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Prof. Dr. Karin GottschallProf. Dr. Karin Gottschall
The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research (FIS)" run by the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs grants 1.1 million euro in initial funding for the SOCIUM Research Center.

A huge success for the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen: The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research" approved the application submitted by the Bremen Professor of Sociology, Karin Gottschall, for the provision of an endowed chair titled "Life Course Oriented Social Policy". The chair, embedded in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the SOCIUM research center, will be financed by the FIS with 1.1 million euro for the following five years. Research and teaching under the new chair will focus on the relationship of employment biographies, social policy, and social inequality.

Risks in the Life Course
For decades, the German labor market has been characterized by high and persistent unemployment of specific groups and the increase of insecure employment relations. The idea of continuous employment up until retirement seems to be more and more unrealistic. This topic will rank high on the agenda of our society in the years to come. Against this background, the endowed chair will focus on new and old risks of changed employment relations and ways of life. Moreover, consequences of recent social political reforms in the labor market and old-age provision in Germany will be investigated in an international comparison. Research will take into account specific groups such as women, people with migration backgrounds, low-wage earners, and the self-employed. Special emphasis will be given to the question of how individuals and groups perceive and address social risks in the life course and in everyday life.

At the same time, the chair will transfer sound sociological knowledge to the public on controversial issues like basic income and poverty risks. It also aims to further sustainable social- and labor-market policies which are sensitive to changing life course demands. The chair's approach promotes the newly established integration of social policy research and sociological inequality research at the SOCIUM and allows for sharpening the profile of interdisciplinary welfare state research at the University of Bremen.

The Bremen SOCIUM
The SOCIUM is nationwide the only social science research institute which empirically and theoretically investigates question of inequality and social policy as well as social and political interdependencies. The focus of this work lies in interdisciplinary research on social, economic, political, cultural, organizational, legal, historical, and social-medical conditions.

The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research"
The funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research", which was set up in 2016 by the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs, funds junior research groups, research projects and endowed chairs with the aim of promoting innovative approaches in social policy research.

Further Information:
Funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research"


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58595
E-Mail: karin.gottschall@uni-bremen.de

1st prize for his M.A. dissertation on "Soziale Wohnungsraumagenturen in Deutschland - Eine Ersterhebung" (Social Housing Agencies in Germany - An Initial Survey).

Axel Steffen has received an award by the “Deutscher Mieterbund” (German Tenants’ Association) for his M.A. dissertation in the Master program Social Policy on the topic "Soziale Wohnungsraumagenturen in Deutschland - Eine Ersterhebung" (Social Housing Agencies in Germany - An Initial Survey). On the 67th "Deutschen Mietertag" (German Tenants' Day) in Magdeburg, the DMB study prize was awarded for the second time, where Axel Steffen won the first place.

The German tenants‘ association and the Institute of Spatial Planning of the Technical University of Dortmund award this prize every two years. The award is dedicated to outstanding dissertations which deal with the research area of housing policy in an innovative way.

The Master in Social Policy offers a first-class education, on an international level, over four semesters. Objectives of the course include the development of the welfare state and civil society, the analysis of European welfare regimes, its future and the challenges they face within a globalized context as well as international comparisons. Further objectives include a close look at sub-areas and fields of social policy and onto the development and consequences of socio-political measures. The aim of the curriculum is to qualify for positions in institutions and organizations of social security as well as research institutes on welfare state- and social policy. The graduate program is aimed at students interested in professions that incorporate social scientific reflection, responsible action and research-oriented work.

Further information:
Press release "Deutscher Mieterbund" (German tenants‘ association) of 06 June 2017, in German
Master Social Policy


Contact:
Dr. Irina Wiegand
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58508
E-Mail: irina.wiegand@uni-bremen.de

Draft Proposal for a Cluster of Excellence submitted.

In collaboration with social scientists from the InIIS, the Universities of Hamburg, Hanover, Oldenburg and Osnabrück and with Jacobs University, members of the SOCIUM have worked out a research program on "Contested Inequalities". Currently the draft proposal is being evaluated. In September 2017, the Committee of Experts will decide which initiatives will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Summary of the draft proposal:

In the 21st century, various inequalities - economic, political, ethnic, gender, age - drive the socio-political agendas of the OECD world. While these inequalities are not new, their increasing variety, cumulation, and interweavement have become a pressing and potentially dangerous issue. Inequalities shape the lives of people, and how they experience and react to them crucially affects the social cohesion and democratic legitimacy of OECD countries. The sustained or felt insecurity of large parts of the middle classes and the precarization of the lower classes are expressions of this dawning mega-problem of our times, as shown by recent populist shifts and authoritarian political "involutions" in many countries.

These troubling prospects make our Cluster of Excellence "Contested Inequalities (COIN)" ask: What follows for societal and political dynamics when the traditional dominance of economic inequalities is complemented by other kinds of inequality? More specifically, we want to know:

  • How do people cope individually with entangled inequalities in their conduct of life?
  • How do people respond collectively to perceived inequalities?
  • How do state authorities react to the increasing salience of inequalities?


