Logo der Universität Wien

Current third-party funded projects at the Department of Sociology

Title / Duration / Project Leader

Families and inequality: Trends in the education gap in family behaviour across Europe (FATE) / 2018-2021 / Caroline Berghammer

COHSMO - Inequality, urbanization and Territorial Cohesion: Developing the European Social Model of economic growth and democratic capacity / 2017-2020 / Yuri Kazepov

Quality of Life in a growing City / 2017-2020 / Roland Verwiebe

Alfred Schütz and the Viennese Circles: Towards the communicative arrangement of incompatible knowledge / 2017-2019 / Michaela Pfadenhauer, Tilo Grenz

SMILE - Exploring Divorce with Illustrations / 2017-2019 / Ulrike Zartler

Moral Courage 2.0: Mechanisms and effects of morally courageous interventions of teenagers dealing with perceived violence on the Internet / 2017-2019 / Ulrike Zartler

Solidarity in times of crisis - Socio-economic change and political orientations in Austria and Hungary (SOCRIS) / 2016-2019 / Jörg Flecker

YOUNG_ADULLLT – Policies Supporting Young Adults in their Life Course. A Comparative Perspective of Lifelong Learning and Inclusion in Education and Work in Europe / 2016-2019 / Yuri Kazepov

Entertainment by Training on a Personalized Exergame Platform (ENTERTRAIN) / 2016-2019 / Franz Kolland

Labor Market Integration of Refugees in Austria – A Longitudinal Analysis / 2016-2019 / Roland Verwiebe

ICARuS* - Informal CARer Situation / 2017-2018 / Franz Kolland, Ulrike Zartler

GranD Cities - Green and Diverse Cities. The social impact of urban policies for sustainability in comparative perspective / 2016-2018 / Roberta Cucca, Yuri Kazepov

‘To a Healthy Neighbourhood‘ – with focus on senior citizens / 2015-2018 / Franz Kolland

Barriers to older people’s access to cultural education – ‘Mainstreaming Ageing‘ in the cultural sector / 2016 - 2018 / Franz Kolland

Post-War Diasporas - Cosmopolitan Nationalism? / 2016-2018 / Ana Mijić

TRANSWEL: Mobile Welfare in a Transnational Europe. An Analysis of Portability Regimes of Social Security Rights / 2015-2018 / Elisabeth Scheibelhofer

Provision of on-request reporting services – Network of Correspondents – Austria / 2014-2018 / Jörg Flecker

First Austrian Film-Gender-Report 2012-2016 / 2017 / Eva Flicker

Family as a Material-Discursive Nexus of Practices: Onto-epistemological Foundations for the Definition of Humans and Human Relations and the Consequences for the Definition of Family / 2016-2017 / Cornelia Schadler

Mediatization as a Business Model III: Counter-Strategies and Turning Points in the Mediatization Process / 2015-2017 / Michaela Pfadenhauer

Forming Values: Contents - Places - Processes / 2015-2017 / Roland Verwiebe

Optimizing the Workplace of ELderly Laborers: BE IN Good health! (WELLBEING) / 2014-2017 / Franz Kolland

Vulnerability of and adaption strategies for migrant groups in urban heat environments (EthniCityHeat) / 2014-2017 / Franz Kolland

DIVERCITIES “Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today's Hyperdiversified Cities” / 2013-2017 / Yuri Kazepov

Changing Families and Sustainable Societies: Policy Contexts and Diversity over the Life Course and Across Generations (FamiliesAndSocieties)
 / 2013-2017 / Rudolf Richter

Overtime in Austria – Origin and distribution of overtime in Austria, dealing with overtime in Austria with international comparison / 2015-2016 / Jörg Flecker

Women found differently. Biographical construction of entrepreneurial identity in male-dominated industries / 2014-2016 / Andrea Smioski

Third ISA Forum of Sociology (July 10-14, 2016) / 2014-2016 / Rudolf Richter

Early Retirement and Well-being in Europe: A secondary analysis based on SHARE and ELSA / 2011-2014 / Ulrike Waginger

Title / Duration / Project Leader

Families and inequality: Trends in the education gap in family behaviour across Europe (FATE)
Duration: 2018-2021
Funding: FWF Elise Richter Programme

The FATE project investigates how family behaviour varies by education and how this educational gap has changed over the last decades. We specifically look at three kinds of family behaviours: (1) living arrangements, (2) parents’ time spent with childcare and (3) parents’ employment. Based on data from various surveys, the FATE project draws a comparison between many European countries.

Contact person: Caroline Berghammer

COHSMO - Inequality, urbanization and Territorial Cohesion: Developing the European Social Model of economic growth and democratic capacity
Duration: 2017-2020
Funding: European Union - Horizon 2020

The way that public, private and civil society stakeholders counter or cushion spatial injustice varies across localities in Europe. In common, is the need to develop the institutional capacities for place-based collaboration and to democratically mobilize communities for policy development and adaptation. The principal aim of COHSMO is to investigate the relation between socio-economic structures of inequality, urbanization and territorial cohesion, and how territorial cohesion at different European scales affect economic growth, spatial justice and democratic capacities. Although location and place have gained attention in European policy and the theoretical thinking informing regional development policies, COHSMO proposes a change of orientation in the direction of making place-informed theories and policies instead of applying existing theories and policies on places. This will be done by providing a cross-case analysis and assessment of territorial cohesion within three different cases in each of the seven national partner contexts based on a mixed-method and locality sensitive approach.

The project aims at providing policy recommendations in relation to sustainable economic growth, spatial justice and democratic capacity, in order to contribute to the development of the European Social Model. Its research objectives are:

  • Understanding the relationship between policy instruments and local experiences of territorial cohesion.
  • Analysing how “social investment strategies” relate to territorial cohesion and local conditions.
  • Assessing spatial development policies at different governance scales to map the impact of different policy instruments in the fight against spatial inequality and spatial injustice.

