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Gender and Social Stratification

Modern societies are characterized by a variety of processes of structural change. In researching this change, GESIS focuses on changing family forms and partnership structures as well as educational and labor market participation. The change in these and other areas of social structure is interdependent, but also related to wider social structures and values and linked to changes in life histories, life satisfaction, time use, and other aspects of social life. In examining these topics, the research in the fields “budget”, “labor market” and “family” is linked to the explanation of social inequality. The topics can be well examined with microdata of official statistics in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, both at the national level and in an international comparative perspective.

A key dimension of social structure and social inequality, which is related to almost all other features of social structure, is gender. As a cross-sectional category, gender is taken into account in the research of society. Our research interests focus on gender relations or gender-specific selection, inclusion and exclusion processes in the field of higher education and career paths. Specifically, changes and gender inequalities in the labor market "science" (employment conditions, gender pay gap), as well as gender-specific structures of career progression in connection with other dimensions of social inequality - where possible in a longitudinal perspective - are examined.

Learn more about our consulting and services:

  • Living Spaces (LebensRäume)

    Comprehensive information and data on the LebensRäume population survey


    Comprehensive information and data access to the pairfam relationship and family panel

  • Müller, Nora, Klaus Pforr, and Jascha Dräger. 2023. "Wealth stratification and the insurance function of wealth." Social Inclusion 11 (1): 128-134. doi:
  • Beytía, Pablo, and Claudia Wagner. 2022. "Visibility layers: a framework for systematising the gender gap in Wikipedia content." Internet Policy Review 11 (1). doi:
  • Steinweg, Nina, and Kristin Poggenburg. 2022. "Dynamiken der rechtlichen Regelungen von Diversity an Hochschulen." Journal Netzwerk Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung NRW 2022 (50): 63-67.
  • Oliveira, Marcos, Fariba Karimi, Maria Zens, Johann Schaible, Mathieu Génois, and Markus Strohmaier. 2022. "Group mixing drives inequality in face-to-face gatherings." Communications Physics 2022 (5): 127. doi:
  • Wirth, Heike, and Klaus Pforr. 2022. "The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions after 15 Years." European Sociological Review 38 (4): 832-848. doi: