Dr. Ruth Abramowski
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Phone: +49 421 218-58550
Information on press releases and related news of the department "Dynamics of Inequality in Welfare Societies".
What is it about?
Research innovations need cooperation. The interdisciplinary lab, which was founded as part of the WoC (Worlds of Contradiction)will approach the topic of “Violence, Age and Gender” from a legal and social science perspective and bundle competencies. The aim is to merge national and international knowledge about the occurrence and causes of gender-specific violence and harassment in public, institutional, and private spheres in an interdisciplinary manner to derive further research questions and develop strategies to prevent violence. Starting point is the current Convention 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the work environment adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Experiencing violence in a structural and individual way means to live in and with contradictions. Forms of violence are experienced at different times of life and within different circumstances, which affects social and individual development opportunities.
Ten Bremen University scholars from three departments (Law, Social Sciences, Pedagogy and Educational Sciences) and three institutes (bigas, artec, and SOCIUM) use gender as the common analysis criterion for the investigation of violence-induced contradictions in (the course of) life, applying an intersectional perspective. The intertwined inequality dimensions gender, age, class, and ethnicity result in overlaps with violence, migration, and racism.
The underlying interdisciplinary and interdependent concept of violence allows the investigation of governmental, institutional, organisational or interpersonal violence against people of all genders and different age groups as well as power relationships, such as power imbalances in employment relationships or multiple discrimination. Sources related to international and regional legal conventions, including their monitoring, as well as research results from the legal and social sciences are used as the foundation.
The lab thus builds on the gender research that has been established at the University of Bremen since the 1980s and, with its interdisciplinary perspective on the subject of violence, aims at a theory-practice transfer contributing to concrete improvements of living conditions. The results will be made available for knowledge transfer between politics, administrations, and civil society.
Prof. Dr. Konstanze Plett, LL.M. (founding member)
Prof. Dr. Ursula Rust (founding member)
Prof. Dr. Simone Scherger (founding member)
Prof. Dr. Ines Weller (founding member)
Prof. Dr. Betül Yarar (founding member)
Ass. Prof. Dr. Fatma Karakaş-Doğan (founding member)
Dr. Ruth Abramowski (founding member)
Dr. Anna Hokema (founding member)
Dr. Sylke Meyerhuber (founding member)
Dr. Sabine Ritter (founding member)
Wiebke Blanquett, M.A. (founding member)
Privatdozent Dr. Thorsten Fehr (since 13.07.2020)
In addition to the active scholars involved, the lab collaborates with colleagues who pursue research within the tradition of gender research at the University of Bremen: Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall (FB 8, SOCIUM board member, head of the department of “Dynamics of Inequality in Welfare Societies”) and Prof. Dr. Gabrielle Bolte (FB11, managing director of the IPP).
Various lectures and workshops with renowned European and international lawyers and sociologists researching violence are planned for 2021. A larger conference (including around 100 participants) at the Protestant Academy “Loccum” is planned for December 2021, with the subsequent publication of an anthology collection.
Prof. Dr. Ursula Rust
Tel.: +49 421 218-66080
Dr. Ruth Abramowski
SOCIUM Forschungszentrum Ungleichheit und Sozialpolitik
Tel.: +49 421 218-58550
The double award honors Ruth Abramowski, since March 2019 Postdoc at SOCIUM, for her PhD thesis “Bringing Power Back In: Zur Kontinuität traditioneller innerhäuslicher Arbeitsteilungsarrangements in Paarbeziehungen – Ein europäischer Vergleich” which she successfully defended at the University of Salzburg, Austria. How can we explain the division of responsibility for family work in partner relationships in various European countries? And what effects does this have on the implementation of societal norms based on equal rights? Ruth Abramowski discusses in her PhD thesis central questions of family sociology from a new perspective which entails a typology of individual, cultural and institutional dimensions of power.
Partner relationships reflect not only societal, culturally determined behavioral norms and their dynamics over time. They are also the manifestation of power relationships. Since current research usually neglects this vital fact many well-intentioned suggestions for the improvement of the equal distribution of this family work are bound to fail. Both awards praise not only the refreshingly new perspective of the analysis but also the micro as well as macro sociologically based theoretical argument and method. The thesis offers new venues for interesting research in a central area of family sociology.
The ÖGS award honors excellent PhD theses in the area of family sociology defended at Austrian university in the last three years. The AK Wissenschaftspreis supports young scholars of all disciplines at the institutions of higher education in Salzburg and was awarded for PhD or MA theses of the last two years. Ruth Abramowski received her BA in Social Sciences from the University of Stuttgart, her MA in Social Sciences from the University of Oldenburg and her PhD from the University of Salzburg.