COHSMO is an EU-funded comparative and mixed methods research project with 7 partner institutions in 7 EU member states.

Contact person: Yuri Kazepov

Quality of Life in a growing City
Duration: 2017-2020
Funding: City of Vienna

This project encompasses a large empirical study on the living conditions in Vienna. The planned survey comprises interviews with more than 8000 people in Vienna. This study will be conducted for the fifth time and allows for extensive analysis in regard to various aspects of living conditions of different population groups in Vienna and systematic analyses on social change in the city over an almost 25 year period.

In addition to a detailed analysis of the year 2018, the project provides information about changes between survey waves (1995 until 2018). Important topics of the project are:

  • quality of life and subjective wellbeing
  • urban development, infrastructure and traffic
  • habitation and living environment
  • health and care
  • social integration
  • culture, leisure time and sport
  • compatibility of family and work life
  • environmental protection
  • satisfaction with work, labour market integration and economic development

Contact persons: Roland Verwiebe, Raimund Haindorfer, Christina Liebhart

Alfred Schütz and the Viennese Circles: Towards the communicative arrangement of incompatible knowledge
Duration: 2017-2019
Funding: Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung

At the turn of the 20th century Vienna was one of the most vibrant intellectual centers, although intellectuals and scholars had to deal with unique structural problems, the most important of which are the dense concentration of scientists caused by the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy, the growing political tension between conservative and liberal wings, and the systematic academic marginalization of Jewish intellectuals as well as women at the University of Vienna. Discussion circles that flourished outside or at the margins of the University, e.g. the world-famous “Vienna circle”, grew significantly in importance. A historically unique thought style was what distinguished these circles: Contradictory terms, methods and theories that were unusual or even displaced within academia could get into contact and were related in different or even unorthodox ways.

Making him a prototypic figure of that time, Alfred Schütz participated actively in Ludwig von Mises’ “private seminar” and also attended the “Geistkreis” founded by Herbert Furth and Friedrich August von Hayek as well as the “private seminar” of Hans Kelsen. Written in 1932, his book “Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt” testifies the specific thought style within the above-mentioned circles. It provided a theoretical argumentation that combined philosophical and social sciences positions that were deemed to be incompatible by then.

Using the example of Schütz, the research project focuses on the specific cultures of knowledge production to be found within the circles, especially the way contradictory scientific positions were handled against the background of a significant professional and theoretical heterogeneity. In order to conceptualize these complicated networks of persons and ideas, the circles will be analyzed and further developed as Communicative Knowledge Cultures. Such a systematic cultural approach is undertaken for the first time. Personal testimonials of the circle-members and -observers as well as archive material which provides evidence to the circles serve as main data sources in order to shed light on the focus under question.

Contact person: Michaela Pfadenhauer, Tilo Grenz

SMILE - Exploring Divorce with Illustrations
Duration: 2017-2019
Funding: Sparkling Science (BMWFW)

Today, children are often confronted with parental separation, be it in their own families or in those of friends or classmates. While processes within the family were intensively investigated, influence factors outside the family are disregarded. However, we have very limited knowledge about how primary school children communicate about divorce in their peer groups, which (mis-)information and which concepts about divorce-related legal regulations they exchange. Yet, misconceptions and exaggerated ideas may result in uncertainties.

The study SMILE investigates together with 8- to 10-year-old children their concepts and communication about parental separation by adopting a participative and innovative methodical approach: Concept cartoons – illustrations showing everyday situations and different characters’ viewpoints – will be adopted for use in social sciences for the first time, to create narrations by using visual stimuli. The study is not primarily interested in investigating what children think about their own parents’ divorce, as numerous studies have done, but includes all classmates.

Based on a most different cases design, research will be conducted in an urban and a rural Austrian research area, with the highest and the lowest Austrian-wide divorce rate (Vienna and Tyrol). The children are involved in the entire research process (development of concept cartoons, discussions in group settings, dissemination). Jointly produced information leaflets and teaching materials, together with the public and scientific dissemination ensure knowledge transfer and sustainable impact. The study further includes discussions with parents, grandparents and teachers and the final conference ‘SMILE goes public’.

WEB: project website | Sparkling Science

Contact person: Ulrike Zartler, Raphaela Kogler, Marlies Zuccato-Doutlik

Moral Courage 2.0: Mechanisms and effects of morally courageous interventions of teenagers dealing with perceived violence on the Internet
Duration: 2017-2019
Funding: FFG (KIRAS)

Young people are particularly often victims of severe actively exercised violence on the Internet such as cyberbullying (e.g. insulting postings, racist or salacious offenses, extortion or importunating with pornographic contents), confrontation with shocking videos (e.g. showing realistic executions), improper usage of Facebook accounts, compilation of fake profiles or threats of physical violence or death. Such attacks happen, for example, in social networks, on photo or video platforms, in chats or via instant messaging. They may even be more severe than those in real life as the virtual distance and anonymity lead to an increasing disinhibition of the perpetrators who often do not even realize the emotional consequences for the victim. It is particularly distressing for cyber victims that such attacks are exhibited in front of a larger uncontrolled and uninvolved audience (online bystanders) – although especially this virtual public has a high potential for intervention.

The project Moral Courage 2.0 therefore focuses on the high preventive potential of juvenile online bystanders, which by now has been hardly considered in security research. The main aim of the research project is to contribute to essential basic research by identifying underlying factors, mechanisms and effects, which support or inhibit the moral courage of young people in online contexts. Furthermore, the project aims at sustainably encouraging juveniles for moral courage on the Internet by developing an adequate repertoire of interventions for young people and conceptualising comprehensive information and training measures. This is done in collaboration with the project partners (see below).

