Methods of Social Empirical Research
A short introduction
Our research approach is characterized by international comparative theory-driven empirical analysis of micro-sociological processes based on survey data. Research questions focus thematically on social inequality and life course research with respect to labor, education, and family. Referring to Europe and non-European countries, such as those in North America, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia and Australia our comparative analysis is underlined by a micro-macro-analytical multilevel design. Based on micro theories we strive to empirically analyze and understand the complex interrelationships between individuals and the variety of institutional contexts as well as social structures in which actors are embedded.
To identify the dynamics of individual-level social processes, longitudinal data of national household panel surveys in addition to retrospective life history studies are employed particularly at the micro-level. Methodologically, advanced techniques of event history analysis, panel data analysis and modern causal analysis (based on the potential outcomes framework and directed acyclic graphs) are therefore applied. Multi-level analysis is used in order to then determine the influence of the macro-context on the behaviors of individuals. Furthermore, within the framework of qualitative empirical social research, we deal with survey and analysis methods, which are mainly characterized by a retrospective/biographical and longitudinal approach.
The chairholder has received a 1.4 Mio Euro European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for the project "The socio-economic consequences of temporary employment: A comparative panel data analysis" (SECCOPA) (2018-23). In addition, he is coordinator of the VolkswagenStiftung research project "Opportunities and Barriers at the Transition from Education to Work. A Comparative Youth Study in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Tajikistan" (TEW-CCA) (2015-19), which is funded with 0.4 Mio Euro and involves 20 researchers from 4 countries. He is MC-Member and Co-Leader of the Working Group 1 “Disadvantages in youth employment” of the EU-Horizon2020 COST Action CA17114 YOUNG-IN (2018-22). He is also scientific co-head of pillar 5 ‘Returns to education in the life course’ of the National Education Panel Study (NEPS) (since 2015) and Research Affiliate (since 2019) at the Leibniz-Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi). In November 2018 Prof. Dr. Michael Gebel became member of the "Young Elite" - "Top40 under 40" in the category Society and Science in Germany.
Our teaching philosophy endeavors to create a positive learning environment which cultivates an individual, self-governed, and active learning process which empowers students with the opportunity to independently develop through active engagement. Methodological courses emphasize the links between theory and empirical applications. By practicing acquired skills using self-obtained data collections and applied computer-based data analyses, with regard to specific sociological research questions, students can realize the utility of methodological training.
Courses available to bachelor students include basic Introduction to Methods of Empirical Social Research I+II and sociological research labs related to data collection and analysis, including linear as well as binary-logistic regression analysis. Master students are offered courses on research design, advanced techniques of quantitative data analysis, such as advanced regression analysis, multilevel analysis, panel data analysis and modern causal analysis, and, in addition, courses in qualitative research.
Our postal address is:
Lehrstuhl für Soziologie,
insbesondere Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung
If you would like to contact us personally, please come to the office of the Chair located in room F21 / 01.16B.
Office hour: Monday to Thursday: 8.30 a.m. - 12.00 p.m.
Phone: (0951) 863-2628
Fax: (0951) 863-1200