Nationwide Survey: Confidence in times of crisis
Bielefeld University responsible for German part of the European Social Survey
How far do politicians pay attention to what people in Europe actually think? That is just one of the topics covered by the longitudinal European Social Survey (ESS). It will be studying the social and political views of more than 50,000 people in both Germany and roughly 30 other European countries. For the first time, Bielefeld University will be responsible for the sub-study assessing people’s attitudes in Germany. It will be starting this month. The ESS is considered to be one of the largest social-scientific surveys in Europe.
Since 2002, researchers have been using the ESS to assess the attitudes and behaviour of the people of Europe every two years. This year, one focus will be on attitudes towards immigration and inequality of health.
‘For example, we want to find out how confidence in politics and trust in one’s own fellow human beings changes in times of crisis,’ says Professor Dr. Stefan Liebig from the Faculty of Sociology who is heading the German sub-study. The survey is also looking at how respondents view the migration of foreign specialists and how they assess the relation between immigration and integration in Germany. Additionally, the study will assess experiences of discrimination or the fear of crime. For example, respondents will be asked how safe they feel in their home district.
Moreover, the researchers will be studying how far the chances of both being and remaining healthy depend on social class in Germany. This will include asking respondents how they rate their well-being and whether they have to cope with illness.
Further study topics are, for example, the respondents’ personal well-being, friendships and social contacts, interest in politics, social participation, attitudes towards the welfare state, and media use.
One of the goals of the ESS is to describe and explain how people’s attitudes interact with the political and economic institutions in the countries of Europe. The ESS is being supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of its long-term funding programme. The German sub-study in the ESS project is represented by a national coordination team under Professor Dr. Stefan Liebig at Bielefeld University. Further members of the team come from the University of Mannheim (Prof. Dr. Jan van Deth), the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Prof. Dr. Edeltraud Roller), and the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Prof. Dr. Sigrid Roßteutscher).
Further information is available online at:
Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebig, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Sociology
Telephone: 0521 106-4616
Michael Weinhardt, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Sociology
Telephone: 0521 106-4445