The study starts with an exploratory phase with the aim to identify typical scenarios of moral courage by juveniles in online contexts. Regarding methods, focus groups with young persons and expert interviews will be used. Furthermore, we examine the conditions of moral courage and appropriate models for action. With a quantitative vignette study among young people aged 14 to 18, relevant conditions and possible courses of action are systematically analysed with the help of hypothetically constructed variations of scenarios of moral courage in the social web. Based on the empirical results, moral courage training concepts, targeted information offers (online or otherwise), as well as teaching opportunities for juveniles and professional youth workers will be developed in cooperation with the project partners.

Project partners:
ÖIAT - Österreichisches Institut für angewandte Telekommunikation / saferinternet.at
MKÖ -Mauthausen Komitee Österreich / www.zivilcourage.at
KPH - Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule Wien/Krems
BM.I – Bundeskriminalamt, Büro 1.6 Kriminalprävention und Opferhilfe

Contact persons: Ulrike Zartler, Christiane Atzmüller

Solidarity in times of crisis - Socio-economic change and political orientations in Austria and Hungary (SOCRIS)
Duration: 2016-2019
Funding: Austrian Science Fund (FWF): I 2698-G27

The recent economic crisis has severely affected the living and working conditions of citizens all over Europe, leading to high levels of insecurity and declining trust in public institutions. The project aims at investigating the impact of the intensified socio-economic change following the recent economic crisis on political orientations. How did working and living conditions changed after the crisis? How do individuals perceive changes in society in recent years? How do those changes affect individual perceptions, social cohesion and political orientations?

The project will focus on the symbolic struggles between different formations of solidarity. It is assumed that solidarity, social cohesion and the question who should be supported are dynamic configurations with a continuous struggle over the boundaries of the solidarity community.

The project will focus on Austria and Hungary which provide the unique opportunity to investigate two countries with similar political developments, yet affected by the crisis very differently. Using methodological triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data SOCRIS will provide a deeper understanding of the complex relationships between societal change and political subjectivity.

Partner institutions:
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeitswelt (FORBA)

Scientific advisory board:
Dr. Gudrun Hentges (Fulda University, Germany)
Dr. Hans de Witte (K.U. Leuven, Belgium)
Dr. Manuela Caiani (Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, Italy)
Dr. Dietmar Loch (University of Lille, France)

Contact persons: Jörg Flecker, Carina Altreiter, Saskja Schindler

YOUNG_ADULLLT – Policies Supporting Young Adults in their Life Course. A Comparative Perspective of Lifelong Learning and Inclusion in Education and Work in Europe
Duration: 2016-2019
Funding: European Union – Horizon 2020

YOUNG_ADULLLT is an EU-funded comparative and mixed methods research project with 15 partner institutions in 9 EU member states.

Current Lifelong Learning (LLL) policies for young adults in Europe aim both at creating economic growth and, at the same time, guaranteeing social inclusion. However, their distinct orientations and objectives as well as varying temporal horizons may create or exacerbate conflicts and ambiguities thus causing fragmentation, ineffectiveness and/or unintended effects for young people. YOUNG_ADULLLT aims at analyzing the interaction and complementarity of LLL policies and policy-making with other sectorial policies as well as understanding the different ways in which LLL policies are socially embedded in specific regional and local contexts across Europe.

The project focuses on the interplay of three different analytical levels and perspectives – the individual, the structural level and the institutional level. Its research objectives are:

  • Understanding the relationship and complementarity between LLL policies and young people’s social conditions and assessing their potential implications and intended/unintended effects on young adults’ life courses.
  • Analysing LLL policies in terms of young adults’ needs as well as their potential for successfully recognising and mobilising the hidden resources of young adults for their life projects.
  • Researching LLL policies in their embeddedness in regional economies, labour markets and individual life projects of young adults.
  • Identifying best practices and patterns of coordinating policy-making at local and regional levels. 

Website: http://www.young-adulllt.eu/

Contact person: Yuri Kazepov

Entertainment by Training on a Personalized Exergame Platform (ENTERTRAIN)
Consortium project
Duration: 2016 – 2019
Funding: AAL-Joint Programme (EU)

The objective of EnterTrain is given by its name: enhancing the health and quality of life of independently living older adults by motivating them for physical training in an entertaining way. It is known that physical activity is important for older adults at any age and health status, from a healthy 50-year-old up to a frail 80-year-old. It can enhance the quality of life by reducing risks of some chronic diseases and relieve depression.
A popular solution for enhancing the physical activity of older adults is to provide them with computer games which are played via body movement and thus have the inherent effect of unobtrusive physical exercise: so-called exergames (Kharrazi, Lu, Gharghabi, & Coleman, 2012).
These games are based on common sensors that track the user’s movement and can therefore easily be played at home. The core idea of exergames is that they persuade older adults to exercise more simply because it is fun to play.
EnterTrain aims to enhance the quality of life of older adults ranging from a healthy 65-year-old up to a frail 80-year old. To respond to this heterogeneity, EnterTrain follows two strategies: first, personalization of the software and second, involvement of different groups of end-users.As EnterTrain targets physical activity, health and frailty are crucial distinguishing features of end-users.
While older adults themselves are the primary end-users, two important groups of secondary end-users can be defined: a) formal and informal care-givers and b) (grand-) children. While formal and informal care-givers play a major role in providing access to frail older adults in fourth age, who are a particularly hard-to-reach target group, (grand-)children can motivate older adults in third age to play on the EnterTrain platform and thus raise acceptance. Finally, NGOs in the field of care form the group of tertiary end-users also involved in the project consortium (NFE).

End-user involvement in the EnterTrain project comprises:

- a user requirement analysis among primary and secondary end-users
- through an Advanced Advisory Board (AAB) that guides the research process with their expertise in the life worlds and needs of older adults
-  a two-phase pilot application: In phase 1, four lead users (in both life stages) will test the platform for two months. Phase 2 comprises an experimental design in which 40 primary-end users test the platform for 12 months. Acceptance, usability and impact are measured continuously throughout this time by quantitative socio-empiric methods.

