Contemporary Societal Issues

By developing research questions that are treated with the data produced by GESIS, we act from the perspective of the users. Thus, we gain insights into the suitability of the data for the observation of contemporary social objects and social change, about the unique possibilities of our data and about their limitations.

Our commitment to diversified topics in the political and social sciences also ensures that we remain relevant and attentive to the latest trends and developments, thereby enriching our infrastructure offerings. We increase the visibility of our data through our publications and by presenting our research at relevant conferences. We show our data’s potential and their usability and promote the exchange with the relevant scientific communities. Of particular importance is the application of current analytical models to the data such as cross-classified multilevel models and various applications of random, fixed and hybrid longitudinal models.

Because our employees conduct research on the data collected or processed by GESIS, the focal points in the research area of the Contemporary Societal Issues reflect the topics that are contained in the survey programs and data collected and prepared by us. The research on social structure analysis is largely based on the national and European official statistics, which are processed in the RDC “German Microdata Lab” of the department “Monitoring Society and Social Change”. Research is done on issues such as “Gender inequality”, “Family and partnership structures”, “Employment and occupation”, or “Migration”. As a hub between scientists and data producers, we could pass on the experience and knowledge to the two groups.

“Education” as a research topic at GESIS can not only be found in research on social structures but also in the context of competences. Here are on-cognitive abilities and their relationships to educational and training variables in focus. At the same time, projects are planned to investigate the change of cognitive and non-cognitive skills over time, and conditional factors for the maintenance and acquisition of competences.

Research on values, attitudes and behavior is largely based on ALLBUS, ISSP, ESS, EVS, and similar surveys collected at GESIS. In addition to core topics such as “Migration”, “Trust”, “Religion and social values”, we also analyze topics that are queried in rotation in the surveys. An additional focus in the field of values, attitudes and behavior is the election research at GESIS. With GLES and CSES, GESIS acts as a central player in the production of electoral and political data. Accordingly, in longitudinal and cross-sectional research, we conduct national and international research into various dimensions of empirical election research. Social change can not only be observed at the micro level but also at the macro level and in politics. Accordingly, GESIS employees are also active in policy research such as equality policy at universities.