Heterogeneous informational environments and individual status transitions (Cluster 4, ScienceCampus Tuebingen)

Heterogeneous informational environments are characteristic of status passages which include changes of social positions. They evolve during status transitions, for example from school to the university, because the informational sources providing knowledge, values and norms related to an origin context are enriched and partly replaced by new sources related to the destination context of the transition.

A typical case is the transition to university and the experiences following during the course of studies. When entering university, informational environments typically consist of both family- and school-related networks. These established informational environments may be challenged by the standards of knowledge and judgment of academic peer groups and by social ties unrelated to the family. These experiences potentially alter information and decision behavior. Additionally, the respective informational environments have undergone two historical changes: first, advancing digitalization, and second, an increasing interconnectedness of formal and informal educational contexts.

Our research cluster focuses on the individual consequences of these trends as well as on their dependence on social contexts and hence their impact on social inequalities. It continues and extends research conducted during the first funding period of ScienceCampus Tübingen (2010 – 2012). The research of all projects of the cluster builds on a joint data collection among students.