Contact persons: Franz Kolland, Anna Wanka, Viktoria Quehenberger

Labor Market Integration of Refugees in Austria – A Longitudinal Analysis
Duration: 2016-2019
Funding: Anniversary Fund of the Austrian National Bank

This project was established as a cooperation between the Department of Sociology and the Department of Economic Sociology. In 2015 Austria belonged to a group of EU countries (including Sweden, Hungary and Germany) which received the largest number of refugees in relation to its population size. One urgent concern is the facilitation of these migrants’ economic self-sufficiency by integrating them into the labor market. Successful labor market integration depends largely on formal requirements, most notably recognized qualifications and language proficiency, but also on the extent of integration into other areas of society, including the integration into social networks or the identification with Austrian norms and values. This is the starting point for the present project which investigates the labor market integration of refugees and the interrelation of economic, social, and cultural integration using an online panel study with four waves. This will be combined with a number of expert interviews and problem-centered interviews among newly arrived refugees.

Contact persons: Roland Verwiebe, Bernhard Kittel, Raimund Haindorfer, David Schiestl, Christina Liebhart

ICARuS* - Informal CARer Situation
A cooperation project between the Department of Nursing Science and the Department of Sociology
Duration: 2017-2018
Funding: Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Soziales und Konsumentenschutz

As soon as somebody is in need of care, it's still most often their family taking on the responsibility. Care provided by a family member is a special kind which relies upon mutuality, emotionality and existing social ties between the individuals involved. Family-based care not only concerns the affected families but also society as a whole, as has a dominant role in how care is provided to people in need. Thus family-based care has evoked the interest of politics, the science community and different welfare state institutions. The last Austrian assessment study of family members conducting care was done in 2005. This study aims to again shed some light on those persons. The main goal of this study is to give insights on the living and care conditions of those providing care to a family member. The main focus is on the home-based setting but some institutional settings will be assessed as well. The final outcome should be to devise support measures for affected persons in Austria based upon the results of this study. Methodologically, the study is a) based on a quantitative-descriptive procedure (questionnaire). This will describe the situation of caring relatives, based on a randomized sample of care-money receivers and caregivers in Austria. And b) on a qualitative-interpretative approach using qualitative interviews) for an in-depth look at the affected perspective of caring families in different contexts and under different family conditions.

Webpage of the department of Nursing Science

Contact person: Franz Kolland, Ulrike Zartler, Marc Bittner, Viktoria Parisot

GranD Cities - Green and Diverse Cities. The social impact of urban policies for sustainability in comparative  perspective
Duration: 2016-2018

The need for more sustainable cities has been considered a key point of global strategy for the future and one of the most important aims of the EU strategy for the urban environment. However, sustainability can also be described as one piece of rhetoric; far from being an effective paradigm, being too broad, vague and economically-centred, and with no specific social dimensions clearly set out. Although the attention to social inclusion, especially in the most deprived urban areas, is an important pillar of urban sustainability, a clear evaluation of the social impacts of sustainability programs in EU Cities is still missing. This investigation aims to fill this gap, by analysing, in comparative perspective, the social impacts of green urban renewal in Europe. By selecting as case studies Vienna and Copenhagen, two cities that have been particularly successful in implementing policies for environmental sustainability, the research project aims to identify intended and unintended impacts of these strategies in terms of social and spatial inequality among social groups. The project will adopt the following research strategies: quantitative data gathering; interviews with key informants in cities; ethnographic research in areas of the cities affected by green urban renewal and programs for sustainability; comparative analysis of data and information.

Contact persons:
Marie Curie Fellow: Roberta Cucca
Supervisor: Yuri Kazepov

‘To a Healthy Neighbourhood‘ – with focus on senior citizens
Duration: 2015- 2018
Funding: Fonds Gesundes Österreich (FGÖ)

The University of Vienna has been commissioned by the Fund for a Healthy Austria (FGÖ) to evaluate five practice projects under the ‘Healthy Neighbourhood’ initiative. The projects focus on health-promoting neighbourhood activities in communities and neighbourhoods, on the involvement of socially disadvantaged population groups in neighbourhoods, and on the networking of actors. The project team at the University of Vienna will focus on evaluating social participation and support for older people.

The target group for the evaluation by the research team are senior citizens, sponsors of the selected projects (for instance AVOS, ARGE Seniorenmobil, FH Burgenland), project implementing bodies in the supporting organisations, decision-makers, local groups and multipliers in the municipal setting.

The evaluation design follows a mixed-method approach in which both quantitative and qualitative data are gathered, evaluated and linked with each other. In addition to qualitative interviews, participant observations of project activities are also to take place, a quantitative survey among participating senior citizens will be carried out and focus group discussions will be held.

Cooperation partners: queraum. kultur- und sozialforschung, Hilfswerk Burgenland and Volkshilfe Burgenland, Waldviertler Kernland and NÖ.Regional.GmbH, AVOS Gesellschaft für Vorsorgemedizin GmbH and Hilfswerk Salzburg, Verein Illusions and Frauengesundheitszentrum Graz, Wiener Hilfswerk and Wiener Sozialdienste

Web: http://www.gesunde-nachbarschaft.at/

Contact persons: Franz Kolland, Katharina Resch, Anna Wanka, Anna Fassl, Julia Pintsuk-Christof

Barriers to older people’s access to cultural education – ‘Mainstreaming Ageing‘ in the cultural sector
Consortium project
Duration: 2016 - 2018
Funding: Anniversary Fund of the Austrian National Bank

