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.
Under what conditions are allocative claims recognized by a social group as representing legitimate needs instead of mere subjective desires? As a principle of justice, need is considered salient in solidary communities. People must perceive and experience social bonds with others in order to make these others’ fate a precept of their behaviour towards them. The recognition of need claims depends on the plausibility of the claim to others, which depends on the knowledge and understanding of the conditions under which the claim is made. Three factors potentially affecting the recognition of need by others are explored: First, an increase in the size of the need claim is expected to lower the probability of need recognition. A critical point is the equal distribution: Needs below the equal distribution tend to be superseded by the latter while need above the equal distribution tend to be rejected by others. Second, the transparency of information about a need threshold is hypothesized to raise need satisfaction, but the threshold also serves as an anchor which lowers allocations to people with small needs. Third, according to the minimal group theory, belonging to the same group is expected to raise need satisfaction in comparison to outsiders. These expectations are tested and largely corroborated in laboratory experiments.