Research

My research focuses on social networks and the life course, social inequality and methods of empirical social research:
 
How do networks matter?
A central aim is to better understand social integration and participation of social groups. How do class, gender or ethnicity impact social networks and social integration? How do social networks and their performance change over the life course? Which groups are better off, which groups are at risk? In this regard I am especially interested in how network resources and social capital are activated and how networking practices vary across social groups.

The Embedded Life Course
Another research topic is the individual life course and the way social institutions shape the life course and life course transitions, such as family formation or the transition from school-to-work. How do individuals deal with the challenges imposed by the educational system, the labor market and social policy? How do social relationships and social networks help (or hinder) individuals to cope with life course events? How is this related to social inequality?

Advancing Methods
With regard to methods of empirical social research the research group seeks to further develop methods to investigate social networks and the life-course. We consider comparative research designs and mixed methods designs, combining qualitative and quantitative methods, as especially promising. Current projects tackle visual methods for network data collection and innovative combinations of qualitative methods and computational social sciences.

QUALISERVICE - Research Data Center
I also engage in research infrastructures. Together with PANGAEA, GESIS and University library of Bremen we run QUALISERVICE, a national research data center for qualitative social science research data, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). For more information see: www.qualiservice.org/de/ (available in English soon).