Demographic change is making the learning and educational opportunities for the elderly increasingly important, especially the aspect of cultural education which, in this process, gains international importance. Therefore, mission statements of organisations increasingly include diversity concepts and declarations regarding the inclusion of and equality for the elderly. Against a backdrop of the fundamental right to education and cultural participation, this study examines, at multiple levels, how is such access regulated and if, or how, the elderly are at a disadvantage. On the socio-structural level, the question arises as to which factors lead to a social disadvantage. It is a matter of interaction between socio-structural disadvantages and disadvantages arising in connection with changing governance arrangements and constellations in educational and cultural institutions. What approaches, concepts and organisational cultures lead to exclusion and which are necessary for greater participation of the elderly in cultural education? The study will investigate the potentials of cultural education in terms of the development of specific competencies for successful and active ageing, and will examine the extent to which the provisions on the organisation level are reproduced and solidified by age images. For this purpose, we will use research findings from the educational sociology and from gerontology culture and the approaches to governance and governmentality research. On the basis of the results, a toolkit will be created in combination with appropriate literature that will support the successful implementation of Mainstreaming Ageing in cultural institutions and age-sensitive approaches in cultural education.

Contact persons: Franz Kolland, Anna Wanka, Vera Gallistl

Post-War Diasporas - Cosmopolitan Nationalism?
Duration: 2016-2018
Funding:Hertha-Firnberg Forschungsstelle, FWF

The research project—theoretically based within the sociology of knowledge—focuses on an (objective) hermeneutical analysis of identity constructions of Bosnian diasporas living in Austria. It is to be expected that the self-images of Bosnians, whether or not they are living in their country of origin, are still highly influenced by the direct or indirect experience of war. Thus, in contrast with the Bosnians living in Bosnia, the Bosnian emigrants’ identities are presumably also affected by the experience of migration and the experience of life in minority settings. Wartime, post-war and migration constitute a very particular context, within which the Bosnian diasporas have to maintain a positive self-image and (re-)construct their identities.

Contact person: Ana Mijić

TRANSWEL: Mobile Welfare in a Transnational Europe. An Analysis of Portability Regimes of Social Security Rights
Duration: 2015-2018
Funding: Norface

This 4-country, comparative, and interdisciplinary project addresses one of the most important and controversial issues in the European Union today: the social rights of EU citizens from the new EU member states who move to live and/or work in old member state.
Empirically, the project traces the migration of regularly and irregularly employed migrants and their family members, and their social security rights between four pairs of countries: Hungary-Austria, Bulgaria-Germany, Poland-United Kingdom and Estonia-Sweden. It assesses what the social and welfare rights of mobile citizens are in policy and in practice; how mobile EU citizens experience, organise and manage their welfare transnationally; and what the consequences are, for the patterning of inequality among EU citizens.
Conceptually, the project brings together work on transnational migration, and on the portability of social security rights across national borders (with portability being defined as the ability to transfer and convert the social security rights), in order to develop a typology of transnational portability regimes, drawing on the comparative analysis in each paired case.
There are four teams of researchers, based in, respectively, the Universities of Frankfurt am Main (Anna Amelina, overall project lead); Vienna (lead: Elisabeth Scheibelhofer); Södertörn (lead: Ann Runfors); and Bath (lead: Emma Carmel).

WEB: www.transwel.org

Contact person: Elisabeth Scheibelhofer

Provision of on-request reporting services – Network of Correspondents – Austria
Duration: 2014 – 2018
Funding: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)

As European Union Agency, Eurofound provides expertise and advice on living and working conditions and industrial relations for stakeholders and key actors in the European Union. Correspondents in all of the member states (and Norway) provide inputs on different topics and national developments in the area of labour market policies, working conditions or social inequality. This information provides the necessary background for pan-European comparative analysis.
In Austria, the University of Vienna, Department of Sociology, together with FORBA (Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeit), is responsible for national reporting. The Department of Sociology is reporting to the European restructuring events database but also provides on-request comparative analytical reports. 

Contact persons: Carina AltreiterJörg Flecker

First Austrian Film-Gender-Report 2012-2016
Duration: 2017
Funding: Austrian Film Institute (Österreichisches Filminstitut), The Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria (Bundeskanzleramt Sektion II: Kunst und Kultur)

Gender and gender relations are a big topic in both the work environment and its representation in the media. In the Austrian film industry, too, there seems to be an imbalance between genders in front and behind the camera. So far, this has not been systematically analyzed.
The goal of the research project for the First Austrian Film-Gender-Report is to create a report that captures and analyzes the gender relations in the creation of Austrian Film between 1.1.2012 and 31.12.2016. We collect mostly quantitative data on film projects, starting with their application for funding at Austrian funding bodies up to their cinematic release. For this, we analyse data from the following areas:

  • funding bodies (with their various funding frameworks from project development to cinematic release)
  • broadcaster (funding and/or programming of TV stations)
  • film schools (students, alumni and teachers)
  • active creators of films (by departments; including their payments)
  • participation in national and international film festivals and prizes
  • content (main and supporting roles; Bechdel-Wallace-Test; genres)

The report is supposed to be the first in an annual series of reports and should be used:

  • to raise awareness for gender imbalances and transparency for gendered effects
  • as basis for the effective implementation of measures to decrease imparities and increase equality between genders
  • as an evaluation tool of those measures in the future.

The first issue is planned to be completed in fall 2017. Starting with 2018, an Annual Report Special is planned to supplement on gender images and gender roles on screen with exemplary qualitative studies.

