Institute of Sociology

Heterogenous informational environments and individual status transitions (ScienceCampus Tuebingen Cluster 4)

Prof. Dr. Steffen Hillmert / Prof. Dr. Martin Groß / Dr. Christina Matschke / Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha / Dipl.-Vw. Volker Lang, M.A.

This research cluster examines the indivividual consequences of hetrogeneous informational environments. These heterogeneities are characteristic of status passages which include changes in social positions. Heterogeneous informational environments evolve during status transitions because the informational sources providing knowledge, values and norms related to an origin context are enriched and partly replaced by new sources related to the destination context of the transition. A typical case is the transition to university and the experiences following during the course of studies. When entering university, informational environments typically consist of both family- and school-related networks. These established informational environments may be challenged by the standards of knowledge and judgement of academic peer groups and by social ties unrelated to the family. These experiences potentially alter information and decision behaviour. Additionally, the respective informational environments have undergone two historical changes: first, advancing digitalisation, and second, an increasing interconnectedness of formal and informal educational contexts. Our cluster continues and extends research conducted within Cluster 3 during the first phase of the ScienceCampus Tuebingen (2010 until 2012). It focuses on the individual consequences of these trends as well as their dependence on social contexts and hence their impact on social inequalities. The research of the projects in our cluster builds on data we jointly collect from students.

Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen