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Social and Cultural Dynamics

Research program of the Department of Sociology, Tilburg University May 14, 2008 Summary The program Social and Cultural Dynamics (SCD) studies aspects of social inequality and social cohesion in a comparative and dynamic perspective. Topics studied within the broader theme of social inequality are work, occupation, poverty, welfare and health. Topics studied within social cohesion are values, solidarity, religion, family, voluntary membership, and social networks. The comparative perspective focuses on the comparison of (mostly European) countries, either from a macro-perspective or a micro-macro (multilevel) perspective. The dynamic perspective consists of comparing countries or social groups across historical time on the one hand, and comparing individuals over their personal life course on the other hand. The program is motivated by substantive forces in society on the one hand (i.e., processes of (post)modernization in western societies) and by methodological innovations on the other hand (i.e., the development of dynamic and multilevel data and statistcal models). History The program SCD is the new version of the program Fundamental Triangle II (FTII) which was evaluated in 2001. The evaluations of the program at the time were: 4 (for quality), 4 (for relevance), medium/high (for productivity), and 3 (for viability). The FTII program was a merger of the (reduced) program in Sociology and the (reduced) program in Social Security Studies. The viability was considered modest because the program was small and Social Security Studies had just been discontinued. The quality of the FTII was considered good, however, and this called for new investments. The first quality investment was made in the year 2001, the date of the last visitation. The current program coordinator was attracted (Kalmijn) and three new members joined the group at the assistant professor level (Luijkx, Monden, Uunk). The new recruitment resulted in a shift in substantive emphasis. The original program was strongly focused on the macro-level, with considerable emphasis on policy issues. The incoming members shared the substantive themes of the original program (i.e., cohesion, inequality), but added the emphasis on the micro-level and on dynamic phenomena (i.e., life course). Collaboration between old and new members quickly emerged and a new ambition was growing to build a program that linked macro- and micro-level phenomena, using a longitudinal and comparative design. Because of these changes, the new program was renamed into Social and Cultural Dynamics. A second quality investment was made just one year after the official period of the current evaluation (2007). In the context of a new wave of data collection for the European Values Studies, two new members were recruited: a new leading full professor (De Graaf) and one senior researcher (Sieben). This investment strengthened both the existing EVS team and the SCD program.

Goals The main goal of the program is to study aspects of social cohesion and inequality from a dynamic and comparative perspective. The dynamic perspective can be applied to the micro-level and the macro-level. At the micro-level, it refers to individual changes during the life course; at the macro-level, it refers to changes in society as a whole. This corresponds to the well-known distinction between individual time on the one hand, and historical time on the other hand. The comparative perspective consists on comparing societies, either through macro-level analyses, or through the use of multi-level designs in which individuals are nested in countries. The program is motivated on the one hand, by the changes that have been occurring in western societies in the recent past. Examples of such changes are secularization, individualization, the rise of postmaterialist values, globalization, and rationalization. These changes have been characterized as modernization and/or postmodernization and these processes have had implications for a wide range of social and cultural issues. The systematic study of such changes, both within and across countries, is an important area in the social sciences. The dynamic perspective is also motivated by the emergence of the life course perspective in the social sciences. It has increasingly become recognized that social and cultural issues need to be studied in a longitudinal fashion. Theories about individual behavior and values often have dynamic implications that can only be tested in a longitudinal design. In addition, the life course perspective has suggested new questions about individual change that ask for new theories and dynamic designs. The life course perspective has also been strengthened by the rapid emergence of more sophisticated statistical models of change, such as panel regression models, event history models, and multilevel models. The main research goals of the program are: 1. To describe and explain aspects of social cohesion and inequality at the individual level, in particular by doing life course research. Questions addressed in this context are, for example, how people move in and out of poverty during their life, how demographic events such as marriage affect socioeconomic outcomes and health, and how values change as people grow older. 2. To describe and explain aspects of social cohesion and inequality at the macrolevel, in particular by doing systematic cross-national research and research on societal change. Questions addressed in this context are, for example, if intergenerational occupational mobility has increased in all industrialized societies, how we can explain country-differences in the level of trust in fellow citizens, and whether value differences in Europe are declining or diverging over time. 3. To study the interaction between micro- and macro-level processes, in particular by examining how institutional changes (i.e., changes in social policy and government arrangements and changes in value climates) are related to individual (dynamic) values and behavior (and vice versa). Questions addressed in this context are, for example, how childcare policies affect womens employment behavior, how changes in social security affect individual employment histories, and whether there is a reciprocal relationship between public opinion about welfare states (values) and actual policy measures in this respect.