Project Partnerships:

  • Austrian Film Institute (Österreichisches Filminstitut)
  • The Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria (Bundeskanzleramt Sektion II: Kunst und Kultur)
  • Screenwriters Forum Vienna (Drehbuchforum Wien)
  • FC Gloria – Frauen, Vernetzung, Film
  • Film Academy / Insitute for Film and Television of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Filmakademie / Institut für Film und Fernsehen der Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien)

Contact persons: Eva Flicker, Lena Lisa Vogelmann

Family as a Material-Discursive Nexus of Practices: Onto-epistemological Foundations for the Definition of Humans and Human Relations and the Consequences for the Definition of Family
Duration: 2016-2017

Why is a couple who was married for one year considered by standard definition to be ‘a family’ while a group of roommates who have shared a flat for 10 years and support each other in multiple ways are not?  Why are 'single people' often perceived to be without family when they have huge and stable social networks? Traditional definitions of family include sets of connections between family members which in everyday practices also appear in relationships that fall outside of standard family relations (Roseneil, 2006a; 2006b; 2010). There are close and supportive connections between long-time friends or roommates and close connections to animals or important things or artifacts. Those relationships can be of similar quality as those between ’family members’. Even if we look at the standard nuclear family and their everyday practices, like having dinner or watching TV, in addition to the humans involved there are also animals or things that are important participants in family life, such as the TV, a family dog, a computer or the family house.
If we take those observations seriously, what new definitions of family do we need in order to describe the complexity and multiple relations within everyday (family) life? Within the last decades the concept of family was subject to constant redefinition. Who and what is family was steadily questioned. Despite many forms of close relationships exist, the continuance of the institution family has not declined or has even been reinforced. We experience what Rosi Braidotti calls a "schizoid double pull" : the accepted definitions of family constantly broaden and traditional family forms become strengthened at the same time. With current instruments of defining, the term "family" becomes harder and harder to grasp. I want to introduce a new definition of family as a nexus of what philosopher Karen Barad (2007) calls material-discursive practices.
On an analytical level we currently experience two types of family definitions: Top down and bottom up concepts. Top down definitions of family appear in family research, statistics, legal texts and political definitions. While Family was defined by Parsons and Bales (1956) as a formation that includes a men, a women and their biological child, to date several more assemblages of humans are considered to be a family: e.g divorced parents with their new partners and their children, single mothers with their children, same sex couples with our without children or couples that live together apart. If we look at self definitions (bottom up definitions) of family in interviews, informants describe e.g. closeness within a relationship and certain activities to attach the meaning ‘family’ to a relationship (e.g. Jalinoja, 2008; Roseneil and Budgeon, 2004; Pahl and Spencer, 2010). Research on bottom up definitions of family investigates the narratives of informants about their family ties (e.g. Pahl and Spencer, 2010) and the meaning of family, which is attached to certain family activities (e.g. Jalinoja, 2008; Morgan, 1996).
In my research I want to bring top down and bottom up definitions of family together by perceiving both of them as parts of material-discursive practices, which constitute families. Thus, by employing a feminist materialist framework (Barad, 2003, 2007; Braidotti, 2003, 2006, 2007; Haraway, 2004, 2008, Hirschauer, 1999, 2004), I consider families, their members and their boundaries as made in material-discursive practices. If we do not define family by the members (humans or animals) but by practices, the boundaries of family and the shaping of family members become comprehensible. By adopting such a perspective we are able to describe how boundaries of families emerge and transform and how inequalities and hierarchies within and between different forms of living are enforced or extenuated.

Contact person: Cornelia Schadler

Mediatization as a Business Model III: Counter-Strategies and Turning Points in the Mediatization Process
Duration: 04/2015 – 03/2017
Funding: German Research Foundation (as part of the priority programme 1505 ’Mediatized Worlds‘)

The starting point for research in the third phase of the Priority Programme ‘Mediatized Worlds’ is empirical evidence that once-recognized side effects of the progress of media technology and of normalized media action in mediatized worlds can become the subject of both everyday action and business strategies. When the consequences, or side-effects, of mediatization become evident it ceases to be a latent background process and becomes a manifest problem. Providers react to this development in two ways: on the one hand, in the commercial design and dissemination of media (technologies), they address the publicly thematized consequences of widespread media action and the types of withdrawal, privatization and anonymization that it evokes; on the other hand, as they are confronted with the economically risky side effects of their own mediatization measures, providers endeavour to reduce the datification or the speed of user activities, or the number of options available to users in the media environments they provide. As these radical modifications to the technological basis and the interfaces of digital media affect the media-related actions of all users, they could bring about lasting changes to core activities in mediatized worlds. Within the framework of ‘Mediatization as a Business Model III’, measures and strategies that are specifically directed against mediatization tendencies will be described and analysed as ‘de-mediatization approaches’.
As in the first and second phases of the project, commercially provided and operated media environments will be conceptualized heuristically as the subject of tense interplay between design, dissemination, appropriation and adaptation, and, thus, as spaces in which socio-technical cultural change is negotiated. For the empirical research in the third phase of the project, we shall specifically select cases and research fields that have emerged as commercially viable solutions to the permanent susceptibility of digital offerings to side-effects, or as a response to the mediatization tendencies that are called into question both in everyday life and in public discourse.
The aim of this research is threefold: first, to enrich understanding of reflexive counter-strategies in the context of the commodification of digital media and its consequences; second to examine the mediatization process which has hitherto been considered to be progress-driven for reflexive modern turning points where the consequences of modernization are expressly called into question and alternatives are developed, and to reconstruct these alternatives with regard to their possible institutionalization; and thus, third, to continue our work on the theory and methodology with which the insights into the process of reflexive mediatization gained during all three project phases will be integrated and a set of process analysis instruments for media research will be made available. 

For more information please visit: www.mediatisiertewelten.de/en/

Contact person: Michaela Pfadenhauer

Forming Values: Contents - Places - Processes
Duration: 2015-2017
Funding: Foreign Foundation

This research project examines how values form in pluralistic societies. The project encompasses several empirical steps on a personal, organisational and cross-societal level in the course of which we ask what values are and how they are imparted through organisations. Methodically we combine a range of methods: focus groups, standardised surveys and participatory observations as well as methods of organisation analyses. The focal point of the study is, among others, the conflict between intended and actual contribution of organisations to the imparting of values.

