RISS CoRE – Conceptualizing Reconfiguration for Empirical Research

Research question/goal: 

This project takes up a special role within the RISS consortium. Following the key objectives articulated in the RISS Main proposal, it will build a conceptual framework tying the different RISS subprojects together and, simultaneously, anchor the key theoretical concepts and mechanisms for analyzing the reconfiguring social structure and its effects on individuals’ social identities within a state-of-the-art empirical foundation.
Against this background, the projects’ objectives are threefold.

The first objective is to further develop and expand the multidimensional perspective on the reconfiguration and internalization of social structure. For this purpose, it conducts a theoretical-conceptual analysis that aims to integrate status inconsistency and cross-cutting cleavages into a common multidimensional macro-meso-micro framework of social structure using the concept of social identity. The theoretical implications of this framework for the social identification with society and specific societal subgroups will then be examined with a simulation study.

The second objective is to coordinate and manage the data collection efforts related to the RISS Reconfiguration Data Set and the RISS Internalization Survey. These data sets are designed to study the reconfiguration and internalization of social structure from a multidimensional perspective. The RISS Reconfiguration Data Set will extract and pool information from secondary data on the multidimensional macro-level reconfiguration of the German social structure in the period 1980-2020. The RISS Internalization Survey’ s main aim is to study individuals’ internalization of the reconfigured social structure. It will collect cross-sectional data on a statistically representative sample of the German population and on selected oversamples of theoretically interesting target groups. Besides conventional questions on the socio-economic position, the survey will focus on innovative instruments for the measurement of social identity.

The third objective is to address the key substantive issues raised by the RISS Main proposal using the collected data. Whereas the other individual RISS-projects will bring depth and validity to the general RISS framework by applying it to particular societal topics or domains, this project will examine RISS propositions from an overarching perspective. Using the RISS Reconfiguration Data Set, it will describe and explore some of the multidimensional macro-level transformations of the German social structure. To test the key internalization processes, it will analyze results from a conjoint experiment implemented in the RISS Internalization Survey.

Current stage: 

This project has started in October and has successfully recruited a PhD student. We have started the data preparation of the German Micro Census 1980-2016 and produced the first descriptive analyses of multidimensional socio-structural change in Germany. These results were already presented at the annual meeting of the Akademie für Soziologie. Currently, we are putting together a systematic review of multidimensional concepts of social structure in the social sciences and designing a novel experimental approach to the study of social identification.

Fact sheet

2021 to 2025
Data Sources: 
Survey data, experimental evidence
Geographic Space: