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Empirische Untersuchung zweier Individualisierungshypothesen mit Querschnittsdaten aus 28 Ländern


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  • Kohler, Ulrich


Die Individualisierungshypothese impliziert mit zunehmendem gesellschaftlichen Wohlstand ansteigende Heterogenität von Lebenslagen einerseits, und abnehmende Prägekraft sozialer Klassen und Schichten andererseits. Zur Untersuchung dieser beiden Implikationen wird die Heterogenität und Klassenstrukturierung der 25 Länder der heutigen EU sowie von Bulgarien, Rumänien und der Türkei ermittelt. Diese Werte werden dann in Abhängigkeit vom Bruttoinlandsprodukt dieser Länder untersucht. Dabei zeigt sich, dass die Heterogenität von Lebenslagen in den wohlhabenderen Ländern kleiner ist als in den ärmeren. Bei der Klassenstrukturierung zeigt sich dagegen für einzelne Lebensbereiche das aus der Individualisierungshypothese erwartete Muster. Die Befunde werden dahingehend gedeutet, dass es Individualisierung als umfassenden, alle Lebensbereiche einschließenden Prozess nicht gibt. In einzelnen Lebensbereichen zeigt sich aber eine De- Institutionalisierung, der wahrscheinlich lebensbereichsspezifische Ursachen zu Grunde liegen. Der Aufsatz führt exemplarisch ein bislang zur Untersuchung von Individualisierungshypothesen nicht verwendetes Forschungsdesign vor. Es wird argumentiert, dass dieses Forschungsdesign die Möglichkeit zur Untersuchung vielfältiger Implikationen der Individualisierungshypothese eröffnet. -- Individualization implies pluralization of social positions and a decreasing impact of social classes on life chances, behaviors and attitudes. To analyze these implications we calculated the heterogeneity of social positions and the class impact on various dependent variables for 28 countries. The resulting measures were then analyzed regarding the wealth of the nations. Our analysis shows that heterogeneity of social positions does not increase with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the class-impact does decrease for at least some dependent variables. Based on our findings, we conclude that individualization cannot be seen as a general social process. Instead there is some deinstitutionalization for specific life spheres, which cannot be explained on the common ground of individualization theory. The article illustrates a new design to analyze implications of individualization theory. It is argued that this new design establishes a possibility to analyze a variety of implications of the individualization theory.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration with number SP I 2004-203.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbisi:spi2004203

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  1. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2003. "Reported Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge for Economic Theory and Economic Policy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
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