Dr. Ruth Abramowski
University of Bremen
SOCIUM Forschungszentrum Ungleichheit und Sozialpolitik
Tel.: +49 (0)421 218-58550
Every four years all scientists active in research in Germany are asked to elect the members of the Review Boards of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). In this year’s election two members of SOCIUM were successful. Olaf Groh-Samberg was elected for the first time as a member for empirical social research. Frank Nullmeier was reelected as a member for political science in the Review Board for Social Sciences.
The Review Boards of the DFG are important institutions in the peer review process for applications for research funding. Potential members are recommended by universities and research institutions (Max-Planck, Leibniz, Frauenhofer etc.) but most importantly by the associations of the different research disciplines. Olaf Groh-Samberg was not only recommended by a dozen universities but also by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Frank Nullmeier received support from both German political science associations, the Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft as well as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Politikwissenschaft. The newly elected Review Boards will commence their work on February 2020.
Recently the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) elected some of the bodies of the DFG. In doing so it elected one of the members of SOCIUM in two important committees. Karin Gottschall, Professor of Sociology at Fachbereich 8 and Department Head at SOCIUM, became member of the Senate Committee on Collaborative Research Centres of the DFG and at the same time member of the Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centres.
The task of the Senate Committee on Collaborative Research Centres is to participate in the preparation, assessment and decision-making on financing the applications for Sonderforschungsbereiche (Collaborative Research Centers) at the DFG. It consists of 40 scientists from all disciplines.
The Grants Committee, as its name indicates, decides about the financing of applications for Collaborative Research Centers by the DFG. It consists of the 40 members of the Senate Committee plus one representative of the Federal Ministry and one representative each for the 16 Länder governments.
On March 26th, 2019 already the second cohort of the joint Master program of the University of Bremen together with the Università degli Studi di Milano successfully finished its studies. Chiara Bresan, Sinem Dogan, Verena Sattler and Laura Rappold defended their Master theses which dealt with issues of comparative European industrial relations as well as inequality in the labour markets. Following the defenses they were allowed to don, as a sign of their successes, the customary laurel wrath (“corona d’alloro”).
Already since the Winter Semester of 2015/2016 the Università degli Studi in Milano, Italy and the University of Bremen cooperate in a university program that awards a double degree (both in Germany and Italy) as a “European Master in Labour Studies and Social Policy”. Central contents of this program are industrial relations in international comparative perspective including trade unions, employers’ associations and their political and social embedding. An additional focus of this two-year program with the first year at the University of Bremen and the second at the Università degli Studi is the comparative analysis of inequality and social policies. The deadline for applications for this international Master program is June 15th, 2019. Both universities accept such applications.
The working group "Social, Cultural and Economic Inequalities" edited the Special Issue 5/2018 "Dynamics of Inequality". The issue includes a variety of articles, discussion pieces concerning status competition and social segregation, right-wing populism, global inequalities, wealth and income inequality, taxation and many more.
The special issue was published on October 1st by Nomos and can be purchased and downloaded as of now.
WSI Mitteilungen Ausgabe 05/2018
Working group "Social, Cultural and Economic Inequalities"
In their coalition contract, the parties of the governing Grand Coalition had agreed upon establishing a governmental commission on pensions. It consists of representatives of employers and trade unions, of members of the Bundestag and academic experts. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs now has appointed this commission consisting of ten members. Simone Scherger from SOCIUM is one of these members.
The aim of the commission is, according to the federal government, to ensure that the German pension system is organized in a just and reliable way for all generations. To this end, it is necessary to ascertain its sustainability and further development with regard to the statutory pension insurance as well as the second and third pension pillars - occupational and private pensions. In the two years to come, the commission is tasked to develop corresponding political options for the years after 2025. On May 3rd, 2018, Federal Minister Hubertus Heil officially appointed the members of the commission. They will start their work in June.
Among the three academic members, Simone Scherger is the only sociologist. Since April 2018 she has been Professor of Sociology with a special focus on social policy and the life course. The professorship is an endowed chair supported by the "Fördernetzwerk Interdisziplinäre Sozialpolitik" of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In her research, Simone Scherger focuses on the relationship between life courses and social policies. Concrete topics are, for example, the social risks of atypical employment and new family forms, as well as the effects of social policy reforms (for example in the areas of pensions or employment) on individual life courses. Simone Scherger is especially interested in how specific groups - like women, migrants, people partially incapacitated for work, or free lancers and small self-employed - cope with social risks in their daily life styles and biographical decisions. From 2010 to 2017, Simone Scherger was head of the Emmy Noether research group on "Paid employment beyond pension age in Germany and the UK".
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.
Funding and support network "Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research"