With its Jour Fixe-Presentations, which include reports on results and progress of research, the SOCIUM offers the wider public a regional discussion forum on issues of social inequality and social policy.

Additionally, every semester scholars and practitioners with professional backgrounds are invited to the SOCIUM in order to analyze questions on health economics and health policies. These lectures of the Colloquium on Health Policy (Gesundheitspolitisches Kolloquium) are also open to the public.

Established to strengthen the University’s high-profile area Social sciences the bridge professorship “Qualitative Methods and Microsociology” offers lectures and international workshops on Mixed Methods, Social Network Analysis and Comparative Methods.

The SOCIUM also organizes a variety of conferences, lectures and workshops to present and discuss recent societal developments regarding inequality and social policy research.

10.02.2021 - 10.02.2021

Gender, Right-Wing Populism and Family Policy Discourses in Hungary and in Poland

Dorota Szelewa, PhD. (Trinity College Dublin)

WiSe 2021/22

''The main topic of this presentation is to analyse the recent reforms and discourses about gender roles as produced and activated by the right-wing populist governments in Hungary (post 2010)  and Poland (post 2015). In the context of a rapid demographic decline that took place in almost all East European Countries, women started to be predominantly perceived through their reproductive functions. In Hungary, pro-natalist policies favouring cash transfers were intensified under the slogans of ‘demographic revolution of the middle class’, with blaming women for falling fertility rates. In Poland, aligned with the Catholic Church, the new government has openly attacked the notion of gender, while limiting access to emergency contraception, IVF treatment, and allowing the repeated attempts to introduce a complete abortion ban, while at the same time investing heavily in child-related policies. Overall, such approach would place more emphasis on supply side of politics. For characterising the recent reforms in Hungary and Poland I am using the notions of maternalism and familialism (and their varieties) and then to analyse the main discourses around maternity in relation to gender roles and other accompanying discourses employed by the right-wing populist governments in the new political contexts. My argument is that the recent developments in these policies and discourses can be interpreted as re-building and strengthening national identities. Specifically, I am using Nira Yuval-Davis’s framework of gendered nationalism. As previous studies often focused on Hungarian-Polish comparison due to differences in their policy mixes, with Hungary being labelled ‘public maternalism’ or ‘comprehensive support’ and Poland – ‘private maternalism’ or ‘implicit familialism’, this paper demonstrates how the recent reforms contribute to transformation of Polish version of maternalism from ‘private’ to ‘public’.

Please join the lecture via Zoom here.
Meeting-ID: 969 2737 8979
Kenncode: 182633


4 pm - 5.30 pm
Contact Person:
Partic. Organization:
SoSe 2021

Mario Azevedo is Professor at the Department of History and Philosophy and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Jackson State University. He earned his Ph.D. in African History from Duke University and an M.P.H. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written extensively on African history with a special focus on health politics. In his talk, he will present core findings from his two-volume book "Historical Perspectives on the State of Health and Health Systems in Africa" (Cham: Springer International, 2017).

Zoom link:
Meeting-ID: 975 0659 3878
Kenncode: 118032


Haus der Wissenschaft
Sandstraße 4/5
28195 Bremen
8:00 - 16:00 Uhr
SoSe 2021

Thematic Conference

Technological Change, Digitalization and Life Course Inequalities

Technological change has major implications for social inequality. Most of the research focuses on changes in skill requirements and labor market transformations. Yet, digitalization, more than ever before, has the potential to impact inequalities across a wide range of life domains and for different groups in society. This workshop aims to connect researchers to discuss the most important developments and challenges that digitalization has for inequality. The aim is to stimulate and cross-fertilize research on digitalization and inequality regarding various dimensions of the life course and life periods/stages, across various institutional settings. Example questions are: Are gender inequalities intensified or alleviated by technological changes? Do digital technologies foster family relations across generations? What are the implications of changes in skill requirements at work for the reproduction of social inequality? Can elderly benefit from technological advancements or are they left behind? How doesdigitalization impact ethnic inequalities and segregation (e.g., language barriers, labor market integration)?

This workshop encourages contributions on the following topics (but not limited to)

  • Labor market inequality;
  • Family relations;
  • Gender inequality;
  • Cognitive and noncognitive skills;
  • Educational inequality;
  • Work-life interferences;
  • Well-being;
  • Civic and democratic participation

Keynote Speakers

Tali Kristal, University of Haifa
Mario L. Small, Harvard University
Glenda Quintini, OECD

ECSR Thematic Conference


2 pm - 3:30 pm
Contact Person:
Partic. Organization:
Lecture Series:
Jour Fixe
WiSe 2021/22

Stephen Devereux (Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK, and Mercator Fellow at CRC 1342) is a leading expert in Social Policy in southern Africa. 

Devereux is currentliy working on a book on social protection agents and agencies in Africa. In this lecture he will look at methodological and ethical issues, as well as some of the interesting findings from interviews he has conducted so far.

The lecture will most likely be held online via Zoom. The link to join in will be shared in due time