Cooperation: Sylvia Kritzinger, Christian Friesl, Regina Polak, Ulrike Froschauer

WEB: http://www.werteforschung.at/teilprojekte/wertebildung/

Contact persons: Roland Verwiebe, Lena Seewann, Judith Klaiber, Margarita Wolf

Optimizing the Workplace of ELderly Laborers: BE IN Good health! (WELLBEING)
Consortium-led project
Duration: 2014-2017
Funding: AAL-Joint Programme (EU)

Many older people (55+) spend their workdays sitting. This lack of movement in combination with non-ergonomic workplaces can lead to serious illnesses. In addition, cognitive performance decreases with age whilst stress levels rise, leading to a decreased quality of life of older people through complaints of both physical (e.g. backache) and psychological (e.g. stress) nature.
The WELLBEING project develops a platform that takes into account ergonomic aspects and offers useful tips on physical exercise, nutrition and stress management for a healthier daily life in the workplace. In the process of this, the needs of older people are brought to the foreground. Because older people are active in various industries, the project seeks a common feature which, in this case, are those activities involving long-term sedentary periods. This makes the target group very diverse, including secretaries, engineers, lawyers, etc.  
The modules of the platform use a 3D sensor and a camera to provide feedback and information on unhealthy lifestyles and habits such as posture, poor diet and insufficient water consumption. The fun factor is very important and the readiness to use the platform increases when it is combined with social games. The task is to engage around 500 older workers aged 55 and over as end-users in the project via telephone interviews and usability analyses.

Project partners:
•    CogVis (AT, coordinator)
•    Vienna University of Technology, Computer Vision Lab (AT)
•    AIMC (AT)
•    FitBase (DE)
•    Smart Homes (NL)
•    ISOIN (ES)    

WEB: http://www.wellbeing-project.eu/
Contact persons: Franz Kolland, Sophie Psihoda, Anna Wanka 

Vulnerability of and adaption strategies for migrant groups in urban heat environments (EthniCityHeat)
Duration: 2014-2017
Funding: Österreichischer Klima- und Energiefonds

The project EthniCityHeat aims to reduce the vulnerability of urban residents with migrant background during heat waves and close serious scientific knowledge gaps on this topic. It follows three main objectives:
1) Generation of an empirical knowledge base about heat-related vulnerabilities of persons with migrant backgrounds living in Vienna, their heat perceptions and heat adaption strategies
2) Raising awareness among stakeholders, intermediaries and those affected
3) Reducing vulnerabilites by resorting to existing resources and additional measures on the administrative, medical, social and urban planning levels.
The methodological mixed-methods design follows an interdisciplinary, explorative and participatory approach. Scientific partners from the fields of migration research and sociology, urban and green space planning as well as medical anthropology and public health form the consortium. From a deeply comprehensive exploratory phase, in which case studies of 6 multi-generation-families (partly with migrant background) are generated, in-depth interviews with stakeholders and intermediaries and a medical anthropological exploration of migrants’ heat-related vulnerability are conducted, we generate hypotheses for quantitative testing. Two standardised face-to-face surveys will provide one of the very rare generalizable data sets focusing on migrants. The quantitative data will comprise attitudes towards climate change, awareness and perception of heat stress, adaptive strategies and behaviours andthe role of green spaces for migrants and natives of different generations during hot days. Persons with migrant backgrounds, intermediaries and stakeholders will be actively engaged in all research stages through workshops and a coordination group.
Final product is a „Heat Toolbox“, containing target group specific assistance for organization of heat-related information events and presentation of the project’s results.

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning
Medical University Vienna, Centre of Public Health, Institute for Environmental Health & Unit Ethnomedicine and and International Health

Contact persons: Franz Kolland, Anna Wanka, Laura Wiesböck

DIVERCITIES “Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today's Hyperdiversified Cities”
Duration: 2013-2017
Funding: FP7 der EU

The principal aim of this project is to provide evidence for the range of social and socio- outcomes that may emerge from greater urban diversity, particularly its positive aspects, and to document and highlight the significant role that urban policy and local governance arrangements can play in developing and stimulating those positive outcomes.

Cities are becoming more diverse, because of increasing immigration, increasing diversity associated with this migration, different lifestyles within and between groups, spatial segregation in terms of ethnicity, and socio-economic variables, leading to a diversity of opportunities for different groups. Thus, we call the European city a hyper-diversified city. In order to realise positive developments of diversity, new governance arrangements are needed to increase the interaction and communication between diverse groups and to facilitate social and economic developments.

We specifically want to describe, document, and critically analyse policies, initiatives, and arrangements that explicitly or implicitly aim at profiting from urban diversity. We will use a broad and deep comparative frame to draw out the key factors that shape their success (or failure) and identify the barriers and opportunities to the implementation of successful urban policy programmes in other cities. The wider significance of this study is related to our firm belief that urban diversity is an asset: it can be used to stimulate urban, national and European economies and create more harmonious and creative cities. Having this as the central theme of our project and recognising the challenges of governing cohesion and diversity in urban contexts, this project will result in innovative governance instruments that will increase the participation of a diversity of urban groups in urban society.