Position in the social sciences The position of the program in the social sciences is clear: SCD can be placed in the core of sociology. All the topics that are studied belong to two of the central themes in sociology: social cohesion and inequality. The methods used in the program belong to the sociological mainstream: quantitative analyses of survey data. Within this more general methodological approach, there is specialization in the fields of cross-national designs and longitudinal designs. These methods have appeared directly suitable for combining the analyses of individual differences and individual change (pooled cross-section time series models and event history models) and for linking micro-level change to macro-level conditions (multilevel models). Note that the comparative focus is mostly limited to western countries (including Eastern Europe). Position in the university The Faculty of Social Sciences of Tilburg University has labeled the SCD program as a key topic in its strategic plan. The important position in the faculty can also be seen in the central role that the SCD program has in the accredited Research Masters. SCD is one of the four tracks in that program. The dynamic approach of the SCD research is also closely related to the methodological expertise of the research group Methods for Cross-cultural and Longitudinal Analysis (MCLA). MCLA specializes in dynamic statistical models and is thereby an important partner for the SCD group. The SCD program also has an important position in the university as a whole. Evidence for this is that the European Values Study (EVS) was recognized in the Universitys Strategic Plan for the period as an important project, not only for our department and the Faculty of Social Sciences, but for the University and its identity as a whole. The Dutch team was funded for that period by a grant of the Executive Board of Tilburg University. The SCD group has also developed formal links with the internationally reknown Faculty of Economic Sciences through collaboration in the economic NETSPAR program (Netherlands Institute for Savings, Pensions, and Retirement). Investments in data A special feature of the program is that major investments are done in large-scale primary data collections. All these datasets are (and will) used by multiple members of the research group, as well as by graduate students. This encourages internal interaction and the exchange of ideas and it means that people learn from each other. The datasets are also in the public domain, which means that they are available for the rest of the academic world. Hence, the research group also makes an important contribution to the data infrastructure of the sociological community as a whole. Data 1: Comparative micro data In the field of comparative research, the most important investments consists of the European Values Study (EVS). Halman and Luijkx are the Dutch principal investigators of the EVS. The EVS is done every nine years and is a large survey

about value patterns and value changes in European countries. Halman is Program Director of EVS and as such international coordinator and manager of the values surveys in the European countries. He is also secretary to the board of the EVS Foundation and Secretary to the Steering Committee, now Executive Committee of the European Values Study. Luijkx is Chief data and communications and Arts was member of the EVS Steering Committee and was chairman of the EVS Theory Group. In 2006, the preparations began for a new wave of surveys . A new leading scholar was attracted (De Graaf) to guide this and forthcoming wave of data collection and to encourage theoretical and methodological innovations for EVS. He took over the position from Wil Arts in the Steering Committee (now Executive Committee), and chaiman of the EVS Theory Group. New initiatives were taken as well. In the field of comparative research, Van Oorschot (with Stefan Svallfors, Umea University, Sweden) was granted a special module on Welfare Attitudes in a Changing Europe from the European Social Survey to be included in its wave 2008. This data collection was in part the outgrowth of a survey conducted by Van Oorschot on welfare attitudes in the Netherlands and Denmark. Data 2: Longitudinal micro data In the field of longitudinal research, a major data investment is the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (NKPS). Kalmijn is one of the initiators and principal investigators of the NKPS. The NKPS is a large multi-actor survey about family relationships and family solidarity in the Netherlands and is subsidized by the National Science Foundation (NWO-Groot). It was one of the largest NWO subsidies that went to a sociological research program (NWO is the Dutch National Science Foundation). Two waves of the NKPS were collected in the evaluation period. A smaller but significant investment in longitudinal research consists of the Panel Study of Social Integration of Young Adults in the Netherlands (Liefbroer & Kalmijn 2006). This is a survey among about 1,000 young adults who were followed from 1989 until 2007. In the period, two extra waves of this unique panel were gathered. In the field of longitudinal research, an important new initiative is the Panel Study of Social and Cultural Dynamics. This is a panel survey among 5,000 respondents which will be collected in 2008, 2011, and 2014. The questionnaire focuses on norms and values, social integation, aspects of social inequality, and measures of health and well-being. The design is face-to-face in the first round and internet follow-up questionnaires in subsequent waves. The survey will contain an oversample of Turkish and Moroccan respondents. The program is a collaboration with the Sociology Department of Nijmegen and is funded by NWO middelgroot and by the two universities. Data 3: Harmonizing data The SCD group also invests in harmonizing data, thereby facilitating the use of existing data by other researchers. COMPSOC is a major example of this. This project brings together four unique ongoing large scale survey projects: European Values Study (from 1981 onwards)), the Dutch Election Studies (from 1971), Social and Cultural Developments in the Netherlands (from 1979), and the Family Surveys

