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PREWORK. Young precarious workers in Poland and Germany

Projektteam: Katharina Bluhm, Vera Trappmann; Jule-Marie Lorenzen; Denis Neumann; Alexandra Seehaus; Torsten Winkler

Laufzeit: 2016-2019
Förderung: DFG Kooperationsforschung: Beethoven, Projekt: UMO-2014/15/G/HS4/04476

The PREWORK ("Young precarious workers in Poland and Germany: a comparative sociological study on working and living conditions, social consciousness and civic engagement") research project seeks to propose new theoretical insights into the extent to which precarious working and living conditions influence the emergent forms of social, class and political consciousness, individual life strategies and collective civic engagement of young workers in Poland and Germany. Taking as a case example the situation of young precarious workers, the research seeks to advance the relational, historical and interpretive approach to precarity in which the social boundaries of the concept are determined by institutional features of national varieties of capitalism, cultural and political discourses of “normal employment” as well as the practices of social actors.

Eastern Europe’s New Conservatives: Varieties and Explanations from Poland to Russia

Projektteam: Katharina Bluhm, Mihai Varga

Laufzeit: ab 2015
Förderung: DFG, Haushaltsmittel

The major goal of the book project and conference scheduled for February 9-10, 2017 is to explore the communalities and varieties in the new conservatism of Eastern Europe and Russia. We argue that in spite of the increasing global and European attractiveness of the new nationally-oriented social conservatism, the post-communist realm still presents a specific bundle of ideas, political recipes, drivers and causes that needs to be better understood precisely because it is an influential part of a greater development. We ask about what conservatism here means, under what circumstances conservatism becomes (and under which ones it does not) a front for illiberal thinking and policies, about how conservative ideologies translate into politics, and why it has become mainstream ideology in some countries, while in others, not. We are also interested to what extent historic path dependencies and the transition paths towards market economy and democracy matter.

The making of the mature entrepreneur: life course perspective on entrepreneurship in older age in Germany and Poland

Projektteam: Justyna Stypińska, Annette Franke, Jolant Perek-Bialas, Konrad Turek

Laufzeit: 2017-2019
Förderung: DFG

Mature entrepreneurship is gaining momentum. In both, numerical as well as in socio-political and economic terms. This research intends to examine the process of becoming an entrepreneur in later life with relation to previous career paths in order to establish how life course experiences determine the shift to self-employment. The research methodology adopted in the project is an integrative qualitative approach, where in-depth interviews with older entrepreneurs and experts are carried out in two countries – Germany (West and East) and Poland. They represent diverse approaches to mature entrepreneurship and life courses due to differences in welfare regimes, what allows for cross- and intra-country comparisons. The research will contribute in an innovative way to the study of mature entrepreneurship in ageing societies in the context of contemporary academic and political debates about the alternative models of economic activity of older adults. Moreover, the project aims to provide empirical evidence for studying the variations in modern life courses and their institutional embeddedness.

Gesellschaftliche Ordnungsvorstellungen religiöser Eliten in Südosteuropa

Projektteam: Jochen Töpfer

Laufzeit: 2015-2018
Förderung: DFG

Welche Diskurse dominieren innerhalb größerer und kleinerer Religionsgemeinschaften in Südosteuropa hinsichtlich ihres Verhältnisses zu Gesamtgesellschaft, Staat und anderen Religionen? Beinhalten jene Einstellungen Potential für Integration und Verständigung oder eher Potential für Konflikt in pluralen Gesellschaften? Mithilfe eines mixed-method Verfahrens werden Einstellungen religiöser Führer in den Staaten Slowenien, Mazedonien und Albanien erfasst und eine Struktur von typischen Meinungsbildern hinsichtlich des Forschungsgegenstandes generiert. Diese Einstellungstypen werden in einem zweiten Schritt nach ihrem integrativen oder konfliktträchtigen Potential analysiert.

Local markets, competition and the development of small producers in the food industry

Projektteam: Mihai Varga

Laufzeit: ab 2012 (Habilitationsprojekt)
Förderung: Fritz Thyssen Stiftung; Eigenfinanzierung

This project studies small producers participating in food markets in two of Europe's weakest regions: Sicily (Italy) and Bucovina (Romania-Ukraine). The research helps to answer questions about why small producers sometimes succeed in creating producer organizations; why they participate in informal economies; and generally how do they survive and even grow despite the lack of official credit mechanisms.