Project Soziale Identität und gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt: Welche Anerkennungsdefizite bedrohen die soziale Kohäsion?

Basic data

Title:
Soziale Identität und gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt: Welche Anerkennungsdefizite bedrohen die soziale Kohäsion?
Duration:
01/01/2021 to 31/12/2023
Abstract / short description:
Seemingly, social cohesion declines in Germany, as in many countries, over the last few decades. Trust in Institutions decreases, while populist parties are on the rise all over the world. Increasing populism is one of the most significant indicators of declining social cohesion as populist parties emphasise borderlines between various groups in society, along vertical dimensions (“the people” vs. “the elites”) as well as along horizontal dimensions (“ethnic Germans” vs. “migrants”). The increasing significance of boundaries between particularistic social groups in turn decreases social cohesion at the societal level. This project investigates how threatened social identities affect populist attitudes and other indicators of social cohesion. The central hypothesis is that the devaluation of social categories as a consequence of social change leads to identity insecurity and perceived disrespect for being a member of certain social groups. Insecurity and disrespect in turn foster feelings of “nostalgia” and the wish to restore “traditional” identities, which include particularistic identities that demarcate sharply from other identities. The project includes three empirical studies. The first study uses secondary data (comparative international
surveys) to investigate the effects of societal characteristics on social identities and social cohesion. The second one consist of an online-survey, which traces the effects of identity insecurity and perceived
devaluation of social categories on various indicators of social cohesion. The third study uses an onlineexperiment to highlight the causal effects of identity threat on social integration.

Involved staff

Managers

Institute of Sociology
Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Local organizational units

Institute of Sociology
Department of Social Sciences
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Funders

Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
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