Change

Oshrat Hochman

Dauerbeobachtung der Gesellschaft

+49 (621) 1246-153

Oshrat Hochman

Monitoring societal developments is a central objective of the social sciences. The department supports social research in this endeavor by providing various resources suitable to describe and analyze social change. Additionally the department supports German universities and research institutions in their effort to realize gender justice by providing extensive information and consultation on this topic, as well as the evaluation of measures employed in this area.

International Survey Programs

The International Survey Team is part of the Department of Monitoring Society and Social Change (DBG) at GESIS and supports three international survey programs, namely the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), the European Social Survey (ESS), and the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). Across the three survey programs, our tasks involve different activities associated with questionnaire- and survey-design, survey implementation in the German context, and data management, maintenance, as well as documentation. The team also hosts the Secretariats of the ISSP and the CSES studies (the latter in conjunction with the Institute for Social Research, Michigan). The Secretariats are responsible for the management, and coordination of the international programs, project promotion, event organization, and liaising with collaborators.

Our team is also committed to international and comparative research in a range of areas:

  • Electoral behavior
  • Attitudes and public opinion
  • Health inequality
  • Survey methodology in representative surveys


CEWS Center of Excellence Women and Science is the national hub for realization of equal opportunities for both women and men. CEWS serves as a think tank for this political field, offering impetus for new ideas, initiating processes of change in support of science as well as actively creating and engaging the necessary transfer processes between science and politics. CEWS works on its tasks and goals by means of:

  • social science research on equal opportunity for men and women in science on an (inter-)national level
  • knowledge transfer via policy consultation, networking and scientific services
  • monitoring and evaluation of equality measures in the field of science

German Microdata Lab – GML

The German Microdata Lab (GML) is a service provider for researchers working with microdata from German and European official statistics. The tasks of the GML are to improve information about these data and access to them. It provides a service infrastructure for users including detailed data documentation, training for data users and user conferences. Furthermore the GML takes a mediating role between official statistics and the empirical social sciences and carries out its own research projects on questions of social structure, inequality and demography.

Survey Synergies

National Survey Programmes

Our core task is to conduct and support the development of social science survey programs and to perform tasks for the "integrierte Daten- und Erhebungsinfrastruktur" (IEDI). The team is part of the Monitoring Society and Social Change department. The comparative surveys establish well-known high quality standards with regard to their content as well as their methodological rigor.

Survey data are regularly collected in the following national and international survey programs:
  • ALLBUS (German General Social Survey)
  • GLES Cross-Section (cross-section of the German Longitudinal Election Study)
  • GLES Panel (panel of the German Longitudinal Election Study)
Our research focuses on the survey programmes and covers topics in both methodological and substantive research.

The central themes of our work and research are:

  • Methods of survey research in population surveys
  • Data quality in the Total Survey Error Framework, particularly non-response bias
  • Political sociology, i. a. effects of candidates and the usage of social media in election campaigns