Urgently necessary new and better answers call for a sophisticated understanding of the settings of multi-dimensional inequalities, the practices which individuals, collective actors, and states adopt as they react to inequalities, and the intended and unintended effects of these reactions. COIN focuses on the contested nature of inequalities and the circular dynamics of interrelated responses. While in the first funding period we concentrate on countries and country comparisons, in the second period we will shift towards the international embeddedness and consequences of contested inequalities - that is to the changing qualities of international relations between OECD societies and with the Global South.

COIN builds on the strengths of the Bremen social sciences in cooperative, theory-driven, and comparative empirical research on social stratification and social policy in the OECD world. It is based on a theoretical framework tailor-made for COIN's research programme with three closely linked Research Areas (Individual, Collective, and Policy Reactions) and a Data and Methods Centre. Bremen sociologists and political scientists will work together with pertinent colleagues from other, mostly nearby, universities, and national and international cooperation partners to provide the academic community and general public with illuminating results on contested inequalities as one of the grand challenges of our times and to establish a world-class research center dedicated to this issue.

Principal investigators (women) / Maßgeblich beteiligte Wissenschaftlerinnen:
Barlösius, Eva - University of Hannover 
Drobnič, Sonja - University of Bremen
Gottschall, Karin - University of Bremen 
Hollstein, Betina - University of Bremen
Hornidge, Anna-Katharina - Bremen / ZMT, University of Bremen 
Lippke, Sonia - Bremen / Jacobs University 
Martens, Kerstin - University of Bremen
Schmidt, Susanne K. - University of Bremen 
Schmitt, Carina - University of Bremen
Teney, Céline - University of Bremen

Principal investigators (men) / Maßgeblich beteiligte Wissenschaftler:
Botzem, Sebastian - University of Bremen 
Engel, Uwe - University of Bremen 
Groh-Samberg, Olaf - University of Bremen
Haunss, Sebastian - University of Bremen 
Manow, Philip - University of Bremen
Neckel, Sighard - University of Hamburg
Nonhoff, Martin - University of Bremen
Nullmeier, Frank - University of Bremen 
Obinger, Herbert - University of Bremen
Rothgang, Heinz - University of Bremen
Schäfer, Armin - Osnabrück University 
Schimank, Uwe - University of Bremen 
Tepe, Markus - University of Oldenburg 
Windzio, Michael - University of Bremen 
Wonka, Arndt - University of Bremen

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Martens
Institut für Interkulturelle und Internationale Studien - InIIS
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-67498
E-Mail: martensk@uni-bremen.de


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Uwe Schimank
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58564
E-Mail: uwe.schimank@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Heinz RothgangProf. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding research on new technologies in care.

The care sector will face key challenges over the next years and decades. Due to the demographic change the number of people in need of care will increase significantly. At the same time the number of people in hospitals who are over 80 years of age will increase. Care will become more complex and due to shorter periods of rest, the subsequent after-care care at home will become more challenging. At the same time, a growing demand for care faces a decreasing proportion of employed persons, which can provide professional care. The refore the lack of skilled workers in the care sector will become even more intense. The contribution of digital technologies to reduce the workload of professional carers and caring relatives alike is by no means currently used to a full extent.

"Showrooms" for the expert audience
The "Care innovation center", a five-year-project with the participation of the University of Bremen will be financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with four Million Euro. The project is part of the ministries' program "The future of care: Human-technology-interaction for use in practice". The institute for information technology in Oldenburg (OFFIS) will be coordinating the "Care innovation center". The following professors of the University of Bremen are strongly involved in the project: Professor Karin Wolf-Ostermann for the Institute for Public Health and Professor Heinz Rothgang from the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy.

The aim is to create a center of competence for innovation and care which develops technical innovation to support health and nursing care according to demand, to test products on the market and in research projects as well as making results accessible in laboratories and "showrooms" for the expert audience but also for training and further education.

Bremen research objectives
While a large number of technological solutions have been developed in recent years, the integration of these developments to daily care has only been applied successfully to a small extent. The implementation into the daily routine of the carers has often not been taken into account from the very beginning. The objective of the "Care innovation center" is to include the concrete demands from the perspective of carers and people in need of care right from the start of the development process. Existing reservations as well as rejection of an increasing mechanization and digitalization in care have to be considered during the development of technical innovations. The evaluation of effectiveness and efficiency of the newly developed technical innovation are another tasks of the Bremen researchers.

Setting up realistic laboratories
Within the project, four realistic laboratories will be set up for different care situations (home care, care in nursing homes, care in hospitals, mobile care service/ central communication center) in which technologies are on the one hand tested and on the other hand used for demonstration and further education. Technical innovations pose new qualification requirements on carers. In this project qualification modules for care training will be developed and tested.

Further information:
Press release N. 056/2017 of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research from 01.06.2017:
Pflege von Angehörigen und Patienten erleichtern. BMBF fördert neuen Cluster "Zukunft der Pflege" und bundesweit erstes Pflegeinnovationszentrum

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Karin Wolf-Ostermann
Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research
Department: Health Care Research
Phone: +49 421 218-68960
E-Mail: wolf-ostermann@uni-bremen.de


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de