I study the causes and effects of social inequality in postindustrial societies from a comparative perspective that exploits differences among stratification systems. Employing quantitative analysis and social class schemes for the description of contemporary and past inequality, I research social mobility to describe the role of inequality during childhood for educational attainment and occupational positioning later in life. Besides studying how inequality is reproduced over generations, recently I began to analyze the impact of inequality on political orientation. While the former research addresses institutional processes regulating the mobility of the middle classes, the latter addresses important sociopolitical changes in times of increasing inequality.
After studying Sociology, Politics, and Economics at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) and the University of Glasgow, I completed my Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Bremen researching intergenerational class mobility over the 20th century in the US and Germany. Following the Ph.D. I was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy. Since my return, I have been working at the Department of Socioeconomics at the University of Hamburg and was visiting Professor of Sociology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

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Research Interests

  • Social inequality, structural change and stratification

  • Intergenerational mobility

  • Comparative inequality research

  • Quantitative methods

  • Inequality in higher education

  • Inequality and political participation

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