Current Research

How do children experience residential segregation and educational segregation?

The research project examines the effects of spatial segregation and educational segregation on the well-being of children and adolescents in North Rhine-Westphalia. Poverty is more than insufficient money, it is a lack of material, social, cultural and infrastructural resources of a successful life. Those who want to support disadvantaged children in their well-being must change the "permanent environment" in which they grow up. The focus of the project is the permanent environment of teenagers, especially the conditions of social contexts like family, school and neighbourhood. The project is carried out by ZEFIR jointly with the partner commune Herne. The Canadian "Middle Years Development Instrument" (MDI) is a population diagnostic tool that is capable of understanding such effects and creating environments with equal opportunities for all children and adolescents. It consists of classroom interviews in different classes in all the schools of a city. In Canada and other countries, MDI is now the basis for the development of municipal action and prevention strategies. It is to be used for the first time in this German pilot study.


Social Isolation in Germany

This project investigates how personal networks in Germany have changed in the past decades, but also in international comparison, against the background of social developments (modernization, acceleration of communication and mobility, transnationalization, changes in the working world). Several hypotheses suggest contradictory developments. As a result of increasing wealth, it is expected that fewer and fewer people are dependent on social capital. On the other hand, the potential for social contacts increases with modern means of transport and communication, as well as through increased transnationalization.