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Social Structures

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.

  • Lipinsky, Anke, and Angela Wroblewski. 2021. "Re-visiting gender equality policy and the role of university top management." Gender, Work & Organisation (GWO), Online, 02.07.2021.
  • Nutz, Theresa, and Davide Gritti. 2022. "Dyadic employment biographies and within-couple wealth inequality in Britain and Western Germany." Journal of Marriage and Family 84 (2): 552-569 (replication files: doi:
  • Müller, Nora, Nico Stawarz, and Alexandra Wicht. 2022. "Who experiences subjective job insecurity due to digital transformation in Germany?." Soziale Welt 72 (4): 384-414. doi:
  • Wagner, Claudia. 2016. "3rd Computational Social Science Winter Symposium (cssws16)." Anzahl: 3.
  • Wagner, Claudia. 2016. "4th Workshop on Computational Approaches to Social Modeling (ChASM'16)." Anzahl: 3.
  • Living Spaces (LebensRäume)

    Comprehensive information and data on the LebensRäume population survey


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