Webpage: http://www.urbandivercities.eu/

Contact person: Yuri Kazepov

Changing Families and Sustainable Societies: Policy Contexts and Diversity over the Life Course and Across Generations (FamiliesAndSocieties)
Duration: 2013-2017
Funding: European Commission, 7th Framework Programme

The main objectives of this project are to investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships, and life courses in Europe; to assess the compatibility of existing policies with these changes; and to contribute to evidence-based policy-making. The project will extend our knowledge on how policies promote well-being, inclusion and sustainable societal development among families. Our approach relies on three key premises. First, family life courses are becoming more diverse and complex. Second, individual lives are interdependent, linked within and across generations. Third, social contexts and policies shape individual and family life courses. Building upon these premises we a) explore the growing complexity of family configurations and transitions, b) examine their implications for men, women and children with respect to inequalities in life chances, intergenerational relations and care arrangements, c) investigate how policies address family diversity, d) develop short- and longer-term projections, and e) identify future policy needs. Transversal dimensions that are integrated into the project are gender, culture, socioeconomic resources and life stages. Our approach is multidisciplinary combining a wide range of expertise in social sciences, law and the humanities represented in the consortium of 25 research partners from 15 European countries, old and new member states, and three transnational civil society actors. We will conduct comparative analyses applying advanced quantitative methods to high quality register and survey data, and qualitative studies. The project will also develop a database of the legal content of family forms available in European countries, suitable for comparative analyses. Together with various stakeholders, government agencies, national and local policy-makers, non-governmental organizations and additional members of the scientific community across Europe, we will identify and disseminate innovation and best policy practices.

"Gendered Transition to Parenthood": http://familiesandsocieties.univie.ac.at/about/
FamiliesAnd Societies:  www.FamiliesAndSocieties.eu

Contact persons: Caroline Berghammer, Rudolf Richter, Cornelia Schadler, Ulrike Zartler

Overtime in Austria – Origin and distribution of overtime in Austria, dealing with overtime in Austria with international comparison
Duration: 2015-2016
Funding: Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection

The research project intends on closing the gap in the research on working hours in Austria by undertaking an in-depth analysis of overtime by way of quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition, international examples of regulation of overtime will be described.
Essentially, the project is concerned with the distribution of overtime across sectors, occupations, income categories, gender, etc.; with the role of overtime for businesses and employees; with the emergence of ‘cultures of long working hours’; and with the starting points for limiting overtime.
The analysis of these complex questions in based on the following three pillars:

  • Evaluation of the micro-census between 2004 and 2013, of the Structure of Earnings Survey 2010, of the European Working Conditions Survey, and of the Work Climate Index
  • Company case studies analysing the causes of overtime and capturing actual practice of long working hours
  • Case studies on the regulation of overtime and additional work in other EU member states in cooperation with experts from these

The project is carried out by the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna in cooperation with FORBA – Working Life Research Centre, Vienna.

Contact person: Jörg Flecker

Women found differently. Biographical construction of entrepreneurial identity in male-dominated industries
Duration: 2014-2016
Funding: The Austrian Economic Chambers

Despite the economic importance of business start-ups and entrepreneurship and, in this context, the increasing number of women entrepreneurs, the latter have received little attention in scientific work so far. Existing studies focus on gender differences in entrepreneurial behavior as well as the multiple responsibilities of women managing business, family and household chores alike. However, this perspective, which is focused on aspects of deprivation, obstructs both the view on successful women entrepreneurs and the subjective accounts of women about how they establish and experience themselves as entrepreneurs. In-depth qualitative studies are missing that analyze founding decisions and processes against the background of the founder`s biography.

This is the starting point for this project. Focusing on female entrepreneurs in male-dominated industries, the emergence and construction of entrepreneurial identity become the subjects of an empirical investigation. The aim of the research is to explain in which phases of life and inspired by which biographical experiences the decision to start a business is triggered. An understanding shall be created regarding the constant and every-day construction of entrepreneurial identity. This will be accomplished by the reconstruction of founding processes in the context of biographical trajectories. The emphasis is placed on women, who work full-time in their own company, who are growth-orientated and employ staff.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLlAJWY5k5k&feature=youtu.be

Contact person: Andrea Smioski

Third ISA Forum of Sociology (July 10-14, 2016)
Duration: 2014-2016
Funding: International Sociological Association (ISA)

The ISA Forum of Sociology is designed as a mid-term meeting of the Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups of the International Sociological Association, combined with the Business Meeting of the ISA Research Council. The theme of the upcoming Forum is “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World”. The upcoming Forum will be organized by Markus Schulz, current ISA Vice-President Research, in collaboration with the ISA Research Coordinating Committee and the Austrian Local Organizing Committee chaired by Rudolf Richter.

For more information please visit the LOC Website.

Contact persons: Rudolf Richter, Ida Seljeskog

Early Retirement and Well-being in Europe: A secondary analysis based on SHARE and ELSA
Duration: 2011 – 2014 at the Institute of Sociology, University of Vienna, and King’s College London, UK.
Funding: FLARE (Future Leaders of Ageing Research) postdoctoral fellowship of the European Research Area in Ageing 2 programme (ERA AGE2), funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW).

Ageing actively was frequently suggested to support health and well-being of older people. Very high early retirement rates in some European countries, such as Austria, raise the question, how these large number of young old cope with their (forced or chosen) inactivity from productive life healthwise, and whether engagement in voluntary activities, minor productive work or family life helps coping with the new situation. The current study aims to 1) shed light on the relationship between early retirement and wellbeing including physical and mental health, quality of life and life satisfaction and to 2) investigate the actual effect of early retirement on the well-being of the early retired.

The study is based on two large European surveys, namely the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and includes 12 European countries and with over 20,000 participants. As well-being after early retirement may be influenced by a number of factors, it is taken into account, whether early retirement was chosen or forced, whether poor health was the reason for early retirement and whether participants engaged in voluntary, charity or minor productive activities in their retirement. Additionally, key socio-economic influences of the well-being of early retirees, such as family structure, income, wealth, social class, occupational level and education, as well as gender and age will be taken into account. Results will be compared by country. Finally, a policy review of the countries included will assess differences in policy strategies and will discuss their impact on national early retirement rates.

Contact person: Ulrike Waginger

Department of Sociology
University of Vienna
Rooseveltplatz 2
A-1090 Vienna

T: +43-1-4277-49104
T: +43-1-4277-48204
T: +43-1-4277-49105

T: +43-1-4277-49201
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0