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Sociology colloquia 2013

November 21, 2013, 15:30-16:45, Munting Building 0074

Koen Breedveld (Mulier Institute Utrecht): Explaining Differences in Sport Participation: The Need for a Sociology for Sports

Sport participation patterns appear to be quite stable over time and across cultures. Although changes are apparent (increasing participation, especially among the elderly and among females) and even though participation levels differ between countries, we witness that people with lower education levels and lower income levels participate less in sports than do people with higher education/income levels. These patterns appear quite consistent between countries and over time. In this presentation we will look into theories explaining these differences, especially from within (sport) sociology. We will argue that a Bourdieu-like perspective appears most suited to explain differences in sportparticipation, despite its many open ends (as will become apparent from this case-study). The presentation is based on work performed over the years, by the author and by others. While discussing sportparticipation, we will also discuss the broader significance of sports for sociology (and society) in general.

Koen Breedveld is managing director of the Mulier Institute (since 2007) and professor in sport sociology at the Radboud University Nijmegen (since 2013).

October 17, 2013, 11:15-12:30, Bloemstraat Building 0018

Per Block (Oxford University): A Situational Understanding of Social Networks

The (offline, real-world) social networks people are embedded in, are pivotal for many aspects of their personal life. Therefore, research on how these social networks are created and maintained appears a natural research question for social scientists. Over the past decades, many regularities concerning how individuals form their social networks have been found and theoretically explained. Further, fairly recent methodological advances have dramatically improved the ability to study cross-sectional and longitudinal network data. However, as a recent review pointed out, different strands of network research focussing on different generative mechanisms have developed in relative isolation of one another. The current work aims at taking a first step towards providing a general framework in which the different network formation mechanisms can be linked and related to one another. This framework focusses on the social situations in which social ties are formed and maintained. Using a series of empirical studies , in this presentation I will show how this approach can explain empirical puzzles, such as the tendency of individuals against forming cyclic configurations in friendship networks, or the diminishing returns of similarity between friends. Further, it yields novel predictions on how different types of friendship relations are linked to different positions in network structures and hypothesis about which friendship ties are crucial in social influence processes. Overall, the results suggest that a situational understanding of social networks is a promising avenue for future research.

Per Block hopes to finish his doctorate in Sociology at Nuffield College, Oxford within the next half year. His research interests are focussed on the evolution of friendship networks and statistical network models.

September 10, 2013, 11:15-12:30

Ronald Rindfuss (University of North Carolina): Social Change, Social Networks, and Family & Fertility Change in Japan

Japan, unlike most Western countries, has experienced limited movement in several components of the second demographic transition, including non-marital fertility, use of childcare centers, and, somewhat less so, cohabitation. Yet Japan has experienced many of the structural changes found in Western societies that are related to the second demographic transition, including increased education levels with the increases more marked for women than men, rise of the service economy, urbanization, shift to work settings not conducive to caring for young children, and out-sourcing of labor-intensive manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries. Using longitudinal and cross-sectional data that include information on knowing relatives, friends and co-workers who have engaged in non-traditional fertility and family behavior, this paper examines the extent to which knowing such people has changed over time and longitudinally over the life course. We also examine the extent to which knowing someone engaged in non-traditional behaviors is patterned by such structural variables as birth cohort, sex and education, as well as the connection between knowing someone who has engaged in non-traditional behavior and one’s attitudes toward such behaviors.

Ronald Rindfuss is Robert Paul Ziff Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Carolina Population Center Faculty Fellow at University of North Carolina and East-West Center in Honolulu.

May 30, 2013, 13:00-14:15

Jochen Peter (University of Amsterdam): Youth and Internet Porno

In the past years, several public debates have centered on the alleged sexualization of Dutch adolescents. The internet has played a central role in these debates. On the internet, adolescents can not only easily access pornography, but they can also distribute sexual material to others and look for sexual partners. Until recently, however, little was known about these issues from a scientific, evidence-based perspective. How many adolescents do use pornography on the internet? Does internet pornography affect adolescents, for example in how they think about sex and love? Do adolescents really send nude photos of themselves to others? Do they look for sexual contacts online? Jochen Peter will present results from several longitudinal studies that have been done at the Center for Research on Children, Adolescents, and the Media at the University of Amsterdam in the past six years, thereby trying to make a nuanced, evidence-based contribution to the recurring debate about the sexualization of youth.

Jochen Peter (PhD 2003, UvA) is a professor in the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the UvA. His research interests focus on adolescents' use of new media and its consequences for their psycho-social development and their sexual socialization.

February 28, 2013, 13:00-14:15

Ellen Verbakel (Radboud University Nijmegen): Gay Male and Lesbian Couples in the Netherlands: Are They Different from Heterosexual Couples?

The family is a widely studied field in sociology and has focused on many topics concerning partnered lives. I will extend theoretical ideas that are usually applied to heterosexual couples to couples with two men or two women. For this colloquium, I will combine the results from several papers I wrote on gay men and lesbians. The first question to be discussed relates to the formation of partnerships: To what extent do assortative mating patterns differ between gay male, lesbian, and heterosexual couples? Once partners have formed a couple, the next question I will answer is: How do same-sex couples divide paid labour compared to heterosexual couples? Finally, I focus on individual labour market careers by answering the question: To what extent are gay men and lesbians better or worse off in terms of occupational success compared to their heterosexual counterparts? Hypotheses have been tested with the Dutch Labour Force Surveys; the results will be discussed.

Ellen Verbakel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at Radboud University Nijmegen. Previously, she worked as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at Tilburg University. Her research interests include partner choice, partner effects, and relationships.

February 7, 2013, 13:00-14:15

Jan van Bavel (University of Leuven, Belgium): Implications of the Shifting Gender Balance in Education for Reproduction in Europe. Hypotheses for a new research programme?

While men have always received more education than women in the past, this gender imbalance in education has recently turned around. For the first time in European history, there are now more highly educated women than men reaching the reproductive ages and looking for a partner. I expect that this will have profound consequences for the demography of reproduction because mating patterns have always implied that men are the majority in higher education. These traditional practices are no longer compatible with the new gender distribution in education. In this talk, I formulate hypotheses about the consequences for reproductive behaviour in Europe. I expect the following causal chain between the reversal of the gender imbalance in education and fertility: it creates a new, education-specific mating squeeze that affects the process and expected pattern of assortative mating, which in turns affects the timing, probability and stability of union formation, which eventually is expected to have implications for fertility. Each of the links in this chain are discussed.

Jan Van Bavel is professor of demography at the University of Leuven, with also a limited affiliation with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he was fulltime between 2005 and 2011 and is still supervising a major research project about divorce in Flanders. His major research interest is long term trends in reproductive behaviour in Europe (1850-2050).

Laatst gewijzigd:24 maart 2015 14:42