RISS CoRE—Conceptualizing Reconfiguration for Empirical Research

Research question/goal: 

This project has a special role within the research unit “Reconfiguration and Internalization of Social Structure” (RISS). Based on the key objectives articulated in its main proposal, the research unit will elaborate a conceptual framework that links the different RISS subprojects. At the same time, it will establish the key theoretical concepts and mechanisms for analysing the reconfiguring social structure and its effects on individuals’ social identities within a state-of-the-art empirical foundation. Against this background, the project’s objectives are three.

The first objective is to further develop and expand the multidimensional perspective on the reconfiguration and internalization of social structure. To 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 macrolevel 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 socioeconomic 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 in the main proposal of RISS 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 the RISS propositions from an overarching perspective. Using the RISS Reconfiguration Data Set, it will describe and explore multidimensional macrolevel transformations of the German social structure. To test the key internalization processes, it will analyse results from a conjoint experiment implemented in the RISS Internalization Survey.

Current stage: 

Three papers are currently being prepared in the context of this research project. A first paper develops a new experimental method for measuring social identification. A second paper uses microcensus data and multidimensional correlation measures to document the sociostructural reconfiguration in Germany from 1980 to 2020. A third paper simulates the implications of a formal identity model to generate theoretical predictions of the internalisation of sociostructural change in Germany 1980–2020.

Fact sheet

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