Dutch Population (from 1992). These major surveys contain an enormous amount of cross-temporal and cross-national information on social and political values, attitudes, and behavior. Within each of these projects a lot of efforts has gone into making the data accessible and useful for social scientists within and outside the existing research groups. In the COMPSOC project the data bases are upgraded to the modern standards of data access and archiving (i) by making them much better accessible for other researchers in a uniform manner and (ii) by enriching them adding theoretically important common elements in an efficient and comparable way. In this way, present and future researchers will have more easy access to the data that are moreover better documented and combine individual and aggregate (contextual) level analyses for answering new, important research questions. Another example is the production of data at the macro-level. This is done in the context of the EU funded European Data Centre for Work and Welfare. EDAC does not collect new data but assembles data from various internet sources, gives standardized information on existing data sets and data bases, and offers direct links. EDACwowe covers quantitative data (indicators and statistics), as well as qualitative data (policies and institutions) in the fields of work and welfare, and in related fields. It functions as a comparative data facility for researchers and policy makers in European countries. Methodology The methods used are advanced: panel regression models, event history models, multilevel models, and discrete choice models. There is collaboration with members of the research group Methods for Cross-cultural and Longitudinal Analysis (MCLA). This strengthens the methodological quality of the SCD research and introduces novel substantive applications to the MCLA group. Internal collaboration An important feature of the program are the biweekly Paper Seminars. In these seminars, there are in-depth discussion of a recent article from one of the top sociological journals such as European Sociological Review, American Sociological Review, European Societies, and American Journal of Sociology. This creates a common ground in the group and causes the group to keep up with dominant developments in sociological research. Moreover, reading top journal articles is also a way of learning-by-example for graduate students (and for staff). The seminars are very well attended, especially by graduate students, and they have lively and inspiring discussions. Next to the paper seminar, there is the colloquium, which is held once every two months. This colloquium is devoted to a presentation of research work. In most of these the cases, an external speaker is invited. In some other cases, a member of the research group presents his/her work. Due to the well-functioning Paper Seminar, the Forum has shifted its focus on external presentations and has become less frequent as a result. In several cases, the colloquium was held together with the colloquium of the MCLA group.

Graduate students also participate in larger academic settings (e.g., workshops, forums, international meetings, and so forth), but these are not locally organized. The research group does not organize an educational program for graduate students, although most graduate students take courses that are tailored to their specific needs (e.g., intensive methods courses). A cohesive factor is that graduate students work on similar datasets. This encourages discussion and contributes to mutual learning effects. In the future, the graduate students will start their career in the Research Masters of the Faculty of Social Sciences, which will lead to more shared experiences for graduate students. International linkages The members of the research group participate heavily in international research groups and networks. The SCD plays a coordinating role in the following international groups: ESPAnet, The Network for European Social Policy Analysis (Van Oorschot chair) European Values Studies (Halman, Luijkx and De Graaf coordinators) RECWOWE (reconciliation of Work and Welfare in Europe) (Van Oorschot in executive board) The European Research Network on Divorce (Kalmijn co-founder) Psychopolitics Research Committee of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) (Dekker vice-chair) The International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) (Dekker secretary) The SCD also plays a role as member or are otherwise active in the following international groups: EQUALSOC,Economic Change , Quality of Life & Social Cohesion, an FP6Network of Excellence (Kalmijn, Luijkx, Van Oorschot associate experts) CHANGEQUAL, Economic Change, Unequal Life Chances and Quality of Life, an FP5-research network (2003-2004, Luijkx associate expert) Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality (Luijkx fellow) European Consortium for Sociological Research European Panel Analysis Group (EPAG) (Muffels, Uunk) GLOBALLIFE international research groups (Luijkx, Kalmijn, Muffels) Explaining Family Change and Variation Research Project, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USA (NICHD) (Kalmijn member) Consortium of Household Panels for European Socio-economic Research (CHER) (Muffels) Managing Social Risks through Transitional Labour Markets (TLM.net) (Muffels) EU FP5 COST Action 13 (Work, Welfare and Citizenship) (Van Oorschot) EU COST Action 15 (Reforming Social protection in Europe) (Van Oorschot) International Society for the Sociology of Religion (Halman) Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (Halman) Scientific Research Community Methodology of Longitudinal and comparative research into social and cultural change (FWO-Vlaanderen) (Halman) European Network of excellence Civil society and new forms of governance (Cinefogo) (Dekker member of Network management team)

Southern African Values Project (SAVP), Nodysa programme in Value and Policy Studies, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa (Halman, consultant) RC28 (Social stratification and mobility) (Monden, Luijkx) RC19 (Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy) (Van Oorschot) National linkages There is also collaboration in the national context but modern sociology requires more emphasis on international networks than on national networks. Examples of national academic settings to which group members are linked are: Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW) (Kalmijn member) SISWO-working group Sociale ongelijkheid en levensloop (Kalmijn (former) chair) The Netherlands Kinship Panel Study team (Kalmijn senior member, coinitiator) Netherlands Institute for Savings, Pensions, and Retirement (NETSPAR) (Kalmijn program coordinator) Multi-disciplinary Facility for Measurment and Experimentation in the Social Sciences (MESS/LISS) (Kalmijn board of overseers). National Science Foundation (NWO) theme preparation group on the Life Course (Kalmijn chair) Nederlandse Sociologische Vereniging (Netherlands Sociological Association (Kalmijn and Monden board members)