2nd Workshop on “Social Mechanisms” (7-8 Nov 2014 at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf)


“Social Mechanisms – Methodological Challenges, Empirical Applications & Modeling Techniques”

The 2nd workshop (in English) took place 7-8 Nov 2014 at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Haus der Universität).



Friday (7 Nov.): Establishing social mechanisms in quantitative statistical approaches

Dominik Becker & Ulf Tranow (Düsseldorf): Welcome and Introduction

Jürgen Friedrichs (Cologne):
Mechanisms in urban research reconsidered

Johannes Kopp, Nico Richter (Trier):
Social mechanisms and empirical research in the field of sociology of the family: the case of separation and divorce

Carl Berning (Mainz), Elmar Schlüter (Gießen):
The dynamics of radical right-wing populist party preferences and perceived group threat:
A comparative panel analysis of three competing hypotheses in the Netherlands and Germany

Alexandra Nonnenmacher (Siegen) as discussant and plenary discussion

Dominik Becker, Tilo Beckers, Simon Franzmann (Düsseldorf) & Jörg Hagenah (Köln):
Does the cognitive consonance effect on quality paper readership persist over time? A random effects APC analysis of German Media Analysis data 1978-2009

Heiner Meulemann (Cologne) & Ilona Relikowski (Bamberg):
Equality of opportunity and Achievement in Social Change

Robert Birkelbach (Cologne):
Using the intergenerational closure mechanism to explain differences of
school achievements of immigrant children in Germany and the Netherlands

Volker Stocké (Kassel) as discussant and plenary discussion


Saturday (8 Nov.): Social mechanisms, agent‐based modeling and integrative approaches

Clemens Kroneberg & Hanno Kruse (Cologne)
Academic performance and social status among adolescents in Europe

André Grow & Jan Van Bavel (Leuven)
Developing hypotheses about the future of educational assortative mating in Europe:
an agent-based modelling approach

Michael Mäs & Dirk Helbing (Zürich):
The structural effects of randomness on the emergence of social norms

Simon T. Franzmann & Johannes Schmitt (Düsseldorf):
Mechanisms in politics: how institutional veto points affect party system stability

Thomas Grund (Linköping) as discussant and plenary discussion

Michael Baurmann (Düsseldorf) & Jürgen Friedrichs (Cologne):
The methodology of Elinor Ostrom

Jörg Stolz (Lausanne):
Analytical sociology and mixed methods research – for a sociological alliance

Ingo Rohlfing & Christina Zuber (Bremen):

Causality and explanation in the social sciences

Tilo Beckers (Düsseldorf):
Mechanisms and levels of analysis: summary and outlook


Call for Papers, submit until 10 August 2014; e-mail: mechanisms@phil.hhu.de

We would like to bring together researchers doing advanced quantitative empirical survey research (e.g. multilevel and/or moderation/mediation models) and those applying agent-based modeling (simulation studies). Both directions of applying social mechanisms can be integrated to elaborate more appropriate models. The applications of social mechanism- and theory-based explanations presented at the workshop may cover a range of different substantial fields where mechanisms are discussed and elaborated. One objective of our workshop will be to discuss whether ‘substantial’ mechanisms such as mechanisms of social and/or educational inequality, stereotype and prejudice building, preference building, etc. can be traced back to a more fundamental grammar of generative mechanisms such as risk aversion, cognitive dissonance reduction, rational imitation etc.

We invite presenters of papers addressing four different domains:

(1) Methodological aspects of social mechanisms: explanatory status and potential

(2) Quantitative empirical applications of social mechanisms

(3) Agent-based modeling of social mechanisms

(4) Intertwining techniques: combining social mechanisms in quantitative models with agent-based modeling


You will find a more detailed description in the Call for Papers below:

CfP_Social Mechanisms_Düsseldorf_7-8 Nov 2014_final


This entry was posted in Call for papers on by .

About Tilo Beckers

Since October 2009, I am an “Akademischer Rat auf Zeit” (equiv. of assistant professor) in Sociology and Research Methods at the University of Düsseldorf. In the summer term 2010 (April through September), I have been on leave as a substitute full professor (W2) for "Methods of Empirical Research and Social Stratification" at the University of Osnabrück, Germany. I have studied at the University of Düsseldorf (MA 1999) and at the New School for Social Research (New York City; DAAD-scholarship and full fee and tuition waiver of the New School). Thereafter, I have been a research assistant and lecturer at the University of Cologne and accomplished my PhD (2008) with a thesis on "Homosexuality and Human Development. Genesis, Structure and Change of Attitudes Towards Same-Sex Sexual Contacts in a Cross-National Contextual Analysis" (in German; presented at ASA Annual Meeting 2008, Boston). My postdoc study at the University of Cologne has been published as a book chapter on "Islam and the Acceptance of Homosexuality: the Shortage of Socio-Economic Well-being and Responsive Democracy" (in: Samar Habib (ed.) 2009: Homosexuality and Islam. Praeger; presented at ESA Conference 2009, Lisbon). My current substantial research focuses on attitudes towards beginning- and end-of-life issues (i.e. topics evolving around abortion, IVF, PID and also euthanasia, patient's wills, palliative medicine). At the ISA World Congress 2010 in Gothenburg, I have organized an Ad-hoc Session on "Beginning- and End-of-Life-Issues on the Move" (together with Eva Jaspers, Utrecht, and Nora Machado, Lisbon). My methodological research is closely linked to issues of cross-national comparison, the analysis of social change and multilevel analysis. Please find out more about current research projects FAIVA-LIFE, "Boundaries of Life" and AnaGramm on my University website and my blogs.

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