Institute of Sociology

Research project

Change in Occupational Recognition in the Context of the Corona Pandemic

Key word "systemic relevance": Hardly any notions have shaped the discourse on general (working-) routines and re-opening businesses during the corona crisis in Germany as much as the concept of "systemic relevance" of occupations. Which occupational activities are indispensable for a society? Who is demonstratively applauded and whose children are still entitled to  go to daycare? - And what about the wages? Following up on these public discussions our research project aims to answer two central questions: First, how has recognition of different occupations changed over the course of the pandemic? Second, how do these changes affect peoples compliance with measures to contain the pandemic in Germany?


During the corona crisis the notion "systemic relevant occupations" was at the center of public discussions in Germany. Following up on these discussions, this research project aims to achieve two goals.

In a first step, we measure people's perceptions of their own occupational recognition and examine potential changes in their perceptions of recognition throughout the corona crisis. Do people, who work in so-called "systemic relevant occupations" consider themselves to be more appreciated than before the crisis? Or, on the contrary, do they sense less recognition than before?

In a second step,  we question whether perceptions of one's own occupational recognition influence the compliance with containment measures regarding the corona virus. Here, we focus on the acceptance of infection protection measures (especially at the workplace). However, we also look at the support for general political measures regarding economic redistribution, the promotion of economic activity and the restriction of basic rights.

To address these research questions two standardized online data collections are carried out. The target population of the two surveys is the German working population. Essential information on the perception of occupational recognition, potential changes in this perception during the corona crisis and the approval of compliance measures in reaction to the pandemic as well as on socio-demographic characteristics is collected in these surveys.


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