What Can Behavioral Genetic Approaches Teach Us on Social Inequality and Educational Attainment? Examples from the German TwinLife Study

13.02.2020 - 12:00 to 13:00
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB A-Kolloquium
Prof. Martin Diewald
Lecturer affiliation: 
Universität Bielefeld

Genetically informed research has long been a taboo in the social sciences. Meanwhile the situation has changed quite dramatically, with molecular genetic approaches on the rise. However,  also twin-based approaches experience a revival, though they are critized for their partly shaky theoretical and methodological assumptions. Both approaches are helpful to meet one of the most pressing challenges of the social sciences: that all social factors are genetically confounded to some degree. Twin-based studies allow moreover to distinguish between shared and nonshared environments. Over and above basic ACE modeling, especially (1) comparative approaches, e.g., between different scieties across time and space, and subgroups within populations, (2) the combination of genetic with phenotypic information, and (3) gene-by-environment interaction studies are interesting for sociological research. How these help to address sociological  research questions and research-based policy recommendations will be discussed on a general level and then demonstrated by some examples of analyses based on the German TwinLife study.